Today I was reading updates on a friend’s facebook wall and saw that she was contemplating putting up a bat house. Oddly enough, my husband and I were talking about this same subject just yesterday. We have a swampy area in the northeast quarter of our land that will eventually be dug out for a pond, but until we dig it out will remain a mosquito-breeding haven. Our best idea to combat these buzzing bothers is to erect a bat house or two.
So after seeing my friend’s post, I decided to start looking at plans for bat houses online. They’ve got to be simple to build, right? Well, as with everything else in life, simple is in the eye of the beholder. Check out some of the bat houses I found while exploring.
This was once a pigeon cove located on the grounds of a palace former Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein built for one of his mistresses. Today the palace is a U.S. Army post called Camp Liberty (formerly known as Camp Victory North) and the pigeon cove is now a home to a colony of bats.
Dr. Charles A.R. Campbell built this and many more large bat houses modeled after church steeples. His houses were so successful in attracting bats that he had trapdoors installed in the bottoms to make easier the removal of guano. In 1918 the crop of guano harvested from the Mitchell’s Lake Bat Roost weighed 4,012 pounds. Wow!
This 10’x10′ bat house sits 23′ in the air in Tallahassee, Florida and holds approximately 60,000 of the critters.
The biggest artificial bat house in the US, located just outside of Gainesville, Florida can house up to 200,000 bats at once. It’s estimated that the bats in this colony consume up to 20 million insects every single night.
Our bat houses will probably be much smaller in scale, though no less effective. After doing some reading, I think we have the perfect bat habitat: plenty of insects and we’re within 1 mile of an open water source. And since we saw a bat swoop in front of our van on the way home from the land, we know they’re out there. If we build it, they should come… hopefully.
Now I’m off to find some simple bat house plans I can construct with the boys. I would love to hear any suggestions in the comment section if you have experience building these little guano factories!