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Tips on Safeguarding Your Great Sacandaga Home from Bats
By Serinna Malory, published Aug 18, 2007

Bats are Dying and No One Knows Why

Bats are an important part of our ecosystem and eat millions of insects. Though they are actually beneficial to have around, many people feel they are a nuisance and will take measures to prevent them from being around. Bats usually only cause problems if they find a way to get into homes. Preventing bats from getting in is fairly simple and can be accomplished without causing injury or death to these beneficial mammals. Much of the bat population is destroyed annually by people who use the wrong methods to rid bats from their homes or prevent them from getting in.

There are humane and effective ways to keep bats outside where they can continue to do their job in supporting the ecosystem. Keep in mind when planning to prevent bats from gaining entrance into homes that they are useful to us in regards to insect control and eat anywhere between 500 and 1,000 insects per hour! Bats are great to have in areas that have a dense population of mosquitoes. Keeping the bats out of your home is understandable, but there is no reason to harm a bat in any way if it does find its way inside. With the decreasing population of bats, it is important to remember how they do help us. When safeguarding your home from bats, try to use the most humane methods possible.

The best way to prevent bats from coming in is to install bat houses outside. Bats are drawn to these houses and will be more likely to take up residence there instead of trying to get inside your home. Bats will normally enter a home through an attic vent or any available opening. Blocking these potential entrances will help in keeping the bats outside. They will commonly find a way to get in if there are areas that are exposed under eaves or if there are open holes in areas where pipes and electrical wires enter the home. Take measures to locate any possible entrance route and block holes or make repairs that will not allow them to get in.

Why not put up a Bat House?

The main consideration of course is mosquito control. It is estimated that the average bat will consume 4,000 to 5,000 mosquitoes during a summer night, along with countless other insects, such as moths,black flies, etc.

If you already have a bluebird house, maybe your next house ought to be a bat house. Bat houses are a relatively new idea in the United States but have been placed in forests all over Europe since the 1930's. A bat house is a wooden box with layers of boards placed vertically inside to serve as nesting sites. In the summer these houses may be used by a single male bat, or a group of mothers with their young. Houses will not be used by bats in the winter.

When setting out a bat house don't place it in areas frequented by people, pets and especially small children. Bats will appreciate the seclusion and your chances of problems will be reduced.

Instructions for placing your bat house:

  • Place the box in a tree or on a building 12 to 15 feet off the ground and sheltered, as much as possible, from the wind.
  • Place the box in a southeast exposure. This will gather solar radiation and help warm the box.
    Attempt to locate within a few hundred feet of a water supply, such as a pond, lake, stream or marsh.
  • If box is placed in a tree, try to locate near other trees but not in a forest.
  • Clean and relocate box if it attracts wasps or hornets. Note - Boxes should not be cleaned if they are being used by bats. If you see droppings below the box feel certain they have moved in.


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