What can you do to attract bats to your area of the city? Well, just like everyone else around here, bats are looking for good food, fresh water and shelter. The following are some important tips on making your backyard an inviting hangout spot for your local bat population
1. Find out what bats live in your local area
If you live in the city you will find that bats are harder to come by. You could learn more about the bats in your local are by checking in with the local bat enthusiast group or maybe a local expert. You can also check with the Bat Conservation International for more information. The more information you learn, the better your chances of setting up an appealing location for bats.
2. Offer a water source.
According to the information of the Bat Conservation International’s program Water for Wildlife, a bat can lose as much as 50% of their water weight in one day. Even those accustomed to living in the desert need plenty of H2O.
This means that having a pond or other water feature near your home could be the one thing that attracts bats to your home and garden. If you don’t have such a water feature, you could consider having a pond or fountain installed in your home to attract more bats for a drink. If you want to really encourage bats around the place then a DIY bat box is a good idea - Gardener's Path has some great instructions on making it here.
3. Let your garden act as a magnet.
You could also allow your garden to do all the attracting. Fragrant flowers, night blooming plants and some herbs actually attract specific nocturnal insects, which attract bats who come for a bite.
Some specific blossoms to plant include dahlias, nicotiana, thyme, evening primrose, raspberry and honeysuckle. Pale colored blooms have also been found to attract night-flying insects.
4. Buy or build a bat house.
To attract more bats to your yard, you may want to give them someplace to spend the day. You can buy a bat house online and they are also available at your local home improvement store. If you are the DIY sort, you may be interested in following plans for a single-chamber bat house offered by the Bat Conservation International website.
Here's how to make a home fit for a bat:
Choose the right location
Your bat house should be mounted on the side of your building or on a large pole. Don’t place your bat house in your tree, this place gives too much chance for predators to attack. Bats have to drop before they can fly away so make sure your bat house is at least 15ft. from the ground, this will ensure they won’t run into a cat on their way down.
Keep it small
Bats are fond of smaller narrow spaces much like you would find in between the bark of a tree and the tree below. You will not need to include any nesting materials in your bat house as the bat doesn’t nest like a bird. But make sure the inside is rough and something they can scratch round in.
Maintain an ideal temperature.
Bats like it nice and toasty in their home, anywhere between 85° and 100°F. Keep your bat home facing South to South East, this way it will be warmed by the sun as it catches the heat from sun at dawn.
Do a security check.
The bat house is not just a protection from the wind and the rain, but from animal attacks as well. Make sure your bats are protected by inspecting your bat house in the early spring to make sure there are no wasps, bees or hornets making a home.
You will know if your bat house has attracted a family of bats when you notice bat droppings beginning to show up all around your home.
5. Guard your own home.
Before you begin trying to attract bats to your home and garden. Take a moment to be sure they are not already at home in your house. You will find that your relationship will work out better if you aren’t sharing the same roof. Because bats can fit into small spaces, do a check of your roof and attic to make sure there are no small spaces your new friends could use to become your unwanted roommates as well.
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