Anyone counting the bats?

Cumming, IA

Hello folks, anybody else counting the bats returning to their bat houses?
I noticed fresh guano beneath my bat house April 7th and counted 23 bats emerging at sunset. Today, I could hear them squeaking in the house and then counted 39 emerging between 8:00-8:30pm with at least one male or barren female joining them from elsewhere.

Is anyone else counting them?

I am in Cumming, Iowa.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Wow, I've always wanted to build a bat house. Would love to see a photo of your bat house! That's quite a lot of bats you got, your house sounds bigger.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I don't have bat houses though I know I have bats. That is great that you have houses for them and that you have a bunch of bats!!

Cumming, IA

Actually, it doesn't seem that big to me. They like to cuddle for warmth. Last year I had 89 bats in it, and as it was an early spring, my bat nursery had a second litter in the fall!

I used to have a worm farm, but never again. Too much work for me. Critters that eat Mosquitos and deposit guano into a washtub is a double payback in my book!

I will take a picture tomorrow and post it. Not very fancy, but works like a dream.

I don't know if more will be coming in after tonight for awhile as that cold snap that is coming in may have some influence on their migration north.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Would love to see your bathouse. How did you lure them to it? I have them living in my house all summer. I believe the bat people think the bats are using my house as a nursery. I wish they would move out 'cause I don't like them flying around my head at night. I think they fall out of the nest. The cats get them.

How would I lure them to a bathouse instead of MY house?

Cumming, IA

It is a horrid little story, we had a log home with bats in the attic. I researched bats and how to get rid of them only to find out how much good they did in the world and that the best way to get rid of them was to give them another home. So I put up a store bought bat house on the south end of our pole barn.

On April 17th, 2011 our home burned to the ground. The bats naturally were looking for another abode and landed in the bat house. Last spring I started collecting the guano from beneath the bat house and using it on one of my identical raised strawberry beds. The results were great and I was impressed to the point of starting to count bats and contemplating more bat houses.

I learned of the debilitating effects of West Nile from Mosquitos from friends to the north and how a bat could eat 2000 bugs per night and I learned of the bat's habitats being threatened and the damage of White Nose. I learned how maternal love abounds in these ugly little creatures and how different types of bats will cohabit the same nursery without discrimination.

I am batty for bats now and am now waiting with two more nursery bat houses and a bachelor pad to be erected.

Ps. The new house will be bat proof as I can build it.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well, I sure don't want to burn my house down to get rid of them. The bids I got to caulk my house, sight unseen, and my house is a big A frame, was $3,000, starting. There is no attic. Only the space between the rafters 2x8s. Can get a lot of bats in there. Problem is, they do get in the house and urinate down my walls. The walls look terrible and I can't wash or paint them.

I have no idea how many I have. Have never tried to count them.

Please post the picture.

Cumming, IA

We were having the same problems. We tried caulking and steel wool too. Bats can wiggle through tiny cracks (less than 1/2") and as a log home shrinks and swells with the seasons, it was an almost hopeless pursuit. I put out a solar powered birdbath by their new home to give them water.

Our cats climbed the exterior log walls to hunt them and on occasion were seen falling off the 2 1/2 story house casting a very forlorn form. Guano would need to be swept from the porches daily. The bats would get into the house, get smacked by the ceiling fans and drive the cats crazy by crawling up the walls as bats need to fall about 4' to begin their flights. Needless to say it created a strangely comedic horror show.

My little bat house is maybe 18"x24"x3". I decided to buy one larger rather than smaller as I could not believe they were telling the truth about the occupancy estimates.
My bat home has three vertical chambers (they just crawl up and cuddle snugly).
It is rated for 300 bats I think. They are really tiny things I will post a pictures tomorrow .

I have considered investing in a bat cam as I would really like to know what the ruckus is all about when I hear the squabbles up there.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Have you tried making a bat house? You can get the instructions free on line you know. And nothing to them. I have too difficult a time getting around or I would make a couple. But then I would have the problem of getting them put up. Where do you have yours? How high up?

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I did a search online on making a bat house, their are many free plans. I may have to scale mine down a bit because the only 1/2" plywood I got is only 24" wide, not their 26" they say.
I might do This Old House's free plan, although, I'm a little intimidated at the drawings of cut-outs they have. I do like their plans though, I looked at one for sale, it was a cool one with a diagram of a bat on the front, but it was $359! This is This Old House's link. - http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20166044,00.html
Here is the $359 one. - http://bathouse.com/products/the-complete-bat-bunker It is nice and bigger but I don't have $359 for a bat bunker! Yeah, they must really be little for those high occupancies. Oh, I'd be the Man Of The Year if I built a bat house here! My friend here, the homeowner is real anti-mosquito, and bats consume 600 insects an hour they say, (I hope they don't eat Butterflies though). She has turned over countless of my empty containers and pots for fear of breeding mosquitoes. She dropped the hammer on my water garden too because she said it bred mosquitoes!
Sorry to hear about your house, beckashoe, that musta stunk then.
That's funny Jnette, they fly around your head at night! Just think if they were vampires!
I thought I read that the inside of a bat house shouldn't be painted, (but rather darkly stained), which is one procedure, (painting the interior) I don't really agree with in This Old House's plans.
It says 15' up on a South or West facing position I believe. Apparently bats want some sun sometimes to keep the house warm for the babies and stuff, but they like it dark most times sounds like. Here is my plywood I can use for a bat house, it is 24" wide. -
Will


This message was edited Apr 9, 2013 7:21 PM

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Good grief that's ridiculous. Listen, all you have to do is google bat houses, bat house plans, etc. Here are directions with a list of materials and tools you will need, and layouts etc. So easy. Look at this link, and then google too.

http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/Build-a-Bat-House.aspx

Jeanette

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks! I now have a new favorite on building one! I like NWF's plans better!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Good for you!! I liked that one myself. Please let me know how you do, and would love pictures along the way. Jeanette

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Okay, will do. It says Spring is the best time to get them out there so I hope to get started soon.
Will

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I think I would shoot for getting them out before the bats show up out of hibernation. I expect them any day now. When they head for my house, they just maybe would see the bathouse.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Eeek, then I might do it tomorrow! I plan to use nearly all or probably all materials from here, I have NO money to buy materials. For ex., I have a quart of Minwax oil-based stain and they say water-based stain. It's not like it won't be dry or anything when I put it out. I rounded up a bunch of materials today, like instead of 1" x 2"s that they say in the instrux, I might be able to come up with 1" x 1"s, (2) 1" x 1"s together so they equal a 1" x 2"! lol
Will

Thumbnail by shortleaf Thumbnail by shortleaf
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

One of the threads I read said to try to get them out 2 to 6 weeks prior to the bats showing up. I would not hesitate to do it now. Hey, whatever works!! But do not think an oil based stain would be very good. Not that it wouldn't dry, but the bats may not like the smell? Water based would soak in and dry. Probably no smell. I would hate to see you put a lot of work into it and not have them want it.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I finally got all the materials and I got the big pieces cut today! - Now, I just need to stain, paint and assemble everything. I have missed opening day for bats by a couple of months or so but at least it should get out there this year. The water based stain was cheaper than I thought, but I just got a small can (1 pint) for $3.69. Man, I hope those bats are as tiny as you say beckashoe, the instructions have only 3/4" deep in that roosting chamber! I got the instrux from this site and then I went to the pdf file that they have at the Small Economy Bat House plan from Bat Conservation International's website, underneath where it says "How to Build a Bat House".
Will

Thumbnail by shortleaf
suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Are you bat folks still around? Or anybody that can help shed light on it, (although, be prepared to take any blame..lol) Woodworkers? Anybody?
I got me a bit of a quandary! I was hoping somebody could clue me in on something that I'm not grasping about these assembly instructions on it. I have all the pieces cut and I'm ready to put together. My dilemma is on it's thickness or basically the diameter of the roosting chamber. I'm not sure if it's 3/4" of an inch thick or 1.5" inches thick. I think the instructions say 3/4" thick but I'm not seeing how it can be 3/4 of an inch thick! I don't want to get it all glued together and everything wrong, so I was hoping somebody could clear this up for me. I just can't see how anything would be comfortable in a 3/4" house! But, if you look at #5 in the instrux it says "roost chamber is 3/4", I'm finding it difficult to grasp! I've been wrong before, I am all about the 3/4" if that's what it really is! I know the bats around here are tiny and all but gee whiz!
I'd love to do this right the first time. It's bad enuff that it has taken me about 4 months so far to get THIS far, I'm not trying to prolong it much more. Here's a few pics. My printer is terrible, sorry if it is somewhat unreadable. - Those side boards (furring strips) decide the thickness, do they go like pic #1 or like pic #2?
Thanks, Will


This message was edited Aug 2, 2013 9:03 PM

Thumbnail by shortleaf Thumbnail by shortleaf Thumbnail by shortleaf Thumbnail by shortleaf
KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Will, try the woodworking forum if you don't get help on here. Or dmail Bernie. :~)

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I'll try that, thanks pepper. Next, I need to find a router so I can carve a bat onto the front.

Cumming, IA

My bat update, we erected 3 more bat houses back in November. They are on poles out in the field.

I never got a single bat in the ones that we put up last spring along side the first one on the south side of the pole barn. I read somewhere that new bat houses need to age and lose their new wood smell. I guess that makes sense. My bat population was weaker this past season 60+/-, but I have high hopes for 2014, hopefully it will not be as cold and wet during the migration.

Anyway, as a side note, I was sending pears from the Harry and David website around Christmas and read that they had erected bat houses in the fields for bug control too.

Sure feels good to know that I'm not the only one that is batty!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Shortleaf, I am sure your solved your problem by now, but I didn't read all of what you wrote but you know 2 x 3/4 is 1.5. In other words 1.5 is double the thickness of 3/4". Does that make more sense? Does it help with the instructions?

Jeanette

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Your update beckashoe? I liked when the bats hit your ceiling fans!
I'm still at what to do about 3/4" vs. 1.5". Thanks for trying to help me Jnette, but I got me a dilemma that I need to be figuring out soon in order to have it ready for Spring. Which one is the roosting chamber 3/4" or 1.5"? Therein lies the problem. : )

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Shortleaf, your issue was that you couldn't get the proper wood in the first place. I went back a couple and read your posts. I think I would go with the 3/4 inch if that is what they say and live with whatever difference your house ends up with at the end. If it looks like it is going to have extra wood left over etc. so what? Those bats don't care. Just give them the room they need or they may not use it.

Yes, if those bats can get thru a 1/4 inch hole in the first place, they will do just fine in 3/4 inch roost. Just remember, they are only roosting. i.e. sleeping, in that space. They are tiny, and they scoot up against each other for warmth, comfort, and security. Just my words.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Do they scoot together like this? -

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

LOL, much closer. That looks like a line Spokane has right over a bench at a bus stop for the city busses.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Just found this thread, and I am loving it! We are bat lovers, too, and my husband bought the materials to make a bat house with my son. Our neighbor across the street has a VERY healthy bat population that lives in his attic (though he insists they are swallows. . .I'm afraid he'd get up there with a blowtorch and kill them all and burn the house down if he really thought they were bats), and we're hoping to lure some over to our house. We actually go outside at dusk to see them emerge and swoop around, and then form a big funnel swirling around as they go back down his chimney at night. It is quite the sight!

There is lots of good information about bats and bat houses on this website, Bat Conservation International. They've done so much to educate people about how beneficial bats are, and change the misconceptions so many people have!

http://batcon.org/index.php/get-involved/install-a-bat-house.html

Anyway, will be following this thread with interest!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Bookerc1 you are right bout bats being beneficial. However, Bat Conservation Int'l was not helpful at all for me. I wanted a name of someone local, or the closest ones that could maybe give me some helpful information about my area and how I could get them out of my house. But, I guess they didn't have anyone.

All they told me was that it sounded like I had a maternity ward where the bats had their babies every year. Ok, that made me feel better right? Maybe the babies are the ones falling out of the nests and flying around??? My thoughts. I kind of liken them to baby birds when they do that, but I still don't want them flying around me.

Any ideas???

BTW, I talked to exterminators, and they all said that they could not do anything as long as the bats were in here. But, that when they left for the winter, then they could go all over the house and plug any holes. Well, my house is a big A frame with a basement. I did not get far enough with them to tell them that. One guy said the minimum it would cost was $3,000 and go up from there. Like I said I did not get to the point of telling him how big my house is. So, that was the end of that.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Wow, $3,000! That's a lot of money! I did some reading on BCI's website, and found a downloadable PDF on this page:

http://www.batcon.org/index.php/get-involved/install-a-bat-house/subcategory/39.html

Look for the link that says: "I've got bats in my house! Please help!"

They have several do-it-yourself options to begin to exclude the bats, but it looks like they'd require a huge ladder and a lot of gumption on the part of the homeowner, especially if you have a tall A-Frame house. Can you tell where they are getting into the house, if you watch carefully at dusk? Is it one particular entry point, or are they getting in all around your entire roof line? I like that they show how to use netting in such a way that the bats can get out of your house, but are unable to find their way back in. If you can manage to get the netting hung, it looks like a pretty effective method, and then you don't have to worry about trapping some inside to starve.

The last paragraph of it says, "For a list of reliable pest control operators in your area, visit the Bats and Buildings page at www.batcon.org or contact the “Bats in Buildings” coordinator at [email protected] or call 407‐414-2142 and ask for Laura Finn." Maybe you already did that, and that's who you spoke to. If they weren't able to point you to someone who can help, I don't know what else to recommend!

Central IL is a long way from WA! LOL I tried typing "bat removal WA" into the search bar on my browser, and came up with quite a few results, but I have no way of knowing which are humane and reputable businesses, and which might charge you an arm and a leg, and not resolve the problem!



suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the batcon link - http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/fof_bathouse.pdf , coincidentally, I think I may have solved my problem!

- 8. "Avoiding Uninvited Guests. Wasps can be a problem
before bats fully occupy a house. Use of
3⁄4-inch (19 mm) chambers reduces wasp problems."

It looks like 3/4" is okay! I haven't assembled it yet but I will try to soon, maybe it'll warm up some soon.
Thanks, Will

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Couldn't find any place to ask for companies in my location tho. I must have missed it. I looked several different times.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

There was an email address and a phone number to contact to ask about people in your area. I don't think they have any kind of nationwide listing, though I may be wrong about that.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

How am I missing it? Where is it?

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

I copied and pasted it into my message above. Here it is again, so you don't have to read through the whole long paragraph:

"For a list of reliable pest control operators in your area, visit the Bats and Buildings page at http://www.batcon.org or contact the “Bats in Buildings” coordinator at [email protected] or call 407‐414-2142 and ask for Laura Finn."

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Has anyone seen any activity in their bat houses yet? I keep pushing my husband to get ours built, so the bats coming out of hibernation will find it as they "set up house" for the summer months. My younger son is a real bat lover, and wants to help build it. The challenge is finding the time. . .



suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I was just thinking a minute ago, even before I read your post, about getting mine finished and put up somewhere. I hear you about time. I first started it a year ago this month, (see some posts right up there..lol). I ran into an obstacle on not knowing what the roost chamber space was, I couldn't believe it was 3 quarters of an inch. Anyway, I shoulda finished it last year when I was unemployed, now I have a full-time job.

Cumming, IA

I have not heard a peep from the nursery , but will make it a point to sit out there tomorrow evening.

Cumming, IA

The bats are back, yippee!
I counted 61 bats in my three clustered bat nursery houses tonight & there was at least 1 more up there (I heard her and her droppings) but it was too dark to see her exit anyway. They started exiting at 8:04pm and I stopped watching at 8:20pm.

This is great news as I had my first mosquito bite last night.
I have three other smaller houses on poles out in the fields and will try to make time to observe them in the upcoming evenings.

The middle bat house at the peak is my oldest, I put up the two that flank it early last spring but the bats refused to use it last year as it smelled too new I guess. The one at the lower right is supposedly a house for the males and barren females. They have seemed to prefer my pole barn in past years. I don't really know if it will work, but I know that I want the guano gone from the barn.


Any other bats counters out there?

Thumbnail by beckashoe
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

So are you saying you you do, or don't have bats in any of them?

So far I have not seen any sign of bats in my house. No guano on the livingroom floor or any of the chairs. Any day now tho.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You must log in and subscribe to Dave's Garden to post in this thread.
BACK TO TOP