I have lived in Northern California for almost 6 years now. We arrived here in January of 2013 after living in the tropics for years. One of the first things I fell in love with living in California was not only the seasons, but the vast wild life. Birds, animals, bees, and yes, bats. I have become so fascinated with them that I decided to learn a little about these flying black creatures.
As I started reading and learning about bats, I quickly realized, they need homes. They have a hard time finding safe places to sleep at night. I talked my husband and our neighbor into putting up a little “bat penthouse” between our yards. I think it is actually pretty cool. We put it up this summer and as I researched, I discovered it could take up to 2 years for bats to make a home out of it.
Here are a few facts about bats that I have discovered through the process.
- Bats can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour
- Bats have a thumb and 4 fingers
- Bats are the only mammal that can fly
- Baby bats are called pups
- The smallest bat in the world is the size of a bumblebee and weighs less than a penny.
- Millions of bats live under the Congress street bridge in Austin TX
- Bats pollinate many night shade plants
When I heard that bats eat mosquitoes and pollinate plants I was determined to get them a home asap. After some research, I purchased a couple of bat houses on amazon and my husband and neighbor went to town putting them together, adding a roof and sides making 2 houses into one large penthouse. The penthouse had to face a certain direction to get optimal sun for warmth, 7 hours is optimal. It needed to be be a certain height. Ours is 16 feet off the ground. There needs to be a water source somewhere near. I happen to love to garden and have about 3 fountains in our yard plus 2 bird baths. There should be a tree line within about 30 yards. Our bat house has a tin roof over the top of it to help with shelter and warmth.
Since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought this would be a great time to share my bat house adventure. I will let you know when we get our first occupant.