in the mid eighties I was active in sport caving
(spelunking to non participants) and as a side
effect became quite interested in bats and bat conservation. Even
then 'state of the art' bat house from someone at a grotto meeting for
around $25. Essentially a small bird house
slit in the bottom instead of a hole in the front.
as it turned out, had
it up for many years in various locations and it never to my
knowledge had a
single bat visit much less take up residence. It eventually rotted
fell from the tree it was in. Thus ending chapter one...
of 2010 we noticed a small colony of bats living in the eaves of our
house. A nursery colony since a fallen young bat first drew
our attention to it.
researching currently available bat houses I was immediately struck by
three things. First by how radically different they are today than back
then. Much larger, opened bottom with multiple roughened baffles for
the bats to cling to and closely
discourage wasps from joining
the bats. BCI (Bat
even recommends caulking
and painting the outside to prevent drafts. As well as
strategically placed vents so each bat house has a variety of micro
Second by just how expensive nice bat houses are today. The
large attractive ones are well over $200. Ouch!
A decent sized ugly house can run
hundred bucks. Tiny, virtually useless, artsy-craftsy bat houses can
$40 to $50. Even kits are not cheap and some of those are rather ugly
Third by the fact that there are several (apparently quite
bat houses on the market today. Hand crafted like their labor intensive
counterparts and none that appear to have been designed with the intent
of being truly mass
produced. Now if
alarm bells just went off in your mind, explaining the "dot com" part
of the URL above, you can imagine how I
felt at the time since I coincidentally worked in plastics manufacturing.
molding to be precise, and building my first
thoroughly documented with numerous
large pictures (warning mobile and dial up users!)
2012 and my mold is almost
finished. Have three prototype bat houses up around our farm with mixed
success. A pole mounted bat house installed in 2011 has had several
visitors, but no long term residents. One of two building mounted bat
houses installed 2012 enticed our small (but growing!) maternity colony
to move in within a month of the bats return.
Had to wait for a 105 degree day to get this picture.