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Bats are one of the most misunderstood mammals in the animal world. They are always portrayed in movies and urban legend as the blood sucking villain. I admit that before I learned about all of the benefits of bats I thought they were all blood thirsty vampires just waiting to bite me. It turns out nothing could be further from the truth. Bats are a very helpful part of our ecology and without them we would be overrun with flying insects.
One little brown bat, the most common in North America, can eat their way through over 1000 mosquito sized bugs in an hour. Overnight they can eat up to half their body weight in moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, midges, mayflies and most importantly mosquitoes. This includes the ones that carry human diseases like the West Nile Virus.
Almost all bats in the US hunt at night and sleep the day away. This means that while you are up working and playing they are fast asleep. But, when you go to sleep they go to work keeping the nuisance insect population down.
Unfortunately the bats have encountered a predator they can not hide from and they need your help. Since 2006 the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been fighting White Nose Syndrome in our country's bat population. It is now present in 19 states and 3 Canadian provinces killing over 1,000,000 bats so far. When the bats hibernate they develop the disease on their nose which spreads across the colony with an almost 100% mortality rate. There is no known cure.
One way to help is to put up localized bat houses and encourage local populations. When I went looking to buy some bat houses for myself I found that some of them just used cheap material and the bat houses didn't last more than a year. Others were made of material that damaged their wings or did not encourage bats to move in. I decided to get some smart friends together and make an affordable bat house that would last a lifetime. All of our bat houses meet or exceed all of the guidelines set by The Department of Environmental Conservation and Bat Conservation International for a certified bat house. In addition, we have decided to donate $5 to Bat Conservation International for every bat house we sell until a cure can be found.
Whether you buy one of ours or build one of your own, we hope that you put up a bat house where you live and help our furry flying friends. You can find more information on White Nose Syndrome at the following links:
US Department of Fish and Wildlife: http://www.fws.gov/whitenosesyndrome/index.html
Bat Conservation International: http://www.batcon.org/