Maybe some of you see bats flying around in the summer evenings. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a few living in the crooks and crannies of your home. For those of you who co-exist with these incredible creatures, we applaud you for being fantastic bat stewards! These days, bats are struggling to find places to roost in the summer, so every chance we give makes a difference to them and to our ecosystems.
For those of you that are living with bats but maybe aren’t so excited about them, we have good news! Unlike rats or mice, bats do not cause significant damage to your home by chewing or creating nests. The bad news is that you will likely still have guano (bat poop), and depending on the size of your colony it can be a bit of a pain to clean up, although it makes a great fertilizer. See this document about safely living with bats: https://bcbats.ca/index.php/got-bats/living-with-a-bats
If you have bats living in your home and understand the vital role they play in our ecosystem, but they are very noisy or causing problems, we have an alternative: a safe exclusion and bat boxes! Exclusions are a guided process and step-by-step instructions can be found here.
The bat boxes are artificial roost structures specifically designed to mimic the conditions found between the cedar shakes or up in the attic. Installing two boxes, one in the shade and one in the sun, gives the bats more options if there is an exceptionally hot or cool summer.
Friends of Tod Creek Watershed Anne and Ian (HAT Habitat Stewards)in bat house building workshop early this month (link here). Thank you so much Anne and Ian for showing us that all of us are able to make a difference in our communities and the creatures that live in them.
Want to build your own bat box? Here are some plans for the two different styles that work best.
Above: Pictures from the Tod Creek Watershed Bat Box Workshop