Mosquitoes, before it's upon us. Bat houses??

linnea2(z5 NY)March 14, 2004

Hi again, Linnea2 here.

This season I really want to do something about the mosquitoes, before those late afternoons taking-a-break-and--surveying-the-work get ruined again.

Apparently this is the time to set up Bat houses.

I'd like about 500 bats to move in.

Any idea how to attract them besides providing condos?

Anyone tried it successfully?

Or any other non toxic sure-fire thing?

Last season was too cruel, it's soo pretty around 4-5 PM!

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I know what you mean, those mosquitoes are brutal!
We have a large pond and lots of trees, so we have a natural habitat for bats - and we love to see them :) Obviously, my first suggestion would be a pond and trees/shelter for the bats. If that's not possible, the next thing would probably be night blooming plants to attract them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Night blooming plants to attract bats.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 5:22PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Hi Cindy,
yeah, we've got small ponds, and a large, spring-fed one just across the property line and, the main culprit I imagine, a swampy clay-bottom acre with innumerable small water pockets and vernal pools (Peeper heaven, I haven't heard them yet, have you?). Impossible to "dunk" or stock with other small predators (fish). It dries up in dry seasons.

Plenty of trees (orchard), Lilacs, Butterfly bushes, Lilies, Moon flowers and Clethra (in time), Silver lace, Clematis, Rose, Peony, Honeysuckle, Magnolia and, of course, Apple blossoms, Dogwood and Poke cherry.
Why do night flowerers attract bats? Pollinating moths, I suppose?
Oh these zone 8 people! The Brugmansias, Jessamines and Camellias, Calla lilies and Passion vines!
Gimme, gimme, but I don't want their summers either, so I'll have to find other Bat candy.

I guess I'll try the Bat condo.

Do you get string algae in your pond? Fish?
I've considered Barley straw, but baulk at the price for a 10,000 gallon pond. I'm trying to encourage Water cress (yum!) from the little stream next door. Failing that, Water hyacinths perhaps.
The fish (Bluegills, mostly) don't mind at all, I just don't like the scummy look on the pebble "beach"!

One thing I don't have a lot of is time.
Bringing tender perennials indoors is beyond me.

Thanks for your feedback!
(Do you have ladybugs all over your keyboard too?)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 7:56PM
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Yea, we have algae. This year we are going to add Triploid Grass Carp (need a DEC permit) to the pond to try to control it. Our pond is 3/4 acre, so barley straw doesn't do us any good - we did research it, though and here are the best prices that we found. One thing to remember is that it prevents the growth of algae, but doesn't get rid of what's already there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barley Straw

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 8:43PM
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Just got the bat house up Sunday morning and hope that it gets populated fast. It has an engraved bat on the front so they will know who it is intended for - got it at Claire's Nursery in Patterson,NY but I bet the Birdwatcher's Store in High Falls has it too. I understand it is important to have the house about 30' off the ground, facing south being the best location. Mine is fastened to the side of the house at the requisite height. Cautionary tale was of the person who put up a bat house, waited six months and when he didn't see any action, started to take it down and found dozens of bats inside! On the lines of if you build it, they will come!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 5:12PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Hi oldroser,
that's encouraging.
I'll put one up asap, when it warms up again.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2004 at 9:16AM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Oh, and Cindy, thanks for the link on the barley straw!
That's the best price I've seen!

So, are the string algae perennial?
They must be stone dead now.
Do you think I could prevent new growth with Barley straw?

Let me know how your carp work out.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2004 at 10:22PM
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I don't really know much about the algae (been too long since I had Botany LOL) - but I know that it is best to try to prevent it in the spring before is appears. I heard that Barley Straw isn't as effective on string algae, but here's some info that I found about it.

We're still experimenting with the fish - DH is the one who takes care of that part of the pond management (knows exactly what number of what kind af fish are best, etc.)

Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Algae FAQ

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 8:10AM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Thank you Cindy,
that's another great link!

There is a fish breeder/supplier near Rhinebeck who is
very knowledgeable. He has anything from 2'Koi to tiny Minnows and Catfish.
Let me know if you'd like the name and I'll dig it up.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 9:00AM
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Hey Linnea - may be the one we already use - is it Northeastern Aquatics on Kerr Rd? We'll be getting in touch with him soon about getting our Triploid Carp. Isn't this forum great - we can actually talk about local places!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 9:44AM
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trant(z6 NY)

It's very nice to support the dwindling bat populations but don't set yourself up for disappointment and expect them to rid your environment of mosquitos.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 10:52AM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Yes, that's the one, Cindy.
I got my Bluegill and Catfish from him.
The Bluegill are now in the hundreds, or were, before the
winter. Their spawning dances are quite a show!
No need for dunks in THAT pond!

Now if the Bats would just come to dinner..
Even a bit would help, trant

I suppose the Peepers knew what was coming (weatherwise),
but I'm already picking ticks off my dog.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 10:53PM
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Jane_NewPaltz(zone 5 NY)

Use bat guano and place some inside the bat condo, you will attract bats. Also, I would remove the bat condo from your house, and place it in a tree. Once bats are attracted to your house, they WILL find a way to get into your house and since they are atracted to the smell of the guano, it is very difficult to rid your house of bats. I have a summer camp in the Adirondacks and every summer we do battle with the bats.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 10:42PM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Hi Jane,
New Paltz! This IS nice!

You wouldn't have some spare bat guano about, would you?
I'm pretty sure they live in my old, disused chimney, they used to come in sometimes, before the old vent-hole was sealed, and spook us with their silent flight.
I used to worry about rabies when my daughter was a baby.

Maybe I could collect some guano off the front porch roof,
come to think of it..
Thanks for the tip!

Oldroser, I'll try the High falls place, unless the ones at Lowes are ok. We'll put it/them under the eaves of my factory building, facing west. Fairly easy to get to and high up enough. And then for some guano..

If this doesn't make a difference I'm considering a "Magnet".
I deeply need to sit in the new pergola evenings and plot the next shrubbery.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 12:26AM
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Jane_NewPaltz(zone 5 NY)


Don't have any guano now, but when we open up the camp in May, I'm sure to find some. If you are still looking for guano then--email me.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 11:47AM
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dian57(M-H Valley NY-5)

I was talking to a man yesterday about the greenhouse in Winchester Gardens in Maplewood, NJ. The conversation turned to, of all things, bats. He told me he put up a bat house on his property and it sat (or hung, rather) unused for years. He did a little research and found that the females and babies won't cohabitate with the males and that two houses must be hung near each other.

I know zero about bats, but this seems to make sense. Just thought I'd pass it along to anyone considering bat houses.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 5:47AM
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linnea2(z5 NY)

Ok dian, 2 condos it is.
I wonder how they've got it worked out in my chimney.

I guess baby bats are a temptation for carnivorous dads,
happens in the best of mammal families.

I've actually asked an excavator who was here on another job,
for an estimate for dredgeing the swamp,
basically to separate the water from the land encouraging what's already there,
making it viable for fish as well as frogs.

A magnet would no doubt be a lot cheaper, but, a "water park",
that could be exciting, even next to the RR track!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 11:10PM
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Jane_NewPaltz(zone 5 NY)

Bat condos are divided into little cubicles and I know that mommas, babies and papas all live together in the eaves of my summer camp, and they don't mind being all together. They do a fine job of eating mosquitoes but at 9:30pm there are more mosquitoes than can be eaten by HUNDREDS of bats.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2004 at 8:36PM
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I never knew those bat houses were called "condos"!! Haha, Im sure those little rascals can be as picky as some human tenants. On a side note...I do appreciate the bats. We have some houses at our farm and the bats do help with the mosquitos in the summer

Here is a link that might be useful: condos

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 6:54PM
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Wayne_NY(Z6HudsonVal NY)

Interesting that this is the time to put up bat houses...
Put one up last April, and I don't think I ever got any...
Hopefully, I will get some this year seeing that it is up right now!!

Yeah, I like this forum also.. Does anyone remember how long and how many write-ins it took to get it??


    Bookmark   December 11, 2004 at 8:33PM
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