Attracting Bats in PNW

anuparaj(Zone 7 - PNW)November 27, 2009

Hi:

I want to put a bat box (for them to roost) in my garden. I spend a fortune on Bat guano every year, so I thought why not attract them. Any idea on how to attract them?

Thanks

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muddydogs

Bat's are creepy blood suckers that give little turds. What makes their poopies more valuable than big human turds?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 12:39AM
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PRO
George Three LLC

lack of hepatitis B?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 1:35AM
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gardengal48

Bat's are creepy blood suckers that give little turds. What makes their poopies more valuable than big human turds?

Well, that's a rather unenlightened point of view! Either that or you've been watching too many late night horror movies :-) Of the 1100 or so species of bats, only 3 are blood feeders and none of those are native to the NW. Local bats are insectivores and consume huge quantities of insects and other invertebrates, many of which are considered pest species and damaging to crops, plants and forests. More power to the OP for wanting to attract them!

Bat guano (the 'poop') is a highly desirable natural fertilizer source. It is high in phosphorus, non-nitric ammoniacal nitrogen and a variety of trace elements. It has a high percentage of microflora including a predominance of beneficial fungus, actinomycetes and bacterium. It is a natural nematicide and also offers some fungicidal properties. Its value as a fertilizer source is such that it prompted the Guano Island act in 1865, whereby the US laid claim to various south sea islands heavily populated by bats and other guano producing sea birds.

The only drawback to bat guano is that you need a whole bunch of bats to accumulate any meaningful quantities :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: attracting bats in the NW

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:30AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

We have a colony of bats living under our cedar shakes. We reroofed our house two years ago and they moved back in under the new shakes. It's really interesting at dusk and dawn to see them flying around accessing their home. They come in mid May and leave in mid August. The downside is I have to hose off the patio, including the furniture every day. The upside is we don't have mosquitoes.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 8:13PM
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victoriannoire(7b)

I love the flying rodents ever so much and would love to have them around...and in my garden too i suppose ;) so what do i have to do just get them a little house or what? we live in a really new neighborhood that we just moved into, so i am unsure if we have them around here....

by the by i saw a piece in the news the other day about a guy with the biggest corn on the island because he used fertilizer made out of human feces...gross as hell, but i suppose high in nitrogen....

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:01PM
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George Three LLC

as far as plants are concerned, human poop is pretty good stuff. the problem is for humans who come in contact with the poop, or with food that came in contact with the poop.

i don't have a link for this, but i remember from history class that something like 40% of all deaths in pre 20th century china were related to disease caused by night soil agriculture.

Here is a link that might be useful: growing food with human poop

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Bats are not rodents.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 11:48AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

In trying to get the bats to move out of our roof, we bought a bat house and installed it on the barn. It even has a picture of a bat on it, but so far, no takers. At least none I've seen. I think if you google bat houses, you will find instructions for building an placing them. Hopefully you will have success -- just make sure that it is located away from walks, patios, etc. On the other hand, how do you anticipate collecting the guano? Even with the number we have, I can't see collecting it. I hose it off and am afraid that if I tried to sweep it into a container, the dust could be dangerous. Our patio is like a scene from a Hitchock movie at dawn and dusk in the summertime.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe change your handle to battyinduncan.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 4:30PM
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victoriannoire(7b)

I hear that alpacas are excellent for fertilizing your gardens with too...and probably a lot easier to attract then bats...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 10:11PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I've had a bathouse up for over ten years. No bats :(

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:24PM
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linda_denman_island(8b)

My husband built a bat house several years ago and it works well. The plan for it came off of some website on attracting bats, but I don't recall which one I found it on. You can see them fly out of it just before dark in the summer. One evening I counted 13. You can sometimes hear them in there during the day. I must admit they do make a bit of a mess, but it's not too much of a bother to sweep up (carefully) and use in the garden. They love heat and will move around during the day. We once had an umbrella on the deck, which was kept closed (it shaded too many plants) unless we were sitting at the table. They use to love going under that during some parts of the day. When I opened the umbrella, three or four bats would fly out. That I didn't like so much because of the droppings left and no longer use the umbrella there.

Here's a photo of the bat house. I'm not sure why I left that scruffy looking puya there (please ignore that part
;-))

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 10:28AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Nice pic Linda. We heard the bats for years before we knew what they were. The little squeaks and rattles, especially on hot days weren't even identified by an exterminator. It wasn't until my grandson was playing with his skateboard outside late one summer evening that he saw the bats fly out! I've never been able to count them, they move so fast.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:47AM
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gardengal48

I don't have a bat house, but I do see them here swooping around on a summer's evening. I assume they reside in the plethora of conifers that surround my home. It's kinda fun to watch them just at dusk with all that soaring and diving, catching bugs :-)

I think they are a lot more plentiful in this area than we may realize. I recall a trip to Republic, WA some years back to do some fossil hunting and watching them by the literal hundreds come zooming out of the surrounding forests at sunset while we stood on our motel balcony. Creeped my daughter, who was quite young at that time, out totally -- all she could relate to was Dracula and vampire bats!!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:15PM
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