Move Over Bat Cave. Make
Way for the Bat Tower!
in the USA**
Our bat houses are hand-constructed of rough-sawn Maine White
Pine. The rough surface gives the bats something to hang onto. The habitats are
not painted or stained, as these products are toxic to bats. The houses are open
at the bottom, so birds will not nest in them, and cleaning is not needed.
Tight, solid construction of 1" wood gives warmth and insulation (bats like
their homes around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and higher). Each house comes with bat
information and instructions.
The latest research indicates that the most successful bat houses are mounted
on buildings or are free-standing. This innovative
Tower! mounts directly onto a 4 x 4 post
that you supply. The post actually becomes a landing platform for
the bats. From the post, they climb up into the house. The four internal
chambers and attic provide multiple roosting opportunities.
For the real
"bat-o-philes," the side door opens for a rare peak inside.
Bat Tower Dimensions (23" x 6 3/4" x 7")
A Bat Primer
In many ways bats are typical mammals. They are warm-blooded
and they give birth to live young and suckle them. They differ from all other
mammals, however, in their ability to fly. Their wings are folds of skin
stretched between elongated finger bones, the sides of the body, the hind limbs,
and, in some species, the tail. A resting bat usually hangs with its head
downward and takes flight by releasing its toehold.
appear larger than resting bats because of their large wing area. For example,
the Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus, weighs about 1/3 of an ounce (the
mass of two nickels and a dime) but has a wingspan of about 8.5 inches. The
Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus, by contrast, weighs about one ounce,
and has a wingspan of approximately 16 inches.
Bats are primarily nocturnal creatures, sleeping during the day and hunting
and feeding at night. Although some bats in the Tropics feed on fish, fruit,
nectar, or even blood, the bats of North America typically feed on insects,
usually caught in flight. Bats will take moths, mosquitoes, beetles, mayflies,
caddis flies, and midges.
species of bats typically consume 30% - 50% of their body weight in insects
each night, equivalent to a average adult person eating 60 - 90 lbs of food in
stomach of one Little Brown Bat 145 mosquitoes were found. It is precisely for
this reason that bats make excellent neighbors. Bats roosting in Bat
Houses, that you supply from Abundant Earth or another reliable source, may
radically reduce your resident mosquito population, and may also help rid your
garden of many pesky flying insects.
Birds that pursue flying insects often catch their prey in their mouths, but
most insectivorous bats scoop up their victims in wing or tail membranes before
transferring them to the mouth.
Little Brown Bats can chew their food very
rapidly and in the laboratory have been observed catching mosquitoes at a rate
of 10 per minute.
Bats are not blind. Although the eyes of many insectivorous bats are
inconspicuous, bats see very well and rely on vision for many aspects of their
behavior. However, North American species of bats primarily use echolocation
rather than vision to locate their prey. Echolocation is an active mode of
orientation in which the bat emits pulses of sound and listens for the returning
echoes using its large ears. The difference between the original sound and its
echo contains the information used by the bat to locate and identify objects in
its path. Echolocation is also employed by marine mammals such as dolphins and
other toothed whales, some cave-dwelling birds, and mammals such as shrews.
The echolocation calls of most North American bats are ultrasonic in
frequency and therefore beyond the range of human hearing. A notable exception
is the Spotted Bat Euderma maculatum, which occurs in the Okanagan Valley
of Washington and British Columbia, and makes calls that are entirely audible to
humans. The ears of many insects, such as moths, lacewings, crickets, and some
mantids, are sensitive to the echolocation calls of bats. These insects thus
receive warning of a bat's approach and are often able to evade capture. Again,
the Spotted Bat is an interesting exception. Its lower-frequency echolocation
calls are not detected by most insects, so the insects are less likely to flee
the pursuing bat.
During the summer months, some bat species aggregate in colonies, while
others live alone. The former include species that roost in buildings, such as
the Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus, and Yuma Bat
Myotis yumanensis, while the latter include tree-roosting species such as
the Red Bat Lasiurus borealis, Hoary Bat, and Silver-haired Bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans. Other species such as the Pallid Bat Antrozous
pallidus and Spotted Bat roost in cracks and crevices in cliffs.
Final Note About Bats and Bat Houses
can be very particular about their housing arrangements. When you select a bat house, make sure the manufacturer is knowledgeable about
the particular needs of bats and bat houses. Many well-meaning, but
misinformed companies have designed and sold bat houses that are NOT
functionally appropriate for bats. These companies mistakenly assume that
bat house building requires little or no research in the design of the house. However, among the many bat house providers, there are a few reliable sources,
like Abundant Earth, for high quality, functionally appropriate bat houses. Please choose wisely for the comfort and health of your friendly