Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

Mosquito Problems? Bring on the Bats

7/15/2011 4:33:39 PM

Tags: bats, bats as natural insect control, natural insect control, bat houses, tips on attracting bats, Bat Conservation International, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailWhen I was a kid, bats would occasionally fly into our house through the fireplace. My brother and his friends chased them around with tennis rackets. Fortunately, they had bad aim.

We just didn’t know then that those mosquito-eating bats were our friends. One little brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night—and they have no interest in attacking us or our pets. If you have a mosquito problem or just want to diversify your backyard wildlife, consider inviting in bats with a bat house. Here’s what you need to know, from “Bats in Your Belfry: Make Your Home Bat-Friendly” in Natural Home & Garden.


Photo by Merlin Tuttle/Bat Conservation International 

• Look for Bat Conservation International’s seal of approval before buying or building a bat house. This nonprofit group’s website,, lists certified houses, do-it-yourself plans and climate-specific tips.

• Bats like it hot. Select a sunny, dry spot for the bat house. Cover the exterior with several coats of dark, water-based paint to raise the inside temperature.

• Mount houses at least 12 to 15 feet high on a building or sturdy poles. The front should face the sun and have an open fly zone.

• Don’t get discouraged if your house goes unused. Try relocating or repainting vacant houses after a year or so.

• Expect seasonal visits; many bats winter elsewhere. Spring may attract nursing mothers.

• Larger designs (more than 2 feet tall) and multiple houses increase occupancy chances.

• If you’re building your own, use exterior-grade plywood or wood (avoid pressure-treated lumber).

bat house 

Photo by Mark and Selina Kiser/Bat Conservation International 


Related Content

Build a Bat House for Natural Pest Control

North American bats polish off hordes of mosquitoes every night. Support their efforts by providing ...

Help Save the Bats

Help save the bats by following these tips.

Can You Make a Car Battery Last Forever by Draining It and Adding Motor Oil?

A crazy idea to make a car battery last forever is quite crazy indeed.

Country Lore: Build a Home for Bats

Bats are great bug eaters, and this reader tip will help you keep them nearby.

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.