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BatBnB Review: A New Way to Keep Your Backyard Pest-Free

INSECTCOP VERDICT:

BatBnB bat houses are an innovative and natural way of reducing the number of mosquitoes and other pests in your backyard while also helping with pollination and bat conservation!

REASONS TO BUY:

REASONS TO AVOID:

  • Not suitable if you or others in your household are afraid of bats
  • Bat guano can be contaminated with Histoplasma capsulatum
  • Bats are known to (rarely) carry rabies

Bats have quite the unfair reputation, thanks to their long-standing role in horror stories, myths and folklore. No, they won’t get tangled in your hair; no, they won’t drink your blood, and your risk of catching rabies from one are slim to none.

However, bats do have many wonderful attributes, one of which is their fearsome pest-hunting abilities! A single brown bat can consume its weight in bugs nightly, and bats have been scientifically proven to play an important role in mosquito control. As such, bats can be a valuable contribution to natural home pest control.

So, how can you encourage more bats into your backyard?

The answer is the BatBnB, a line of designer bat houses expertly constructed to create the perfect bat hub in your garden.

What is the BatBnB, and what does it do?

BatBnB is a line of designer bat houses to encourage bats to set up home in your backyard.

Bats are keen insect hunters and a great form of natural pest control. In fact, a single brown bat can eat its weight in insects every night!

BatBnBs provide a safe and cozy shelter for bats, helping to encourage them into your backyard. In return, they’ll feast on your local insect population and can reduce or even eliminate the need for potentially harmful pesticide treatments.

What bugs do bats eat?

The United States is home to 45 bat species, 42 of which are insectivorous (meaning they eat insects). Between the, these bats eat a wide range of bugs, but many are known to preferentially hunt moths and other pest species, including Cucumber Beetles, Leafhoppers, Stink Bugs and June Bugs.

Bats can also put away large numbers of mosquitoes, with one study finding that bat predation led to a 32% reduction in mosquito egg laying. This disruption to the mosquito life cycle can lead to a significant overall reduction in mosquito numbers, which means fewer itchy bites and lower risk of mosquito borne illnesses.

Fortunately, bats don’t tend to dine on beneficial insect species, such as bees and butterflies. The reason for this is simple, bats are nocturnal, whereas these insect species are active during daytime.

Who should get a BatBnB?

BatBnB is perfect for people who are looking for natural pest control solutions, and who don’t mind having bats around.

They are also the ideal option for anyone with an interest in wildlife conservation, as bat numbers are on the decline thanks to habitat loss.

How is BatBnB different to a regular bat house?

The main difference between BatBnB and a regular bat house is quality of design. Unlike the standard, plain box-like structure of a typical bat house, BatBnBs have sleek designs that can actually add to the aesthetic of your yard. The attractive exterior is a pro for we humans, but the interior is all about the bats.

Photo credit: BatBnB

BatBnBs are designed with the needs of bats in mind, and include several innovative features that make them highly attractive homes for our furry, insectivorous friends. These include groves that allow bats to easily grip, climb and hang inside and side vents that create a thermal gradient in the internal chambers.

How to use the BatBnB?

Each BatBnB comes complete with hanging cleats, a mount, a set of screws and a safety bracket, all of which will help you to easily and securely mount the structure in your backyard.

To use the BatBnB, all you need to do is hang it in a suitable area. Location is everything, however, and you need to choose your spot wisely to make sure bats move in.

Stick to the following tips for your best chances of success:

    • Temperature matters: You should hang your BatBnB on a post or the side of a building. If you live in a cool climate, you should opt to hang your BatBnB on the side of a house, shed or barn. If you live in a warmer climate, a post will do.
    • Choose an area with plenty of sun exposure: It may seem counter intuitive, given that bats are known for being creatures of the night, but you should hang your BatBnB in a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day (longer if you live in a particularly cool climate). This will help to keep the occupants cozy while they sleep during the day.
  • Hang it high: Your BatBnB should be hung at least 10-12 feet off the ground. If possible, 15-20 feet off the ground is even better.
  • Avoid trees: Many people make the mistake of hanging bat homes in trees, but these are least likely to end up occupied. This is partly because BatBnBs that are hung in trees receive limited sun exposure, and partly because they make the occupants more vulnerable to predation by owls.

Photo credit: BatBnB

When should you set up your BatBnB?

Your BatBnB can be hung at any time of the year, but you can maximise your chance of occupancy by setting it up by spring time. This is because bats hibernate over winter, and are most likely to be looking for a summer home in April or May.

How to maintain your BatBnB

Once you’ve hung your BatBnB, it should not need to be moved again and will require little to known maintenance. The design of the BatBnB means that most guano (bat poop) will fall onto the landing pads, where it will most likely be washed away by rain. If you do notice a build-up of guano, you can don a face mask, goggles and gloves to give the landing pad a scrub. If you do decide to do this, wait for the winter months when there will be no bats in residence and take care not to inhale any dust from the guano.

All BatBnBs are treated with a water-based finish that will eventually wear down over a period of several years. When this happens, you can either re-finish the BatBnB yourself or simply embrace a little weathering (doing so won’t harm the functionality of the BatBnB).

Things you should know before deciding to buy a BatBnB

Be ready to welcome bats into your backyard

Installing a BatBnB on your property will likely result in increased numbers of bats around your house. Therefore, the BatBnB isn’t an option for those with a phobia of bats!

Though a phobia of bats (chiroptophobia) is fairly uncommon, many people dislike bats and may be reluctant to encourage them into their backyard. This is largely due to the portrayal of bats in both traditional folklore and modern media and, most famously, in Ben Stoker’s gothic horror novel, Dracula.

However, most of our negative preconceptions about bats are frankly unfair, and a lot of the infamy is based on myth. For example:

Bats will not get tangled in your hair

Many people are freaked out by bats because they believe these winged mammals will get tangled up in their hair. However, this is a complete myth! Bats are, in fact, shy creatures and will do all they can to avoid making contact with humans.

Bats will not drink your blood

Vampire bats have a fearsome reputation (again, largely thanks to Dracula). While it’s true that vampire bats are the only mammal known to feed entirely on blood, they primarily feed on cattle. Though there have been documented cases of vampire bats biting humans, this is incredibly rare.

What’s more, vampire bats are found in the tropics of Mexico, Central America and South America, so they shouldn’t be of any concern to people living outside of these areas.

Make sure you have a suitable place to hang your BatBnB

Bats are found all over the United States, and your BatBnB should work anywhere as long as it’s mounted in an appropriate spot.

Photo credit: BatBnB

They are most likely to work when mounted to buildings, as this helps to maintain a suitable temperature inside the BatBnB. If you don’t have a suitable building on which to mount a BatBnB, it may not work as effectively.

Guano health considerations

Bat droppings (known as bat guano) are generally not dangerous. However, bat guano is known to sometimes harbor a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum, which can cause a lung disease called histoplasmosis if inhaled. However, your risk of contracting histoplasmosis from droppings around your BatBnB is extremely low.

But you should always wear a mask and goggles when coming into contact with bat guano, for example if you decide to clean your BatBnB landing pads in winter.

Be rabies-aware

Bats are known to carry rabies, albeit rarely. Rabies transmission by bats is extremely unlikely, and most of them don’t have rabies – one study found that, even among bats submitted for rabies testing, only around 6% were found to harbor the virus.

If you’re concerned about rabies, you can avoid coming into contact with infected bats by making yourself aware of the warning signs.?

How to spot a bat with rabies

  • Changes in behavior: Bats are nocturnal creatures and are rarely seen in the daytime. If you see a bat in your backyard during daylight hours, don’t approach it. Other red flags may include aggressive or otherwise unusual behavior.
  • Disorientation and difficulty flying: If you spot a struggling bat on your lawn, steer well clear. Rabies is known to make bats disorientated, and they may have trouble flying. Bats that are easily caught by cats and dogs are also more likely to have rabies.
  • Check their expression: Rabid bats may have a staring expression in their eyes.

To be on the safe side, never approach or handle a bat (or any other type of wild animal), especially if it is exhibiting any of the behaviors listed above.

If you suspect a bat in your yard has rabies, contact a local wildlife service for help and advice.

BATBNB BAT HOUSES

Looking for a natural and eco-friendly way of reducing the number of insects like mosquitoes, sting bags and June beetles in your backyard? Then you should check out BatBnB! They are beautiful bat houses that are created to mimic bat natural habitat and therefore encourage them to stay! Which, in return, will drastically reduce the number of insects in your yard as well as help with bat conservation, pollination and seed dispersal.

Conclusion

Bats are highly beneficial species to have in your backyard, primarily for their role in pest control.

Most bat species are insectivores, and eat large numbers of nuisance bugs such as mosquitoes, June bugs, stink bugs, leafhoppers and cucumber beetles.

Installing a BatBnB can, therefore, help to keep pests in check without any need for potentially harmful pesticides, or other costly and time-consuming pest control treatments.

Bats also play a key role in maintaining the environmental health of your backyard, as they are important pollinators and seed dispersal agents.

As bat numbers are in global decline, installing a BatBnB on your property is a great way to do your bit for their conservation, and to promote the wellbeing of the surrounding ecosystem.

Bats may have an unfavorable reputation, but these nocturnal creatures are actually very shy and highly unlikely to bother you or your pets. If anything, the sleek design of the BatBnB and its eco-friendly residents will only add to the value and aesthetic of your backyard.

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