Bats have an undeserved reputation as being foreboding, ugly, or just plain evil. In reality, they help to pollinate plants and control insect populations and are very clean animals.
They’re also social: they actually make individual friends like you can see cats and dogs doing. And even though they may roam more than ten miles from their roost while hunting, they’ll always return to the same place to sleep out the day if they can.
So, if you’re concerned about the environment, you love animals, or you just want to weird out your friends, you can consider installing a bat home on a wall or tree on your property. Essentially, this is just a wooden box that’s open at the bottom and with something inside for bats to cling on to. You could easily build your own. However, this roost is from the Audobon Society, which means that the materials are ethically sourced, not treated (chemicals used to weather-proof lumber include things like arsenic), and actually something that bats will enjoy living in.
Will any bats actually take up residence? They may; or they may not. Bats are highly intelligent, literally free as birds and very picky about where they choose to raise their young. Even if you place your bat house in an optimum position, it will probably take months for bats to notice it, scout it out, and decide to move in.
Will you have fewer mosquitoes, which is actually a common reason for people to keep bats? Actually, if all goes well, you certainly will. A single bat can eat up to 1,000 insects in an hour, which they need to do to keep up their flying strength. This roost can accommodate a colony of up to 20 bats. Crunch these numbers any way you will, but you’ll almost certainly see significantly fewer moths and other bugs buzzing around your porch light.
Just be patient, perhaps spray some bat pheromones around, and grow some plants that bats like – moonflower, yucca, and thyme all fit the bill. Unless there’s something around that actually scares bats off, they will make their home there eventually.