Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One Batty Batty Ah Ah Ah

One of the other outdoor projects that we've tackled recently has been an attempt to remedy our atrocious mosquito problem in the backyard. We've pretty much never used our backyard because as soon as the weather is warm, there are SWARMS of mosquitoes, and no bug spray will deter them. Now that we've built our gardens back there, and especially now that Bean is old enough to play out there, we've really been motivated to get rid of those nasty little blood suckers.

I was, however, adamant that we not use a chemical pesticide in the backyard. I know that they can work well, but I definitely did not want the kiddos and the pup having that much contact with a poison, no matter what it's designed to kill. I also didn't want a bunch of pesticide sprayed near our beautiful vegetables that we're planning to eat. So after doing some research, I decided to invest in a bat house. Yep, you read that right.

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According to my research the common Georgia varieties of bats can eat anywhere from 300-1000 mosquitoes per HOUR. They stick to themselves and will not bother pets or children. And it's more likely that you will catch rabies from your neighbor's cat than it would be to catch rabies from a bat. The internet also assures me that it is not likely for bats to move from their bat house to your house, especially in a mild/warm climate like Georgia's.

I admit that I was a little hesitant to see the reactions of our neighbors. Steve had the honor of the first neighbor interaction when he was out hanging it, and our neighbor Suzette asked what the heck he was doing. He cringed but then told her, and he was very relieved when she got excited and said that they wanted to hang one too! I'm still a little nervous about the neighbor on our other side, but if we do actually get bats in there, his yard would benefit too. So...wish us luck with that.

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I chose one of the most highly recommended bat houses, and it's also approved by the Organization for Bat Conservation. It is a bit of a gamble, because apparently it can take up to a year+ for bats to move in. We have seen bats in this area though, so we're hoping some will move in quickly and start eating these stupid bugs!!

I'll be sure to keep you all posted if we have success with this or not...anybody else try a bat house?

3 comments:

Jessica Thompson said...

I was actually having a convo with a lady I work today with about this summer's bugs and I would be very interested to know if this works out. I can't go outside in the summer without being eaten alive by mosquitoes and I am dreading this year since it's already 80 degrees! Did you come across any other products or ideas that had potential, other than the bat house? Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

I saw some dubious claims about certain plants that would deter mosquitoes but I didn't really buy into it. The citronella torches/candles do seem to have a good reputation for smaller areas. And we actually do have good success with the California Baby bug repellant, which is the only kind I use for me and Anna (at least while I'm pregnant). You just have to apply it more frequently because the essential oils evaporate. And I hate relying solely on the bug spray - it's impossible to cover every square inch and those stupid mosquitoes don't even hesitate to bite! I had a bug bite on my face last summer, it was awful. So yeah I really do hope the bat box works...people that were able to get bats to move in raved about how much of a difference it made in their backyards. You guys should get one too and we can have a race to see who can get bats to move in first, lol.

Atlanta, Food and Love said...

Is there anything you can do to motivate them to move in, i.e. - food or lights or something? Citronella Grass does help repel mosquitos and it's pretty so maybe the combo of the grass and the bats would really help!