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Bat houses and quano collection inquiry

 
Tim Robertson
Posts: 2
Location: French Camp, CA, USA
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Has anyone observed negative or positive effects of different sizes of bat houses? Different placement? Different materials? Also, im curious about collecting and using the quano. Can anyone offer any insight on that matter? Thanks in advance for any information.
 
John Saltveit
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I think that I read that they are supposed to be up, like 10 feet off the ground. There is a preferred orientation to the sun. I don't remember what that is.
John S
PDX OR
 
John Polk
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Here's a link to a site that has a couple dozen bat house plans.
http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/resources/index.php?cat=413
 
Ernie Schmidt
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Location: Olympia, Washington
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I have bats living in my farm sheds and in houses I have built for them. We have the Little Brown Bat up here in the Pacific Northwest and I would need a "flock" of 1,000's to collect any reasonable amount of guano. Their droppings are the size of mouse droppings and scattered about. Our bats want their houses and other places they hide as warm as possible. I have bats living under corrugated metal roofing that is covered with black roof tar and I still can't believe how hot it gets. They seem to really like that heat. I followed instructions from the internet for building and placing their houses I built and they will go to them.
 
Devon Olsen
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i think a redesign of "bat houses" would be nessacary to facilitate the functions of providing bat habitat and collecting their guano for whatever your purpose
now i dont know a whole lot about bats or the species one would be likely to attract in his or her particular area, thus i dont know the nesting habits or desires of each individual species
but from the little bit ive learned of bats through short tv shows about them(like the planet discovery series, i believed its called) though they may only nest on outcroppings of rock in some areas, some at least like to nest in caves... in these caves are the pile and piles of bat guano, the harvest we are attempting to replicate with our redesign...
with money as no vice for this idea(because it is only that, an idea not a practice)

so how about a concrete structure(presumably scalable) that has small holes on the sides to allow the bats in but not predators, is designed so as to allow the healthy amount of airflow in the system, whatever it may be, and a bottom that is either removable (for collection of the guano itself), or shaped like a big drain so as to collect the guano for biogas generation(for which i think it would need a valve built in at the bottom of the drain so that the solids could pass through when the valve was activated or enough weight achieved i suppose, but would not allow the methane gas out when the "bat cave" was being ventilated), now of course it could simply be designed to allow the guano to be collected and then the guano could be added to an existing biogas generator but that more consistent input of time and labor then would be achieved with a simple reliable automated system
the idea is that the main chamber and the pan be light proof if needed or at least low light to provied a dark place to sleep, the outside of the concrete could be painted black for the cave to gather heat for their warm nest
the inside of the roof, particularly above where you want the guano collected at, would be designed so as to be appropriate perches for the bats to sleep on
the pan would then be removable (hopefully in an easy enough manner) and the guano could be collected for selling as part of a compost for sale or for biogas generation or any other ideas you may have for it

here is my very poorly drawn concept image of the cave with pan design idea given freely to DIY's and aspiring entreprenuers as ive no idea how to patent or even if i want to lol
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John Saltveit
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Cool idea. I'd love to see someone have success with that.
John S
PDX OR
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Tim Robertson wrote:Has anyone observed negative or positive effects of different sizes of bat houses? Different placement? Different materials? Also, im curious about collecting and using the quano. Can anyone offer any insight on that matter? Thanks in advance for any information.


We had bats in our attic for a while so my husband built a bat house and attached it to the south side of the house so that when we screened the bats from the attic they would easily find the bat house. I think it was almost too successful. It is on the south side of our two story home. Poop collects below and we cover periodically with leaves or weeds, whatever is handy. We want to encourage them and we rarely have a mosquito........after ten years of scritching and scratching sounds outside our bedroom window at dusk, though, I wouldn't recommend attaching to your house.
During our hottest summers they move from the south side bat house to their adopted home along the two story tile/cement chimney and make scritching and scratching sounds all afternoon outside my workroom window.......
It really is like collecting mouse turds.......a slow go.......I just leave the pile and have several things planted around it including a fig tree........and some things I grow there just for seed, they are always very lush.
I'm not sure of the dimensions of the bat house........maybe a few inches thick and less than two by three feet...some of the wood, the dividers inside, at least, was some homemade old shake shingles.
We are discussing how to move it off of the house without discouraging the bats . The plan is to move the bat house over the winter
when they are elsewhere to a high tree with the same orientation as the house.........we'll see if it works.
I'll try to take a picture later or at least find out more exact dimensions.
bat house 001.jpg
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Dale Hodgins
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I have installed cedar siding on a south facing wall, using spacers provided by my customer, Ted Little. He had cut them to the right thickness so as to provide suitable roosting crevices. V-shaped metal troughs for quano collection, hung on nails beneath the siding. Ted gathered the quano by removing the trough, lowering one end into a bucket and tapping lightly. He fertilized his orchids with it. The bats were more valuable to him than the poop was. Swallows were also accommodated along the same wall by his garden. Their poop was also collected. His garden had day and night bug patrol. He liked to watch the "changing of the guard" at dusk, when swallows retired and the bats emerged.

We enjoyed an evening meal on Ted's patio, without being bothered by mosquitos. He had installed a special light beside the patio to attract them. The bats gobbled them up and put on an air show for the kids.
 
Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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so this idea has intrigued me now that ive thought about it, so got on the internet and started looking at bat species that are supposedly found in wyoming, this website has the ability to search via your region for bat species
there is a decent sized list, but im going to paste URL's to only those species that i think would be suitable for the purpose

first, townsends big eared bat:
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/species-profiles.html?task=detail&species=2379&country=43&state=61&family=all&limitstart=0
apparantly these are extremely senstive to disturbance of their nesting site so some consideration would be needed there but because of this sensitivity these bats ahve suffered population decline making them a good idea for the permie who can come up with a good non disturbing design that provides habitat and would like to help with their falling numbers while using them for his/her purposes
in the spring and summer the females form colonies in caves and mines and the males roost seperately, in winter they hibernate in caves and mines



next the big brown bat, a common species with wide distribution and noted ability to control many crop pests:
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/species-profiles.html?task=detail&species=1890&country=43&state=61&family=all&limitstart=0
this bat would likely be easily acquired and not as likely to require government hoops for keeping, they also seem to be happy with a wide variety of feeding ranges (trees and clearing, land and water all seem to hold no preference over the other for this species) and a wide variety of "nests" being reported under tree barks and varieties of other perches

a predominately woodland species bat with very wide distribution, the silver haired bat:
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/species-profiles.html?task=detail&species=2160&country=43&state=61&family=all&limitstart=0
this bat will likely be of most interest to those who live in heavily wooded environments

for the permie who is in favor of no housing or guano collection, a bat that roosts only in trees and lives in a mostly solitary state, the western red bat:
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/species-profiles.html?task=detail&species=1718&country=43&state=61&family=all&limitstart=0
prefers moths over many other things but would likely not take to any housing built for the bat...

little know of this species but presumably a small habitat distribution with very diverse shelter possibilities:
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/species-profiles.html?task=detail&species=1779&country=43&state=61&family=all&limitstart=0
this could be a good option for someone who wishes to study things

their affinity for manmade structures and the size of their colonies make this bat a very interesting species to consider, the little brown myotis:
http://www.batcon.org/index.php/all-about-bats/species-profiles.html?task=detail&species=2040&country=43&state=61&family=all&limitstart=0


thats the species im gonna cover. morfe can be foundd at that website but iu think there may be great potential for a permie in providing bat habitat

 
Dale Hodgins
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Good work there Devon on adding those links. According to their range maps, Vancouver Island is not home to any of those bats. In fact, we have 10 species, including bats on your list. Local sources can often help to get a more accurate list. This one is from my island. Look at the ears on this guy ! Great for eco location, but can he make any progress in a headwind ? http://www.comoxvalleynaturalist.bc.ca/knowing_nature/2005/bats.html

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Rabies --- It is important to note that bats can carry rabies and live with it for a long time without showing any of the erratic behavior seen in dogs or other wild animals. Because of their ability to survive the disease, they are major carriers. Bats should not be handled with bare hands. I've managed to live with bats without ever grabbing one. I've had the same experience with raccoons. Show me someone who has been bitten and I'll show you an idiot who likes to pet every wild creature.

I got this from a health site --- "While the rabies virus can infect any mammal, bats are the only animal species in British Columbia in which rabies is endemic. Recent re-analysis shows that the risk of rabies in the absence of recognized physical contact with bats is exceedingly small."
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Most bats do not have or carry rabies, I don't know where that information came from but this is from the CDC "When people think about bats, they often imagine things that are not true. Bats are not blind. They aren't rodents and they aren't birds. They will not suck your blood -- and most bats do not have rabies. Because bats are mammals, they can develop rabies, but most do not have the disease." I've been around bats for a lot of my life, I've never had one do any of the things that fearful people attribute to them, such as get tangled in hair, bite with out cause, etc. They see quite well, have a great sense of smell and will calm down quickly.

Given the delicate nature of bats, it is very easy to harm or kill them by handling them, they will protect themselves by biting when they feel threatened, just like any other wild creature. I've had to gather some up on occasion because they flew into a building full of people. A towel was all I needed to get them and transport them outside where they happily flew off into the night. It was harder to protect them from the idiot humans that wanted to kill them than it was to gather them up and set them free.
 
Bill Puckett
Posts: 128
Location: the meadows, hawk's prairie, Oly, wa
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Look at the ears on this guy !

I bet if he flapped those, he'd look like a batterfly!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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