Continuing our series shedding light on creatures in peril and how you can help, let’s take a look at Bat Boxes from EarthLinks! You may already know that single- and double-chamber Bat Boxes are available for purchase in our Online Shop, but do you know why they are so important?
As anyone who has spent much time outdoors swatting at mosquitoes can tell you, bats are extremely beneficial to any ecosystem. Insectivorous bats are primary predators of night-flying insects, such as mosquitoes and various pests that harm crops and garden vegetables. For example, a single brown bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in just one hour! By decreasing the mosquito population, it decreases the chances of spreading West Nile virus. Also, bat droppings (called guano) are valuable as a rich, natural fertilizer — good news for our friends with a garden!
Clearly, bats are important. So why should we worry about protecting them? One reason is that bats are presently in danger from a disease called white-nose syndrome, which began in New York state and is moving west. Thousands of bats have died from this disease already, and there is no known cause or cure. Experts agree that if white-nose syndrome reaches Colorado and its 21 native species of bats, we will be devastated. Rick Adams, a biologist at the University of Northern Colorado, stated in a recent Denver Post article that white nose syndrome in Colorado will mean that insect populations will multiply and local farmers will see a costly onslaught of pests.
One way we can help to protect bats is by providing safe, secure habitat. A single-chamber Bat Box from EarthLinks is capable of housing up to 50 bats. A double-chamber Bat Box not only doubles the number of bats it holds (up to 100!), it also offers a space for nursing bats to care for their young. Bat Boxes from EarthLinks are made from non-pressure-treated exterior plywood and cedar boards — both of which were chosen for their weather-proofing capacity. When possible, our Bat Boxes are made in large part from reclaimed wood.