“As more attention is being brought to climate change, people are trying to find ways to contribute and make their own impact. Bat houses are one of those ways people can make an impact—it’s actionable, and they can see the results in less bugs and less pests,” says Harrison Broadhurst, the cofounder of BatBnB which not only sells bat houses, but also works to educate consumers about the wonder of bats. “Since the pandemic, we’ve also seen people paying a lot more attention to their own backyards and trying to make it a better space.”
If you’re thinking, But why do bats need houses, don’t they live in caves?, you’re not entirely wrong. Some bats do live in caves, and while they tend to hibernate in the winter, bats look for other places to nest while they raise their young in the warmer months. As more forests have been cleared, bats are experiencing their own housing challenges. Evidently, it’s a hard time to be a bat!
The Nature Conversancy estimates that there are more than 1,100 species of bats, and more than 40 species of bats are located in the United States. Most bat species, including the types that eat moths and other insects, are microbats. The little brown bat is the most common in the U.S., but other species are based on the region they live in and the type of food they eat the most. More than half of the bat species found throughout the U.S. are either in decline or listed as endangered, and habitat loss is one of the biggest threats bats face.
Yet attracting bats to bat houses isn’t always easy. In Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, Megan Sutton and her family wanted a bat house to help control mosquitoes, but they realized they needed to make some design tweaks to entice bats. “My husband and son made it together, and my son refused to put a vital piece of wood on the inside for the bats to hang, so our bat house had no residents,” she says. “However, he’s agreed to remodeling to better accommodate guests this summer.”