By Allyson Wenzowski, Special to the News
Have you seen a bat flying around lately?
If so, you are seeing an animal that is fast becoming rare. Bats are on an alarming decline throughout North America due to the prevalence of the fatal fungus infection White Nose Syndrome. WNS has killed more than seven million bats in eastern North America to date.
A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour and each bat usually eats 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night. Their appetite for mosquitoes helps make summer backyard barbecues and pool parties comfortable. They also eat crop-destroying moths, cucumber beetles, flies and gnats, as well as helping to pollinate plants and disperse seeds.
Two Dundas residents, Mike Floren and Matt Beaudoin, co-owners of Bad Company Wildlife Eviction, are working to build community awareness of the plight of the bat population by providing residents with information and tools to safely evict bats from buildings and identify locations for bat house installation. Bat houses are safe places for bats to roost so they don’t go into buildings and get trapped or enter caves and contract WNS.
The historic Valley City Manufacturing building on Hatt Street was recently identified by Bad Company as a good location for the installation of a bat box as it is adjacent to water and has a wide open roof.
“The most important things to consider when installing a bat box are height, exposure to sunlight and location,” said Floren.
A bat box should be mounted no lower than 12 feet. Exposure to morning sunlight is essential and the box should get at least eight to ten hours of sunlight per day to keep temperatures high inside the box.
The best way to achieve this, said Floren, is by facing the bat box southeast and mounting it on a pole, although placing it on the side of a building is also acceptable as long as there are no obstructions like tree branches denying the bats a clear swoop to the box.
“The roof of Valley City is an ideal location and we hope to see this box used,” said Floren.
To learn more, call 1-855-880-9680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org