Malakwa, BC, Canada

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Tiny Homes for Bats

April 22, 2019

I think we have mentioned that the name Malakwa comes from comes from the Chinook Jargon word for mosquito, adapted from the French le maringouin. Living beside a pond that is a wonderful breeding ground  for mosquitoes has lead us to giving thought about natural insect control.

While we want to live with nature: we do not want to be eaten by nature. 

We decided to invite a natural insect control solution to share our space. Buddy started building tiny homes for them as live/work spaces and he has begun to erect them in the trees.

We are now inviting bats to move in. There are lots of reasons to love these batty neighbours :

* a small bat can capture more than 1,200 mosquitoes in a single hour!

*even the very presence of bats in an area can reduce insect populations as many insects can hear bats up to 100 feet away and will keep their distance from areas occupied by bats.

Another important reason for welcoming bats to the neighbourhood is that like so many of our wild creatures they are rapidly losing habitat. While there are 16 species of bats in BC  ; half of them are considered vulnerable or threatened.

Bats  are the slowest reproducing mammal on earth.The females usually have just one pup a year, making them very vulnerable to declines in their populations. 

 You will notice the bat house has been painted yellow on the outside, the reason for this BCBat.ca  recommends that hotter regions such as  Fraser-Thompson and Kootenays paint or stain houses a lighter colour. Bat houses need about 6 hours of sunlight for our area.  Since the houses were are in trees  and bats need a clear path to fly into their homes, the limbs of the tree have been removed under the house. Bordering the pond also is attractive to bats as ideally bats like to live around  400 m from a water source. The timing of the build  was because  bats are more likely to move into a bat-house when they first return from their winter hibernation site to their maternity site in April or May.

The majority of Canadian bats only have one pup per year, so providing them safe haven is vital to survival and population growth. Bats also make great neighbours; they help control insects through spring and summer.

 

 

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