Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bats in the neighborhood! Good or bad?

Kind of an interesting discussion about bats going on over at the Petworth listserve.

One person said their friend found found a dead bat on their living room floor, which is pretty crazy. Others offered advice to put a bat house in the chimney, so bats will roost there and not elsewhere in your house, and she and another person talked about how great nearby bats are for keeping down the mosquito population. They mention them living in trees around 7th and Varnum Streets NW. That sounds like a good deal to me.

According to the Organization for Bat Conservation, bats also "consume large quantities of garden and crop pests, including stink bugs, spotted cucumber beetles, corn ear-worm moths, and emerald ash borers." They have a lot of other benefits too, and also generally don't carry rabies and are usually not dangerous.

Now I'm not a bat expert, and I certainly don't want to recommend everybody going out and trying to get bats, but if you are interested, here's more about building your own bat house, and here are some plans to do just that. Bat Conservation International has a lot of resources too. Most recommend you don't put it on a tree, and make sure it's in the sun.

There's also a bat fungus going around killing bats, so they could use all the help they can get. The Hill is Home blog seems to think more bats is a good idea too. I recommend you do some more research though, first.

So what do you think? Pro-bat or anti-bat? I never really thought about it before, but the more I read, the more pro I become.


  1. Bats are great. One lives behind our house in Columbia Heights, and when it is out hunting at dusk the mosquitoes disappear.

  2. Yes, bats are good and do no harm to humans!


  3. I am so happy this came up. In the early evening of July 20th I was bitten by a bat while running through Rock Creek park. Six rabies shots and hundreds of dollars later, I'm still pretty pissed about it. Made worse by the fact that Howard U's ER didn't understand the difference between pre and post exposure shots.

    Hide your kids. Hide your wife.

  4. Sorry Anonymous, but why on Earth would you go to Howard????

  5. Lesson learned. They were awful, and they tried to actually talk me out of rabies shots, knowing that if the bat had rabies then I would get rabies and eventually die. So...baffling and disturbing approach to patient care.


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