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West Virginia Wildlife
Bat Boxes
Patrick McMurtry Providing Habitat For Bats

February 29, 2012
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


You don't see a lot of these guys flying around in the winter, but this is actually the perfect time to start thinking about giving these valuable creatures a home for the rest of the year.

Biologists say bat boxes are the perfect thing for people interested in providing a home to one of nature's insect eating machines.

Craig Stihler, a biologist with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, explains, "The bats that we normally see in buildings, the big brown and little brown bat, two of our most common species, are two that will take to a bat box because it's essentially a small building designed for bats."

Now you might be wondering why you would want a colony of bats hanging around your neighborhood, well consider this. Craig says a colony of 100 bats will eat close to a million insects each night. That's a lot of bugs eliminated from your neck of the woods. Making a bat box is pretty simple.

These bat habitats are important because many of the bats you hope will live in the boxes are right now living in houses.

"We encourage people if you're going to get rid of a colony of bats, give them an alternative roost near by, some place you don't mind them being. They'll still be around, you get the benefits of their insect consumption, but you don't have the bats in the building with you." says Stihler.

But you will be helping a fascinating creature who's a native species of the Mountain State.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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