I can't find any discussion about micro bats here on BLF.

Is anyone into these wonderful critters?

  • Under controlled conditions a Myotis bat (a small insectivorous bat that lives near waterways) has been recorded capturing 1200 tiny fruit flies in one hour, one every three seconds, while navigating in the air.
  • Microbats eat many pest insects including lawn grub moths, weevils, beetles, midges, flying termites, disease carrying mosquitoes, and many more.

Of course microbattery is all about creating bat boxes.

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  • Sop here's the drum:

    My neighbour is building me 3 micro bat boxes. I have one already to fit out and I'm waiting on the other two. This is the design.

    The design I chimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcQmUWC1Tlnq0y7UjqImNsg69xguGYmZP_ciqC5FSv65lKNh3S3ZJw&width=480ose seemed the simplist and cheapest  to build.Aside from a plank of wood, an old bicycle tire and some shade cloth are the primary extras. It is worth while noting that to buy a micro bat box may cost you $60-110.

    I am planning to attach all three around the trunk of my very large Silky Oak tree outback. 

    Then wait.

    What happens, and as it happens, I'll let folk know. Aside from gardening issues, a microbat box is a great mosquito repellent:

    Choose your position carefully. Make sure that the box will have plenty of shade during the hottest part of the day, ie foliage cover, but not where it will be in full shade all day either. Clear and trim a few branches in the immediate vicinity of the box to allow an uninterrupted flight path, leaving branches above the box for shade.

    Better still, make 3 boxes, and place them at the same height on 3 different sides of a tree. Bats will actually move from one to the other if one box becomes too hot or cold.

    Hang the box from the chosen tree by a piece of wire threaded through a scrap piece of garden hose, so that it doesn't cut into the tree. Alternatively, nail the box to the tree using two strips of galvanised steel. The strips need only go halfway round the tree to allow for growth and to prevent ringbarking.

    For microbats, you need to position the box 3 to 5 metres above the ground. So your new nestbox is in place, and you're sitting back with a beer or a cup of tea waiting for the homeless critters to move into their new home. Don't be disappointed or surprised if no one takes up residence immediately. It can sometimes take weeks or even months for the microbats to show some interest.

    The reasons for this include:

    • The box is too new and unfamiliar. It looks and smells new and out of place. Give it time to 'weather in', to become part of the local landscape.

    • Microbats are notoriously slow on the uptake; they may take 6 months to 3 years to discover there are new 'tree hollows' in the neighbourhood.

    • 3 bat boxes now up a tree.The same tree -- with the boxes facing at different directions. What we do now is wait...

  • After cyclone Larry, one particular couple up Cairns way ended up with a colony of microbats sleeping in their house.  

    • Very special. Hope the bats moved out later though.

  • I volunteered at the What's Cooking in the Garden? at Redcliffe yesterday and one of the stalls was manned by www.bats.org.au A good place to start doing some research.

    I didn't have much more than a few minutes between chores to chat with them so learned nothing yesterday. They also recommended Hollow Log Homes for boxes. There's quite a few other links on their website.

    • That site mentions pool umbrellas as a home for microbats!

      • I have one of those umbrellas I have been trying to get rid of. Perhaps I should just hang on to it and call it a bat home instead! Save me buying some boxes.

  • We have a colony that lives beneath our pool - sometimes they even extend their home to roosting in our closed up pool umbrella in winter (we are guessing that they enjoy the extra warmth), just gives you a fright when you open it up in spring to disturb them. We often get them in the house if we leave the doors wide open. Maybe that's why I don't seem to have a problem with many insect invasions??

  • GH sells bat boxes. and keenly recommends them.

    But therein is the complication: it isn't a cheap hobby.But the GH boxes are a good price.

    Many designs and plans available online. But really you need 2 boxes-- or 3 -- and be prepared , as Phil suggests, to wait for occupation.

    But seriously: Micro bats in the backyard are gonna be a great asset to your gardening. Just don't handle them.

    You could be exposed to ABLV from an infected bat through: bites or scratches from live bats; skin pricks or wounds when handling dead bats; contact with bat saliva, bat brain or spinal cord tissues .

    Since fruit bats probably come to raid your patch anyway, the little fellas  are not anything to angst over. We're composing a local disaster management plan for our town and that will include  Lyssavirus section because we are surrounded by horses and have already had one outbreak with property quarantine etc.

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