Have you ever wanted to have bats feeding and nesting in your own garden? If you have these ten tips are sure to let the local bat population know your garden is open for business and while there are no guarantees that this will indeed encourage them into your area it does give them the best option to do so. Consider it making the perfect conditions for nesting and feeding bats to happen. So let’s flap our bat-wings and get into those tips…
Keep Pets Indoors at Night
This is especially true when it comes to cats, but also true about dogs who live outside in dog houses. By keeping your pets inside at nights will tell the bats that it is safe to visit the many other things on this list that you have prepared for them. You might also want to try and keep neighbouring cats out of the garden maybe with some spike strips on the fence to stop them climbing them.
Remove any Artificial Lights
While there is nothing you can do about a streetlamp you could remove any string lights, solar lights and security lights you might have. If you don’t want to remove any of those said lights for whatever reason you could always reduce them down to a soft glow (if you can).
By adding water features, especially a pond will not encourage the bats into the garden, but the night bugs and flies that will come to it will indeed encourage bats as this is what they eat. There is also the fact that other flying things in the same area will make the bats feel safer. Bats will also use this as a source of water as well as swooping low over the pond for food, its like two things in one.
These are not flowers that glow in the dark, they are fragrant night-blooming flowers that not only make your evenings smell lovelier, but it also encourages our night-winged friends to the garden. This is often thought to be THE best thing you can do to bring bats into the garden and should be one of the first things you do in making your garden more bat-friendly. Evening Primrose, Brugmansia, Moonflower, Japanese Wisteria and Tuberose are just some of them you can plant.
Build or Buy a Bat Box
If you want the bats to start visiting your garden you also need to show them that they can nest in your garden and putting up just one or more bat-boxes is a great way to tell them you are happy for them to hang around your area. You can always make your own, but they are pretty cheap to buy anyway. Just remember to place those bat-boxes as high as you can and in an area that is as dark as night itself.
I am not talking about a small runway with tarmac and landing lights, I am talking about linear features like hedgerows and treelines that bats will then use as a navigational aid to help them work out where they are and more importantly where to land in your garden. Remember bats can hardly see (but they are not blind) so a clear landing and flying area are essential.
Have a Wild Area
Having a nice looking garden with linear features and night-scented flowers is all well and good, but you also need an area that you can let grow a little wild. With thorns and brambles, things that will attract small bugs that will also encourage bats. It doesn’t have to be a large area, just a small patch at the bottom of the garden will do.
Avoid Using Pesticides
While some garden pesticides describe themselves as bat-friendly it is best to try and not use them at all. If you do still have to use them you could always keep the sprays as low as possible and leave the higher parts of your garden pesticide-free.
It is all well and good you doing all these to tell the bats your garden is a bat-haven, but it is no good if all your neighbours and garden backers don’t do the same. You don’t have to encourage everyone to do this, just a few over a larger area will do the trick, but of course the more the merrier.
Let Them Get Used to it
And last but not least is to give them some privacy. Don’t keep inspecting bat-boxes, don’t be out there every night trying to film them, if fact, for the first few weeks or months just let them be bats and get used to being in your area and enjoy all the things you have done for them. Bats can be quite skitty so the smallest of noises can startle them to the point that they won’t come back to your garden for a long time.
Do you have a bat-friendly garden? Do you have any more tips for encouraging bats into the garden? If you do please let me know in the comments below.