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Bats in the Barn

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  • Bats in the Barn

    We have 2 barns on our property - one is an ancient in-need-of-repair bank barn. The other is our new garage/barn.

    In our ancient barn we have hundreds of bats. I love them. They keep the bugs away and they're cool to have around.

    In our new barn, I discovered 2 babies (or maybe young adults?)squeaking away in a little nook, and as much as I love bats, I don't want them relocating to the new barn. The guano is gross and its not good for you. I already have bird nest in the rafters that I am leaving up, and I have to account for the droppings below. Don't really want guano all over my stalls, aisles, and equipment.

    Any thoughts on what I should do? Should I wait to see if the parents vacate them in the spring when they're older? Is there a way to relocate them?

    Like I said, I want them to stay, but they need to move into the old barn!

  • #2
    Where are you located? This time of year the bats are still in semi-hibernation mode (although they will pop out on warm early-spring evenings), so the 2 you found may very well leave once things warm up. On the other hand, if things are getting overcrowded in the old barn, they may be looking for new lodgings.

    They're most likely adults, as it's too early for offspring in most parts of the country - but again, it depends on where you're located.

    It's wonderful that you're so compassionate about them, as bats are having a helluva time right now. In addition to the usual rabies scaremongers, over 5.7 million bats have died in recent years thanks to "White Nose Syndrome" disease, something for which a cure, preventative, or even a definitive cause is yet to be found. The far-reaching consequences of bats ending up completely wiped out will be devastating.

    I've been a member of "Bat Conservation International" since the mid-'70's.
    http://www.batcon.org/ - wonderful folks. Maybe shoot them an e-mail explaining your problem & see if they have any ideas.
    Last edited by Bacardi1; Mar. 12, 2013, 06:28 PM. Reason: spelling


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for the link! I'm in the Northeast.

      I really do love them. I love going out at dusk and watching them fly out of the barn by the hundreds. My daughter was scared to look at them (she's 5) but once she saw them up close, she thought they were pretty cool too.


      • #4
        Oh, so glad you love your bats. When I saw the thread title, I was afraid the old anti-bat myth was at work.
        Maybe some pre-made bat houses on fence posts or trees near the new barn as part of the relocation project?


        • #5
          I'm happy that you have such a kind conservation minded approach to your practical problem- I hope bacardi's batfriends will have some suggestions for you.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks all, I know the importance of not eliminating creatures for convenience (with the exception of PA deer, they can certainly be thinned!) and they really don't bother me. When they accidentally buzz near me, I kinda screech and act like an idiot, but I realize it's just ... Them!

            We've talked about bat boxes. However, this barn is huge. Why would a bat like a box when it can live in relative seclusion in a huge bank barn?

            Will definitely be seeking the wisdom of the bat folk, just sent them a message.


            • #7
              I think they actually like closeness to eachother and the warmth they provide eachother- and it's easier to warm up a small space than a big one. The big barn is probably only offering them a good foothold.

              When I was a kid I had a small bat family who moved in behind the shutter of my bedroom window so they would crawl between the shutter slats and then roost in that little space between the shutter and the siding. If I stuck my head out my window and looked up I could barely make out their shadows- but I liked to wait at dusk for them to drop down and fly. I didn't tell my parents about them because I was afraid they wouldn't be as amused as I was.

              I think the inside of bat houses are layers of thin vertical walls- kind of like a bee hive- it's not an empty compartment- but a structure in there.


              • #8
                Bat dung is highly prized fertilizer, put a bucket under the roost for now and use it on your garden come spring! Bat houses are great but need to weather for a while before bats will use them based on my experience with them. THere are never enough bug eaters around a farm.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by casper324 View Post
                  Bat dung is highly prized fertilizer.
                  More than horse? Cant give the stuff away around here unless the state road is doing something with banks.
                  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker