Mosquitoes beware: Bat houses built for Wareham yards

Hands-on workshop provides habitats insect eating mammals
By Lydia Goerner | Jun 10, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Aaron Zbydniewski, 11, paints his bat house black to provide extra warmth for the bats.

Wareham residents were going batty at the Wareham Land Trust’s building workshop Saturday morning, putting their construction skills to work to help neighborhood bats find homes.

The Wareham Land Trust held a bat house building workshop at the Wareham Free Library to reach out to the community and teach a project that would be useful for the area.

The workshop was led by Tom Kinsky, a member of the Land Trust. Kinsky said little brown bats are the most common in Wareham. Bats come out of hibernation in May and the bat houses can help them find safe places to roost, he said.

Kinsky suggested placing the bat house against the home facing south, or putting it on a tree. Bats like a warm environment, so the bat houses were painted black to allow them to absorb more heat. Many bats can roost inside one bat house, he said.

Some workshop attendees, like 11-year-old Aaron Zbydniewski, had never seen a bat. Others have had encounters with bats who frequently visit their yards.

Joyce Cannon came to the workshop because she found a bat inside a bucket of water outside her house. Cannon said the bat was aggressive and hissed at her.

“It was not a sweet little thing,” Cannon said. She said she hopes the bat house will provide bats in her neighborhood with a place to live and that they eat the mosquitoes in her yard. One little brown bat can devour 1,000 small insects in one night.

Creating the bat houses took power tools and several coats of wood stain. The houses had to be insulated properly to provide a comfortable spot for bats, said Kinsky.

“The nice thing about this project is, we’re not at all worried about looks,” Kinsky said.

Dianne Smith, left, helps cut a piece of plywood for the bat houses. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Dale and Bob Scott drill holes in pieces of plywood to create insulation for the bat houses. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Tom Kinsky pieces together the house. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Community members work on components of the bat houses. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
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