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The Bat House Builder's Handbook

America's bats are an essential part of a healthy environment. Nevertheless, many bat species are in alarming decline, largely because of unwarranted human fear and persecution and the loss of natural roosts. You can help by putting up a bat house. You'll benefit directly from having fewer yard pests and will enjoy learning about bats and sharing your knowledge with friends and neighbors. Few efforts on behalf of wildlife are more fun or rewarding than helping bats. 32 pp, Paperback. By Merlin D. Tuttle, Mark Kiser, and Selena Kiser.

2013 edition. The Bat House Builder's Handbook, at the time of publication, was the definitive source for bat house information. As primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature. By consuming vast numbers of pests, they rank among humanity's most valuable allies. Just one little brown myotis can catch a thousand or more mosquito-sized insects in an hour, and a colony of 150 big brown bats can catch enough cucumber beetles each summer to prevent egg laying that otherwise could infest local gardens with 33 million rootworms. Cucumber and June beetles, stinkbugs, leafhoppers, and cutworm and corn earworm moths--all well-known pests--are just a few of the many insects consumed by these frequent users of bat houses. In addition, many pests flee areas where they hear bat echolocation sounds.

The goal is to preserve America's most widespread species in sufficient numbers to maintain nature's balance and reduce demands for chemical pesticides. Thanks to a decade of BCI-sponsored bat house research 14 species of North American batsare covered in the bat houses described in this handbook, including threatened and endangered species such as the Indiana myotis and Wagner's bonneted bat. Bat houses are being used from Mexico and the Caribbean to British Columbia and Newfoundland.

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