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Bats in your house? Build them one of their own.

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Bats are everywhere- yep, maybe even in your yard.

If the thought of that gives you the willies, remember, bats can actually be one of man's best friends.

"You wouldn't think that this is a big bat but, for Michigan, this is a big bat," Dawn Veniza explains to a group of students in Fenton, as she holds a Big Brown Bat., ""This is one of the most common species of bats found in the lower peninsula of Michigan."

Dawn works for The Orgaization for Bat Conservation, in Pontiac. She tells me that, while it is pretty easy for the little creatures to take up residence in your residence, they would really rather have places of their own.

"When they do move into people's homes, it's not because they've always dreamed of living in a two-story colonial," Dawn laughs, But it's more that they just don't have the appropriate habitat to live in, their dead and dying trees are gone."

One way to keep bats out of your home is to build, or at least put up, one that they can call their own: A bat house.

"The bats that use bat houses are crevice dwellers and so they are just looking for little cracks and crevices that they can fit into."

And that is for very good reason. While humans tend to fear bats, Dawn says these little mammals have fears of thier own, "Bats like to squeeze into tiny spaces. This helps the bats feel pretty safe while they sleep during the day. They won't believe that larger animals like hawks and owls and cats are going to be able to get in there while they are sleeping."

When brown bats do come out, usually after dusk, they are avoiding humans, and hunting something else- and actually helping people out.

"Each bat living in these houses could eat up to 3000 insect pests, including mosquitoes, as well as moths and beetles that could attack your garden," Dawn explains.

Just one, two foot by one foot bat house can hold up to 100 bats, Dawn tells me, "They like to live in colonies with thier families. And they will live together their entire lives."

Bats can develop rabies but, contrary to common belief, only about one percent of bats are infected.

If you find bats in your home, get help from a wildlife expert.

If you want to put up a bat house, you have a few options.

The Organization for Bat Conservation's website has bat houses for sale and they have blueprints to help you build your own.

There is also a company called Bat BNB that builds more elaborate and decor-friendly houses. Check out their website.


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