The Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda
Raising awareness & promoting sustainable use of natural resources
Bats which commonly live in our roof spaces are frequently persecuted for no good reason. House bats in Antigua are usually the species molossus molossus. They are insectivorous and can be seen (and often heard!) leaving on their nightly forays at dusk and returning at dawn.
House bats eat over 1000 insects per hour. A colony of 50 bats can devour several million mosquitoes in one month! They are also fond of other insects, many of which are harmful to gardens and farms. These should not be confused with our fruit bats which tend to be seen later at night.
I have made a bat box about 2 foot square (see photo) which has bats in it and can hold around 50 bats. A few tips. If you want to make a bat box, it is probably best to place it high on the West side. Allow a few weeks or months for the bats to find the box.
Avoid evicting bats from roof space during their breeding season and never block their entrance in the day time – you will end up with a lot of dead bats and an awful smell! Even at night time, some bats will still be inside and you could end up with dead bats in your roof space.
If you do want to evict bats from your roof space, there is some superb advice and information produced by The Caymen Islands National Trust, which gives loads of advice about making bat boxes and how to move the bats from your roof space.
Look after your bats!
The common house bat, Molossus molossus on my gallery
A bat box on the gallery
If you are interested in learning about our species of bats in Antigua and Barbuda, visit Bathead, the website of Scott Pedersen, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Biology & Microbiology, South Dakota State University. Dr Pedersen et al have done extensive research on our bats, including some rare species, and his publications can be downloaded here.
For some great wildlife information including an excellent Powerpoint presentation on bats, visit the Caymen Wildlife Connection and the Caymen National Trust sites. Click on the logos above.