Fall Project: Build Your Own Bat House
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Yes, the end of October is rapidly approaching. And, let's be honest, if you want the ultimate Halloween house, you're gonna need some bats. Real bats. Bats that will haunt the night and send trick-or-treaters fleeing to the next neighborhood, leaving your candy bowl to yourself.
Meanwhile, you can rest in peace (in a manner of speaking) knowing your flying mammalian friends are actually quite harmless. In fact, they'll take care of your mosquito population and get rid of other pests around your garden, according to Bat Conservation International. On top of that, they'll pollinate plants and disperse seeds. Not to mention, they're just really damn cool.
Don't think you live in bat country? You do. Follow Rochow's building instructions, set your bat box a good 12 to 15 feet off the ground, and expect to see a colony of bats settling in by next summer. They'll be checking your place out for new roosting sites shortly after you build, this fall. Rochow's own backyard population has reached 1,000, Wired says.