Blitzen drawing - the nephentes - Blitzen

A toilet bowl-plant to attract bats, predators of mosquitoes

3 min read

A toilet bowl-plant to attract bats! A few days ago, Andreas was designing a new bat-box. Where does inspiration come from? “From a beautiful documentary“, Andreas said.

A plant from Borneo has taken a strange form: its leaf bounces off the radar waves and convinces the bats to sleep in it.” Intrigued, I watched the documentary. What about this plant? It is the Nepenthes Hemsleyana.

A toilet bowl-plant to attract bats! A few days ago, Andreas was designing a new bat-box. Where does inspiration come from? “From a beautiful documentary“, Andreas said.

A plant from Borneo has taken a strange form: its leaf bounces off the radar waves and convinces the bats to sleep in it.” Intrigued, I watched the documentary. What about this plant? It is the

How does the Nepenthes work?

So, bats are equipped with a radar: they emit ultrasounds from the nose and pick up the reflected waves.

The leaves of the Nepenthes have assumed a shape to correctly rebound these radar waves. The result? The bat captures them, approaches and enters the leave-bag. There it sleeps and sometimes it relieves itself. It is at that very moment -using the toilet- that the great circle of life closes: the bat, defecating in the bowl leaf, has just given food to the Nepenthes. Wow.

So, the Nepenthes inspired Andreas, who immediately jumped into a new project. Studying the shape of the toilet-bowl-leaf, he has designed an innovative bat-box, with a wooden component repairing from the rain and recalling bats as well. Inside, a sculpted surface allows our friend to cling and stay protected, away from bad weather and predators.

The bat, by the way, is a formidable predator too. Hunting what? Mosquitoes, for example. Do you know how many mosquitos a bat can eat? Well, about 2,000 (two thousand!) per night. When I lived in Venice, during my summer nights I fought against mosquitos and felt like a war hero. That is why I look up to the bats: in an ecological way, they strike terror into the hearts of mosquitos and hunt several thousand in a few days.

It’s time for bats

When should a bat-box be placed? Many friends suggest in spring (just before), because it is when bats arrive. For some experts, bat-boxes can be installed at any time of the year. In this way the bat-box will be integrated with the environment because of the humidity and the sunshine, and will appear safer and more natural.

Bats do not arrive in winter, of course. Before the cold season begins, in fact, after eating millions of mosquitoes from our gardens, the bats go in underground shelters, where the temperature is higher and more stable. There they remain dormant until the next spring.

So, are bats coming for sure to their bat-boxes? Well, at the beginning of 2018 we sold our Bat-box number 3,000, so we have a good data-base: the vast majority of our customers told us that boxes started to be inhabited after a period of time ranging from 1 month to a year.

One last thing. The toilet-bowl-leaf attracts the bats by exploiting their language: the radar waves. There’s no other way. You can’t catch them and shove them into the bat box, nor can you buy them. Just place a box and let them find your present.

See you next Tuesday. Ciao!

alberto Blitzen
BLOGGER

I am a set designer. I used to live among the woods of France, the sands of the Middle East, the canals of Venice and the lights of Paris, before returning to the fold.

The fold is on the beautiful hills of Lake Garda, surrounded by castles, fairy tales and cypresses. From here I tell stories and make drawings on cats, dogs, mysteries, legends, hedgehogs and bats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.