Bats in our belfries-

Asked September 15, 2020, 2:30 PM EDT

Greetings- I am the facilities manager for 1st Presbyterian church- (114 SW 8th- near Central Park). We have 2 brick bell towers that have wooden louvers to allow for air flow. We need to replace the screen material behind the louvers to help keep out any bats. I have done a lot of on line research, but wanted to check with a local expert. Would hardware fabric (in metal) 1/4" gap, 23 gauge be a good option? One of our Trustees felt that 23 gauge was not strong enough. Our local stores can not order a heavier gauge in that size gap. What would you recommend? We have a total of 6 openings that we need to secure. Thank you for your assistance with our concern. Best regards- Kim Miles

Benton County Oregon

3 Responses

The 23-gauge hardware cloth is pretty standard, I believe it should be plenty strong to withstand any efforts by bats to use those openings, and using the 1/4" gap will ensure that no bats can squeeze through.
As an aside, have bats traditionally been roosting in these structures? If so, would the church consider adding a bat house to supplement the animals' housing needs? Bats do us a lot of good, but they are getting squeezed out of our human communities as roosting places get taken away. I'm happy to talk more if I can be of help on either front.

Hello Dana-
Thank you for you help with our bell tower question. It is my understanding, in the past the towers have had signs of bats. We had them cleaned out in late August and did not see any evidence. We are waiting to install the hardware fabric until later this month, to make certain we do not trap any bats inside. We did discuss adding a bat home, but due to our historic building we have many restrictions on what can be altered.
Thank you again for your recommendation.
Best regards-
Kim Miles

Hi Kim,
Thank you for the followup!