St Lucie County Bat House
In January 1998, St. Lucie County excluded the thousands of free-tailed bats occupying Tradition Stadium in Port St. Lucie, Florida. This stadium serves as the New York Mets Spring Training Facililty.
Bats are listed as protected species. Pesticides can not be used to kill bats that are living in buildings, and trapping bats for relocation is incredibly difficult and time consuming. Exclusion is the most effective way to remove bats from buildings. Exclusion involves using a series of nets and funnels to allow bats to leave their roosting site but not get back in again.
As part of the exclusion process, the St. Lucie County Commission voted unanimously to construct a bat house to serve as alternative habitat for the homeless bats. The bat house was built by St. Lucie County Central Services. It measures 8 ft X 4 ft X 4 ft, and was placed on four poles fourteen feet off the ground. The bats enter the bat house through opening on the bottom. There are 160 chambers lined with a plastic mesh for the bats to hang from. The roof is actually a double roof with an inch space in between. The space between the double roof can also serve as a bat roosting chamber. It is estimated that between ten and fifteen thousand bats could live comfortably inside this bat house.
Unfortunately, the bat house was knocked onto its side during the 2004 Hurricane Season. The St. Lucie Bat House is on its side and located at the Tradition Stadium in Port St. Lucie. Take I-95 to St. Lucie West Blvd. in Port St. Lucie. Head east on St. Lucie West Blvd to the first light which is Peacock Blvd. Make a left onto Peacock and go approximately 2 miles. The Stadium will be on the right. Use the east entrance and follow the signs to the bat house.
For more information about the St. Lucie Bat House, contact Ken Gioeli, Natural Resources Agent, at (772) 462-1660. Ken was involved in all aspects of this project including the exclusion and bat house construction