Michigan’s Summer Bug Blues

If summer ever feels too good to be true, then consider summer bugs the catch. All kinds of bugs naturally grow and thrive in the heat and abundance. Add Michigan’s seasonal humidity to that mix, and you have a pest paradise. Paradise for these pests, specifically.

These are four of the pests that Michigan will have the most trouble with this summer. Here’s why these pests love summer, what they’re up to, and how to keep them away from you.


mosquitoesWhen you think “summer bugs,” you almost certainly think of mosquitoes first and foremost. It’s not hard to understand why. There are over fifty mosquito species in Michigan, and they’re more-or-less all very active in summer. Lucky us. Some mosquito species start reproducing in spring. They lay eggs in puddles and other sources of “spring water” left behind by melting snow and rainfall. In general, the more standing water they have access to, the greater the mosquito population will be in summer.

Unfortunately, many mosquito species don’t stop reproducing in summer. Mosquito larvae grow faster in hot weather, so they’ll mature quickly, reproduce, and begin the cycle yet again. Mosquitoes thrive during hot, humid, and wet summers. You can’t really keep mosquitoes from thriving, but you can keep them away from you. Clean up sources of standing water near or inside your home. Make sure your window screens and frames seat properly. Address sources of excess humidity such as plumbing leaks or drafts.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetlesJapanese beetles are an invasive species that can inflict serious damage on lawns, turf, and ornamental plants. Their grubs feed on the roots of grass, and adults eat foliage. Both grub and adult feeding habits may interfere with your plant’s ability to withstand the hot weather of summer. Larval Japanese beetles hibernate underground during winter. During spring, they begin eating roots until they store enough energy to pupate. By late June or early July pupation completes and the beetles emerge from the ground as adults.

Adult Japanese beetles are a particular problem for a couple reasons. First, they often skeletonize the foliage of the plants they feed on. Next, they produce a pheromone that attracts other beetles to plants. They also tend to reproduce and lay eggs near where they eat. That means if you have beetles this year, you’ll probably have them next year, too. If you see beetles on your plants this summer, spray them with soapy water to scare them off. The soap will also counteract the pheromone, so new beetles won’t replace the ones you sprayed away.


waspsWasp queens become active in late spring, when temperatures rise to a consistently hospitable temperature. During early-to-mid summer, wasps largely remain near their nests. Workers leave to hunt for food every day to bring food back to support wasp larvae. Wasps are highly defensive of their nests while larvae develop inside them. The majority of wasp stings in mid summer occur when people accidentally disturb a nest.

By late summer, wasp queens will finish laying eggs, and the colony’s behavior will change. The year’s final brood grow into the next generation of wasp kings and queens. Once they leave the nest, the workers no longer have to worry about feeding and fostering young. Instead, they range further and spend their time hunting and eating. They tend to sting more people during this stage, especially if people startle them near their food. If you you have a wasp’s nest on your property, have a professional remove it as soon as possible.


House fliesSeveral types of common flies thrive and proliferate in summer. These flies are sometimes called “filth flies,” because they’re attracted to rotting garbage and waste. Filth flies like the house fly seem so abundant in summer because they spend the whole season reproducing. These flies complete their entire life cycle in only seven to 14 days. A single summer season may see literally hundreds of generations of filth flies born.

Fly infestations begin when flies find a place to lay their eggs indoors. House flies lay batches of 75 to 100 eggs at a time. Flies look for secluded, dirty places to lay their eggs. Usually, they find garbage, either in the dumpster or in cans. They may also infest clogged garbage disposals. Make sure your garbage is as sanitary and inaccessible as possible. Keep all garbage in sealable plastic bags, preferably inside sealed bins. Take garbage out to your dumpster frequently. Don’t let garbage pile up, either inside or in your dumpster.


No matter how inescapable they seem, you shouldn’t have to suffer bugs like these this summer. Following these steps will help you protect yourself from summer bugs, no matter how many assail you.

If you do end up with a summer bug infestation, however, remember that you always have help in Griffin Pest Solutions. No matter how entrenched or expansive the bug invasion, we’ll wipe it out quickly and effectively. We want to help you enjoy a bug-free summer!

Which Bugs Come Out at Night?

Mosquito at Night

Numerous common household pests are most active during the night. Bed bugs, house centipedes, crickets, and even mosquitoes fall into this category. They emerge in the dark to forage for food, search for mates, and seek sources of moisture. Mosquitoes, in particular, thrive during cooler nighttime temperatures.

It’s no surprise that these “children of the night” can be quite unsettling, especially when they decide to feed on you while you’re trying to sleep. But despite their creepiness, these nocturnal creatures are, in the end, just another type of pest. And like any pest, they can be prevented, controlled, and eliminated. Let’s explore the most common nighttime household pests and what you can do to address them below.

Why Do Bugs Come Out at Night?

Bugs come out at night for a variety of ecological reasons related to temperature, predation, sensory adaptations, food sources, and reproduction. These adaptations allow them to thrive in their respective environments.

Bed bugs feed on their prey at night - Which pests become more active at night?

Are Bed Bugs Nocturnal?

No surprise here, right? Yes, bed bugs are nocturnal, which means they come out at night. Bed bugs can neither extract the blood they need quickly nor latch onto people forcefully. Instead, they wait until their prey is immobile–like when they’re sleeping–so they can gorge themselves at their leisure. Bed bugs become more active at night both because it’s when their prey is vulnerable, and because the darkness gives them cover.  

How to Protect Yourself From Bed Bugs 

We’ve covered preventing bed bugs a couple of times before. The best thing you can do is to make sure you inspect everything you bring home after traveling. Make sure you don’t bring any unwanted hitchhikers home. Wash and clean your bedding and the bed itself frequently, and inspect it for fecal matter or eggs. Heat kills bed bugs, so if you suspect you have them, throw contaminated items in the dryer. If you have an existing bed bug problem, contact your local exterminator for a professional bed bug treatment.

Centipedes hunt at night- Which pests become more active at night?

Why Do Centipedes Come Out at Night?

Centipedes are sneaky daytime hiders who venture out at night for hunting. You might spot them in damp spots or kitchens. They’re drawn to humid, dim, cozy places where they can stay moist and soak up warmth. 

How to Prevent House Centipedes 

Even though they don’t pose any severe harm to humans, they can in fact sting with their two front legs, and they’re just freaky! That’s why preventing them is a good idea. 

To keep them away, reduce indoor moisture, close windows at night, and seal off entry points like gaps between utility lines and walls.

Crickets become active at night - Which pests become more active at night?

Why Are Crickets Most Active at Night?

The reason why crickets are most active at night is because it offers them favorable conditions for feeding, temperature regulation, and mating while minimizing their exposure to daytime predators. With that said, crickets may sound pleasant when they’re outside, but when they’re inside your walls they sound less than pleasant. Crickets are loud, and they love to start chirping right around the time you want to go to sleep, which can get very annoying. They simply do not belong inside your home! 

How to Keep Crickets Away From Your Home

Crickets are attracted to light, heat, humidity, and moisture. Turn off your house lights at night and draw the blinds. Look for and patch up plumbing leaks and other sources of moisture, such as puddling or condensation. Like most other pests, crickets sneak in through gaps in foundations, siding, and window and door frames. Look for places where your noisy foes might squeeze in and seal them up.

Mosquitoes tend to become more active at night - Which pests become more active at night?

Are Mosquitos Most Active at Night?

Mosquitoes are most active during the evening and at night, making them nocturnal or crepuscular insects. They tend to be most active around dusk and dawn, with their activity increasing during the early evening and into the night.

Several factors contribute to their nighttime activity:

  • Temperature: Mosquitoes are cold-blooded insects, and they become more active in the cooler evening hours. Warm temperatures are conducive to their activity.
  • Light Sensitivity: Mosquitoes are attracted to light, and their vision is adapted for low-light conditions. They are less active during daylight when the sun is bright.
  • Feeding Time: Many mosquito species feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. These animals are more accessible when they are active, which often coincides with dusk and nighttime when people are outdoors or asleep.
  • Predator Avoidance: Mosquitoes have numerous predators, such as birds and bats, which are more active during the daytime. Being active at night helps mosquitoes avoid some of their natural enemies.

It’s important to note that while mosquitoes are more active at night, there are some species that are active during the day. The behavior of mosquitoes can also be influenced by environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity.

How You Can Prevent Mosquitos in Your Home

To prevent mosquitoes from invading your home, take a few proactive measures. Ensure that all windows and doors have properly fitted screens to keep them out. Remove any standing water sources around your property, as mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Using mosquito nets over beds and applying insect repellent on exposed skin can help reduce bites indoors. Also, consider using mosquito traps or citronella candles to deter these pests from entering your living spaces. Regularly maintaining your yard, keeping it well-trimmed and free of debris, can also minimize mosquito breeding grounds.

Other Common Insects That Come at Night

In Michigan, as in many other regions, you can find a variety of common nocturnal insects. Here’s a list of some nocturnal insects you might encounter in Michigan:

  • Moths: Michigan is home to numerous moth species, and they are particularly active at night, often drawn to outdoor lights.
  • Fireflies: Fireflies are a familiar sight in Michigan during the summer evenings, with their bioluminescent displays.
  • Mayflies: Mayflies are common near Michigan’s freshwater bodies, and their adults are active in the evening.
  • Katydid: These relatives of crickets are known for their distinctive calls and are often heard at night.
  • Nocturnal Ants: Some ant species in Michigan are more active at night, like pavement ants and field ants.
  • Beetles: Various beetle species can be found in Michigan, and some are nocturnal, including ground beetles and June beetles.
  • Stoneflies: Stoneflies can be found near clean, cold freshwater streams and rivers in Michigan, and they are active at night.
  • Earwigs: Earwigs are nocturnal insects that seek shelter during the day and come out at night to forage.
  • Silverfish: These small, wingless insects are often active at night and can be found in dark, damp areas.
  • Nocturnal Termites: Michigan has termite species that are known to be active at night.

Want to Protect Yourself and Your Home from Nocturnal Pests? We Can Help!

If you’re dealing with nocturnal pests in Michigan and want to safeguard your home against these bothersome intruders, the pest control experts at Griffin Pest Solutions can help. Our experienced pest control experts are well-versed in addressing a wide range of nighttime pests, ensuring you can enjoy peaceful, pest-free* nights. Call us today for a free no-obligation quote. 

Ask us about PestFree365+, our preventative pest control program!

Pests for Watch Out for While Camping

Don't Let Pests Ruin Your Camping Trip

Camping is the best. You get to be outside, you see beautiful sights, you can hang out with your friends and family, and (best of all) it makes you seem all rugged and self-reliant. Summer days are the perfect time to schedule a camping trip. Find somewhere you’ve never been before, pack your bags, and get out there!

Unfortunately, the wondrous splendor of the natural world has its downsides. Chief among these downsides are, of course, pests. When you think about it, every time you go camping, you’re essentially colonizing the domain of the pests. Here are some pests you should watch out for on your adventure into the untamed wild lands and some camping pest control ideas you can use to protect yourself from them.


Woman spraying her legs for bug spray


Enemy of the outdoorsman. Scourge of the camper. Rival of the attorney. Mosquitoes are known by many names, most of which aren’t fit for family websites. The bloodsuckers are found virtually everywhere, but you should prepare for them especially on camping trips. Mosquitoes like moist, humid, shaded environments with plenty of natural cover. They also prefer to be near water. Camping sites have all of that, plus their food even comes to them! Unprepared campers are essentially human conveyor-belt sushi to mosquitoes.

Luckily, camping pest control for mosquitoes is pretty easy. First, invest in some heavy-duty bug spray. Apply it every two hours while you’re outside. Wear long, brightly-colored clothing. Wear a hat and bring water to stay cool and minimize sweating. Make sure you wear hiking boots and appropriate, tight-fitting socks. When it starts getting dark out, consider retiring to your campsite. Mosquitoes become much more active starting at dusk. Build a fire if it’s allowed; the smoke will keep all kinds of bugs away. Drape a mosquito net over your tent and/or sleeping bag in the night.




This infamous hiking menace starts making trouble in the summer, just when you’re gearing up to go out. These bloodsuckers sneak onto campers and clamp down, gorging for days until they’ve gotten their fill. Ticks can even infect us with diseases while they’re stealing our blood. Ticks like campsites because they can use abundant natural flora near the trail during hunts. Ticks climb onto plants and lie in wait. When a victim wanders by, they leap on and bite down.

To practice tick camping pest control, build your camp in a well-maintained clearing. Avoid walking too close to overgrown edges or “off-roading” while you’re hiking. Apply anti-tick spray as frequently as you apply bug spray. Wear appropriate clothing like hiking boots, long socks, pants, and shirts, and a hat. When you get back to your campsite at night, thoroughly inspect your body, clothing, and equipment. Remove ticks you find with a tweezers immediately. If you find a tick on your clothing, re-check your body, remove that clothing, and isolate it from the rest of your stuff.




Most spiders aren’t actually dangerous. Unlike ticks and mosquitoes, they don’t feed on humans, and they’re less likely to transmit disease. Virtually all spiders can and will bite when threatened, however, and the venom administered by a bite could itch, sting, or even burn. Camp sites attract spiders for two primary reasons: One, there are plenty of places to build webs. Two, they attract other pests. As flying pests flock toward humans and start buzzing around, hungry spiders follow. They build their webs wherever they have the right building conditions. Then, they wait for their prey to spring the trap.

Spider camping pest control is as much about what you don’t do as what you do. Don’t build your campsite under low-hanging foliage and plant life. Leaves and grasses you have to duck under could be the structures holding up spider webs. Avoid touching or resting on too many trees, rocks, or branches. Never stick your hand anywhere out of sight, like in the nook of a tree or under a rock. If you fall, accidentally lean on something, or brush up against a tree or bush, examine your clothing for spiders. Keep your food in sealed plastic containers at least 10 feet away from your tent at night.



Bees and Wasps

Nothing will ruin your camping trip faster than upsetting a wasp’s nest. Suddenly, your outing is less “leisurely vacation” and more “desperate fight for survival.” Bees and wasps sting to defend their homes or when they feel threatened. Both bees and wasps tend to live around camping sites, albeit for different reasons. Bees seek out the nectar in flowers planted on and around the site. Wasps, like spiders, hunt the other prey attracted to the site.

Long clothing will go a long way toward preventing bee and wasp stings, as well. Avoid building your camp in areas with heavy foliage or vegetation. Watch for hanging hives nearby and avoid them. If you’re allergic to stings, bring along an EpiPen. Seal your food securely until you eat it. This counts double for sweets, because sugar attracts wasps and bees from surprisingly far away. Alcoholic beverages do, too.


Don’t let pests ruin your camping trip. Practice simple camping pest control techniques like these and you won’t have to spend time thinking about bugs while you’re out there. And remember: if you have pest questions related to camping, prevention, or anything else, you can always call the experts at Griffin Pest Control. Have a great trip!

What Are The Most Dangerous Pests in Michigan?

The most dangerous pests in Michigan

Unfortunately, Michigan is home to several pests that can be quite dangerous. Some, like the black widow spider, are dangerous because of their venom. Others, like the Blacklegged tick, are dangerous because of diseases they can transmit. No matter why these pests are dangerous, however, you’ll want to keep away from them.

Ironically, the best way to keep away from dangerous pests in Michigan is to learn a thing or two about them. If you can reliably identify Michigan’s biggest baddies, you can take important steps to stay safe from them. Here’s what you should know about Michigan’s four most dangerous pests:

black widow spider

Black Widow

The Northern black widow spider’s habitat ranges throughout the eastern and central US. Michigan’s trees and prey make it the ideal environment for the poisonous spider to thrive in. Northern black widows are inch-and-a-half long, black spiders with a red “hour glass” marking on the back of their abdomens. The spider is common around Michigan’s lower peninsula, especially in the Southwest.  

While it’s true that they are common in Michigan, widow bites are quite rare. Black widows are timid and only bite if their web is threatened. Widows build their webs anywhere they can catch prey. They’re most commonly found in dark, damp locations like old stumps, hollow logs, fence posts, sheds, crawlspaces, basements, and woodpiles. Symptoms of black widow bites appear after 30 to 60 minutes and include muscle spasms, chills, nausea, fever, sweating, aches and pain, and headaches. If you’re bitten by a black widow, seek medical help immediately.

brown recluse spider

Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse is a poisonous spider native to the Southeast US. Experts traditionally believed that Michigan winters keep brown recluses out. However, from 2011 to 2017, six populations of brown recluse spiders have been identified in Michigan. The most recent population in Davison, Genesee County, lived in an unheated, detached garage. The fact that they lived through the winter in an unheated environment may imply that they can establish themselves in Michigan permanently.   

Recluses are around 6 to 20 millimeters long and tan or dark brown. They have a dark, violin-shaped mark on their thorax, or the back upper torso. Brown recluses seek out warmth and dampness and are usually found in rotting wood or cardboard. Brown recluse bites can rarely cause potentially life-threatening necrosis, or flesh death. If you think you’ve spotted or been bitten by a brown recluse, let the experts know right away.

Blacklegged Tick

The Ixodes scapularis, aka the “blacklegged” or “deer” tick, is one of three hard ticks commonly found in Michigan. Blacklegged ticks are most common in Western Michigan, but you could find them in any grassy area. Blacklegged ticks are small brown ticks with distinctive black legs (hence their common name). Like all ticks, Blacklegged ticks hunt or “quest” by perching on plant life and clinging to passing prey. This tick species primarily feed on humans during summer months.

Blacklegged ticks are the primary transmitters of Lyme disease in the North-central US. Blacklegged ticks pick up the disease-causing Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria when they feed on deer. Then, when they feed on a human, they transmit the bacteria into that human’s bloodstream. Lyme disease causes fevers, headaches, fatigue, and an expanding rash called Erythema migrans. Avoid tick bites by applying repellent when walking outside and staying out of grassy areas. Remove any ticks that attach themselves to you right away.


You know what mosquitoes are. Everyone knows what mosquitoes are, especially here in Michigan. Yes, of course they’re annoying… but are they really dangerous? Unfortunately, mosquitoes are dangerous because they carry and transmit various diseases. Worldwide, mosquitoes are among the most important and deadly disease transmitters. In Michigan, some species of mosquito may spread the West Nile virus. Mosquitoes pick up the disease when they feed on birds. They spread it via blood contact when they feed on humans.

80% of people afflicted with the West Nile virus never show any symptoms. For about 19% of people, West Nile triggers fevers, headaches, vomiting, and a rash. In less than 1% of cases, West Nile also triggers encephalitis or meningitis. Both of these inflammatory disorders are very serious and could have permanent or fatal effects. The best way to avoid West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito stings. Always wear repellent when walking outside and avoid mosquito breeding environments.


Hopefully we haven’t made you afraid to live in your own state! While it’s true that we’ve got some dangerous pests up here, they’re all more afraid of you than you are of them. By learning to identify pests like these and staying out of their way, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

And, of course, if you do end up confronting dangerous pests in your home, you can give us a call anytime. Michigan’s big bads have nothing on us!

Waterborne Pests and How to Avoid Them

sunset on michigan beach

Here in the upper Midwest, we don’t get too much beach time. Even if you live on a lake, you probably can’t get out on the water nearly as much as you’d like. To make matters worse, when the water finally gets warm enough to enjoy, waterborne pests are all-too happy to enjoy it with you.

Running into a pest outside or in your home is bad enough. Running into one in your water is the worst. Knowing how to avoid and prevent water pests from infesting your home will help give you peace of mind, so you can get back to enjoying your precious beach time.




Mayflies get their name from their explosive emergence in May. They spend most of their lives as nymphs living in fresh water. Nymphs range in size from 3 to 30 millimeters (or .12 to 1.18 inches). They have six clawed legs, a slim body, gills, and two or three tails. Adult mayflies have famously short lifespans and live only to reproduce. They grow longer and more slender than nymphs, and their two pairs of pale wings become functional.

During mating season, mayflies swarm in huge numbers. Often, these swarms grow so large that they cover every surface in a wide area or create significant visibility issues for drivers. Mayflies are attracted to white incandescent and fluorescent lights. Replace white outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs. Consider drawing the blinds at night. If your mayfly problem seems particularly bad, UV light insect traps may prove effective.


mosquito on water


Yes, mosquitoes live in and around water. It’s just not fair! Specifically, many types of mosquito lay eggs in standing water. Mosquitoes need to stay hydrated to survive, which means they need to stay in places where the air is humid and damp. Both of these needs make lakes, rivers, and wetlands the perfect place for mosquitoes to live and breed. If they can get some of the blood they need to lay eggs somewhere nearby, so much the better.

The best way to prevent mosquito infestation in your home is to mop up standing water in your house or on your lawn. If you’re going out to the beach, bring some waterproof bug spray and reapply it every two hours. Try not to stay until dusk, when mosquitoes become more active. Bring along long sleeves and pants to change into after you’ve finished swimming.


cockroach in tub


Like most of the other pests on this list, cockroaches love moisture and humidity. Cockroaches can survive for a month without food, but only two weeks without water. Unfortunate beach goers commonly discover them under wet soil, clinging to the base of a tree or other plants. Though they rarely go near the water itself, the environment lakes and rivers create is perfect for roaches to thrive in.

Roaches are scavengers, and they’ll eat anything they can get their hands on. They’re especially fond of bread crumbs, rotting fruit, and sweets. Outdoor picnics will tend to attract them in droves, especially if remains are left behind. At home, securely tie off or box up your pantry foods and wipe down counters and tables after meals. Cockroaches will take pretty much whatever they can get, so do your best to give them nothing.


giant waterbug


Waterbugs are often mistaken for cockroaches, but there are some big differences–literally! First and foremost, size: waterbugs are a lot bigger than cockroaches. Lethocerus americanus, the most common waterbug in North America, ranges from 12 to 65 millimeters in length (1-2 inches long!). Unlike cockroaches, waterbugs actually live in water, swimming beneath the surface to catch prey. Cockroaches never bite humans, but water bugs are called “toe biters” because of their propensity to defend themselves with painful bites if disturbed.

Waterbugs need water. If they’re coming into your home, there’s a source available to them. Search your home for leaks, dripping faucets, or cracks that allow water in. Water bugs also fly toward light. These bugs get more active at night, when they fly around looking for new ponds or prospective mates. When you’re out, avoid spending too much time around lakes after dark, and be aware of where you step on the lake floor.


No two ways about it: water pests are freaky. No one wants to think about going for a swim, only to step on some gross bottom feeder. If you know a bit about the pests you’re likely to see, however, chances are they won’t seem as monstrous or dangerous to you. If you follow these steps, you may not have to see them at all!

If you’ve been struggling to keep waterborne pests out of your home or lawn for awhile and you’re at your wit’s end, give Griffin a call today! Whether they come by land, water, or air, we’ve got the perfect defense to thwart your pesky pillagers. Enjoy the beach!

Michigan’s Beneficial Bat Population Threatened By Disease

Bat population under threat:

Bats are often a misunderstood and unappreciated animal. Their prowess at feeding on night flying insects – particularly mosquitoes – is a great benefit to Michigan homeowners looking to keep their backyards free of pesky mosquitoes and other pests including beetles, wasps and moths.

Michigan’s bat population, however, is being threatened by a disease that could cause widespread death among the state’s most commonly found specie – the little brown bat.

First identified in New York State in 2006, white-nose syndrome impacts bats while they hibernate. The condition causes skin lesions to develop that lead bats to use vital fat reserves during the winter thus draining them of these required resources.

The disease causes bats to wake up every three or four days versus the normal 10 to 20 day interval, and arise hungry and dehydrated at a time when there is little food to consume. This causes damage to the bat’s connective tissues, muscles and skin, and leads to their demise.

White-nose syndrome has been identified in 27 states – including neighboring Minnesota – and several Canadian provinces, and has led to significant deaths among bat populations. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the disease has killed 5.7 million bats in the U.S. and Canada.

Researchers at Eastern Michigan University recently estimated that some 300,000 bats hibernate underground in caves and mines within the state – prime breeding grounds for this cold-loving fungus.

What is the potential impact of white-nose syndrome on Michigan homeowners and farmers? While the disease is not threatening to humans, the end-result is that a naturally occurring and highly effective pest management process is being placed at risk of being greatly diminished.

Without a healthy bat population, crops are placed at risk from invasive insects such as the gypsy moth and backyard populaces of mosquitoes can roam unabated. And when you consider bats are capable of consuming as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour, their absence could be felt on decks and patios from Kalamazoo to Saginaw.

Aside from the annoying itch their bites cause, mosquitoes can spread dangerous diseases including West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases. In 2013, Michigan had 36 reported cases of West Nile virus and two deaths.

With no known effective treatment for white-nose syndrome, state wildlife officials are left to block off caves and abandoned mines to prevent the disease from spreading.

What can homeowners and farmers do to encourage a viable bat presence in their backyards and fields? One solution is to provide bats with a suitable home to nest in – a home you won’t find listed in the real estate section of the paper but one you can build in your workshop.

Griffin Pest Solutions consulted with the experts at This Old House for a step-by-step guide to building the perfect bat house to place on the edges of your property and help keep mosquito and other destructive pests in check.

Bats are very particular about where they’ll live, and their houses have to be constructed in a specific way that encourages them to nest.

The inside of this house is painted black to keep it dark and warm, and the outside is a color that makes it blend in with the surroundings. The space where they go inside the house and roost is only about ¾ inch thick (with a small gap for air circulation). Still, dozens of bats will be able to live in this box and raise their pups.

To view the complete instructions for the 11-step plan to building a bat house, visit the This Old House website at http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20165965,00.html. The following is a quick overview of the tools and materials needed, and the steps involved.

Tools Needed

• Measuring tape
• Straight edge
• Combination square
• Spring clamps
• Safety glasses
• Jigsaw
• French curve and circle templates
• Drill with ¼ inch drill bit
• Caulking gun and caulk
• Paint brush and paint

Materials List

• 2’ x 4’ section of ½-inch exterior-grade plywood
• One 6’ 1 x 2
• ½-inch deer netting
• Exterior latex paint (black and another dark color)
• Low-VOC adhesive caulk
• 1-inch deck screws
• ⅜-inch staples
• 3½-inch deck screws

The 11 Steps to Building A Bat House

Step 1 – Measure and cut plywood
Step 2 – Draw the bat design
Step 3 – Drill holes for the Jigsaw
Step 4 – Cut Out the Bat
Step 5 – Making the Sides
Step 6 – Attach the Sides
Step 7 – Paint the Parts
Step 8 – Attach the Netting
Step 9 – Attach the Front Piece
Step 10 – Put on the Bat Cutout
Step 11 – Hang it Up