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Thread: sewing fiberglass screening/bats

  1. #1
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    sewing fiberglass screening/bats

    I have a few Little Brown Bats roosting in the rafters of my attached carport which is open on one side and in the front. They are migratory, but return in early May when the weather warms enough that insects are plentiful for them to feast on. I think we've had the last snowstorm about 10 days ago and the weather is warming (50 degrees today), so it's time to evict the bats from the carport before they return.

    A bat exclusion expert quoted me $1,000 to put up netting across the entire top of the carport just below the pitched ceiling with the rafters. No way would I spend that kind of money on the darling bats. I did some research on the internet about screening in carports and that's even more costly.

    I stumbled on a cool website, https://thriftdiving.com/make-garage-door-screen/ of a do-it-yourself gal and was inspired to screen in my carport myself. I'll use Velcro to attach the screening to the house and posts so the screen will be removable. I want to sew some seams, a zipper down the middle front, and blanket binding across the bottom edge like the video showed her doing on a Bernia, but I am hesitant to sew fiberglass screening on my most precious possession, a Viking Quilt Designer. This is the same type screening used for your windows. She says, "I absolutely love working with fiberglass screen! Who knew that such a cool material could be easy to handle and doesn't wrinkle up."

    Has anyone had experience sewing fiberglass screening on their domestic sewing machine? What needle type/size should I use? What type of thread? Does the fabric drag when sewing it? Any tips?

  2. #2
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    I forgot to mention, this would cost about $100 as compared to $1,000 to have bat netting installed.

  3. #3
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    If the screening is soft and pliable, you should be able to sew it on the machine. You will need miles of blanket or seam binding along all the edges since that will be all the reinforcing the edges have. I would take my sewing machine needle to the screen and see how easy it is to push through the screen “ thread” . You could set the machine stitch big enough that it sews in the holes between the threads but you know you will accidentally hit a few. Best to see if the needle will go through a screen thread well before trying it by machine.

  4. #4
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    I have used it to make tote bags. Do you have a teflon foot? It helps glide the material through the feed dogs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    Sewing fiberglass screening should not hurt your machine.

    If you want it to last more than one season....I would suggest instead of blanket binding you use outdoor fabric & UV treated polyester thread, as it will hold up better to the weather. As in the video you'll need double sided zippers & industrial Velcro. This site has outdoor fabric, thread & needle chart: https://www.sailrite.com/Selecting-t...hread-Material

    I would also suggest you place a bat house on your property so the bats have some place to live. We've lost millions of bats to White Nose Syndrome, so those remaining need our help. https://batworld.org/bat-house-information/

  6. #6
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    My in-laws had bats in the attic and we had to get them moved out before the house could be sold. Since they’re protected, we hired a trained person who slipped a plastic chute in each crevice. The bats could exit the attic but not re-enter. Be aware, a bat can get through an extremely small opening. I stress extremely small. Maybe you live in a route they travel which is called a “fly way”.

  7. #7
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    I don't think sewing plastic (fiberglass) screen would hurt any sewing machine. Good luck with your project.

  8. #8
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    I would wonder if the bats will still find a way to get on the other side of that screening. As previously mentioned, they can get through the tiniest of spaces--I've heard a comparison to a dime. I have no solution for your situation but hope you can find some sort of repellent that they would choose to hang from another location. If they are in the carport, they can easily get into the house when the door opens----ewwww. Somehow they never seem to find the door going out!

  9. #9
    Super Member leonf's Avatar
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    At a national kite fly the winds got strong... as in 45 mph. Just the thing to kill kites. Organizers added an event. "y'all have two hours to build a kite that will fly safely in 45 mph winds." Lots of head scratching. Winners took the skin off of their kite frame. replaced it with fiberglass screen and taped it on with duct tape. The tape provided enough surface area to lift it and the screen gave it shape. I loved it.
    "Sacrifices must be made." Otto Lilienthal

  10. #10
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    I have embroidered on fiberglass screen; the needle won't be worth much when done so be sure to replace it when finished. But it's very doable.
    And if you get a bat house put it away from your house a ways to discourage them finding their way back again. Good luck. Let us know what you did and how it worked.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all of your great suggestions. Every single one will help me go from being "batty" to being a DIYer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jazzmyn's Avatar
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    I think of fiberglass as plastic, so you might want to check out "sun screen" which is a fabric type of material it can be cut with scissors, although I have not tried to sew it on my machine I think it would be sewable on any machine. It feels like fabric, soft and durable. You might want to check with a glass company and see if they have it and you could purchase a small amount and see how it sews on your machine before you invest in a lot. Hardware stores may have it also in the window screen department.

    Just a thought there.
    Got-to Love those Dachshunds!!!!!


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