Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower in Florida

The idea to control mosquito population by introducing natural predators to the area would seem like a smart, environmentally friendly and economical way to achieve the ultimate goal – fewer mosquitoes. That’s exactly what Florida’s Lower Keys’ fish lodge owner Richter Clyde Perky was thinking when he decided to fight the mosquito plague that was getting out of hand. Richter Clyde Perky purchased plans to built a deluxe bat tower in Florida’s Sugarloaf Key from a Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Charles Campbell of Texas. Sadly, the Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower never worked out the way he would have liked.

Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower in Florida, Photo by donielle, Flickr
Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower in Florida, Photo by donielle, Flickr

The Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower was built, bats put into it, but after one night they all flew away and never came back. Since its erection in 1929, not one bat has come back to sleep in the Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower and use the area of Monroe County in Florida as their hunting grounds. A good intention, but a complete failure. I guess you can’t dictate the wild animals what they choose to call their home.

Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower has been on the U.S. Register of Historic Places since 1982. Out of 14 bat towers designed by Dr. Charles Campbell, only 3 remain standing (this one in Florida and two more in Texas). Unfortunately, because the Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower failed to serve its purpose, nobody maintains it so the wood that was used for construction is slowly but surely deteriorating and coming loose plus the tower has been subjected to vandalism with beer cans nailed to its walls.

Still, the Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower remains the site of historical significance and one that’s off the beaten tourist path which could be an interesting spot for any traveller exploring the state of Florida. Check out the video with the Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower in Florida that also contains directions instructions.