ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Your New Bat House - Tips and tricks for attracting bats

Updated on October 23, 2014

So you want to put up a bat house. Good for you! Bats are marvelous little creatures that play a highly important role in our ecosystem. They can also play a wonderful part in minimizing the population of biting insects around our homes – keeping away mosquitoes and black flies without the use of harmful pesticides. Did you know that a single bat can eat one thousand mosquitoes in an hour? Putting up a bat house is a great way to keep bats around your home, and following a few important guidelines can significantly improve your chances of attracting a bat colony to the spiffy new pad. Here are some tips that should help:


1. Location, location, location.

Bats most often choose to raise their young within ¼ mile of water, so having a pond or stream nearby will help make your bat house desirable. If you’re not blessed with a natural water source, don’t despair though - even just having a large bird bath or a small swimming pool in your yard can be enough to attract them. Bats also like to be in areas with plenty of plants – so if you’re not in an area that’s naturally lush with vegetation, having a garden could help.


2. Distance from the ground.

Higher is better. Bats like to roost at least ten feet from the ground, and even higher if possible.


3. Mounting surface

Bats tend to choose houses that are mounted either on the side of a building, or high off the ground on a sturdy pole. Houses mounted on trees can also attract bats, but they don’t have as high an occupancy rate. Tree branches can provide a roost for natural predators (owls, hawks, and even blue jays), so having a home without branches has definite benefits.

4. Exposure to sunshine.

Temperature is very important to the females, when choosing a place to raise their young – they prefer the interior of the house to remain between 80 and 100 degrees, as much as possible. To help achieve this, it’s important to place your bat house so that it gets the correct amount of sunlight. In most climates, all-day exposure to the sun (at least 10 hours per day in the summer) will help keep the correct temperature. So a southern exposure would be ideal. In the hottest climates, where July temperatures are routinely over 100 degrees, you’ll need fewer hours of sunshine, so an eastern or western exposure would be better.


5. Color

The color of your bat house will also play a factor in keeping the house at an ideal temperature. Although many houses on the market are light colored, or simply raw wood, studies show that these light colors only work best in the hottest climates – where average daily high temperatures exceed 100 degrees in July. If average high temps in July are less than 95 degrees in your area, you’ll want to go with a darker finish – brown or dark grey. If the high temps average less than 85, go with all black.


6. Size.

Larger bat houses are much more likely to be inhabited than smaller ones. So although there are many adorable little bat houses being marketed, you’re much more likely to have success getting bats to move in, if your house is quite a bit bigger than these - it should be at least 2 feet tall, and at least 14 inches wide. Bats also seem most likely to move into homes with more than one brood chamber, and more seems to be better. I’d suggest opting for a design with 4-7 chambers.


7. Construction.

Make sure the bat house you choose is waterproof – that all the seams are tight, and well sealed. If it’s wood, make sure it’s not pressure-treated – treated wood releases chemicals over time, which aren’t healthy for baby bats. Do make sure that all the inside surfaces are rough – bats need to be able to cling to the walls, and smooth surfaces can make that difficult. However, houses with mesh-lined walls are NOT a good choice, as they can break down over time – baby bats have been known to get stuck under the mesh, and can die. Another amenity that helps make a home attractive to bats, is having a small landing platform below the opening to the brooding chambers.


8. Timing.

If you’re hoping to have your new bat house used within the first year, it’s best to install it in the spring, before bats return from their winter hibernation. Late is better than never though – so if spring has come and gone, but you’re feeling inspired, go ahead and put one up! Bats often scope out an area in the autumn, before returning to their hibernation caves for the winter, looking for good new spots to roost the next summer. If you put up a house now, and follow the guidelines above, you may well find yourself with a house full of bats, when they return in the spring. Best of luck, and please feel free to share your success stories, tips, and bat-house plans – I’d love to hear them!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      seantom767 

      3 years ago

      Russell ....really ? ......where ?

    • profile image

      Russell Dostal 

      4 years ago

      Smearing a little bat guano will also help in attracting bats.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I liked this article very much and will feature a link to it in my hub: Secrets to a Healthy Yard. Your admiration for these amazing and helpful creatures shows, and I'm very glad you published this hub. Thanks for sharing all your good info ;) Pearl

      Voted Up+++ and pinned

    • Cindy Letchworth profile image

      Cindy Letchworth 

      5 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      How refreshing to see someone care about bats. I got an appreciation about bats when I attended a wildlife class that featured a woman who had studied bats and kept some in her home. She was a scientist, and after her talk on bats she let people touch them if they wanted. They were the softest things I've ever felt. I have never thought of a bat the same way since.

      Keep up the good word on encouraging wildlife.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)