-Bat and Bathouse Information -
Sun - Houses where high temperatures in July average 80º F or less, should receive at least 10 hours of sun; more is better. At least six hours of direct daily sun are recommended for all bat houses where daily high temperatures in July average less than 100º F. Full, all-day sun is often successful in all but the hottest climates. To create favorable conditions for maternity colonies in summer, internal bat house temperatures should stay between 80º F and 100º F as long as possible.
Bat Habitat - Most nursery colonies of bats choose roosts within 1/4 mile of water, preferably a stream, river or lake. Greatest bat house success has been achieved in areas of diverse habitat, especially where there is a mixture of varied agricultural use and natural vegetation. Bat houses are most likely to succeed in regions where bats are already attempting to live in buildings.
Mounting your house - Bat houses should be mounted on buildings or poles. Houses mounted on trees or metal siding are seldom used. Wooden, brick, or stone buildings with proper solar exposure are excellent choices, and locations under the eaves often are successful. Single-chamber houses work best when mounted on buildings. Mounting two bat houses back to back on poles is ideal (face one house north, the other south). Place houses 3/4 inch apart and cover both with a galvanized metal roof to protect the center roosting space from rain. All bat houses should be mounted at least 12 feet above ground; 15 to 20 feet is better. Bat houses should not be lit by bright lights.
Predators - Houses mounted on sides of buildings or on metal poles provide the best protection from predators. Metal predator guards may be helpful, especially on wooden poles. Bat houses may be found more quickly if located along forest or water edges where bats tend to fly; however, they should be placed at least 20 to 25 feet from the nearest tree branches, wires or other potential perches for aerial predators.
Uninvited Guests - Wasps can be a problem before bats fully occupy a house. Use of 3/4-inch roosting spaces reduces wasp use. If nests accumulate, they should be removed in late winter or early spring before either wasps or bats return. Open-bottom houses greatly reduce problems with birds, mice, squirrels or parasites, and guano does not accumulate inside.
When to install your Bat house - Bat houses can be installed at any time of the year, but are more likely to be used during their first summer if installed before the bats return in spring. When using bat houses in conjunction with excluding a colony from a building, install the bat houses at least two to six weeks before the actual eviction, if possible.
More Information - Bats vs. Bugs Bats have a bad reputation that they don't deserve. Bats are
rumored to tangle in hair and suck blood, but the truth is that bats have
no interest in human hair, and eat bugs, not blood. As for rabies, bats
were once blamed for the spread of the disease, but in the past 30 years,
only 12-15 cases of human rabies can be traced to bats. Of these cases, not
one was caused by a bat attacking a human, but rather by a human picking up
a sick bat from the ground.
A North American bat consumes over 1,000 mosquitoes, moths and beetles per
night, and is an asset to any yard and garden. The best way to attract bats
is to hang a bathouse. Bats don't move into a bathouse as readily as birds
move into a birdhouse, so be patient. Your patience will eventually be
rewarded with a drastically reduced bug population