Have you noticed bats flying around your home at night? If so, count yourself lucky, because bats play essential ecological roles: natural pest-control by eating lots of insects, pollination, and seed dispersal. Consider buying or constructing a bat house kit to attract bats to your back yard!
It’s important to know where to place the bat houses. Bat house placement plays a huge role in helping you and the bats find a common understanding with one another.
See below for several of the best locations you should consider while you make bat house kit plans.
Contrary to popular belief, your bat houses should not be placed in a spot that is heavily shaded or has limited access to sunlight. In fact, you ideally want to find an area that gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each morning.
To help you figure out where that might be on your property, it's usually the southeast part of your house that gets 6-8 or more hours of sunlight. Morning sun provides solar radiation and warms the house most quickly after a cold night. Bat houses in northern climates should be dark colors on the exterior to enhance this effect. A fun side note: frequent sunlight is important for your health as well.
Even though the bat house needs a good amount of sunlight, it should also be placed near trees, which can give it a break from the sun at some point in the day. Locating the bat house 20-30 feet from nearby trees is ideal for providing some shade and avoiding limbs obstructing flight paths into and out of the house entrance. If there are a few trees around, then they will provide a bit of relief from the sun. Without trees around, a place where they normally roost, there might not be any bats that use your house kit at all.
For these reasons, there might not be a better place on your property for the bat house than placing it on the side of your home. Guano will end up on the ground underneath, so avoid placing bat houses directly above windows, doors, decks, or walkways. Bat urine may stain some finishes. Two-inch or four-inch spacers between the bat house and the wall or a large backboard may reduce guano deposits on the wall. A potted plant or a shallow tray or plant saucer can be placed underneath a bat house to collect bat guano for use as fertilizer in flower beds or gardens. Do not use a bucket or deep container (unless 1⁄4-inch or smaller mesh covers the entire top of the container), as any baby bats that fall from the bat house could become trapped inside.
Bats are smart. They only set up shop in a location where food and water are readily available.Since a large portion of their diet consists of insects, bat colonies tend to roost around bodies of water, such as ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. That's where they'll find plenty of mosquitoes to eat and water to drink.
Ideally, you want to set up your bat house kit no further than 50 feet from the edge of the water. If you do, the bats are more likely to find their way into the bat house you've made and cozy up until nightfall.
Generally speaking, you'll want to invest in one or two small bat houses to start. That way, you can get a feel for where the best location is to set your bat house in relation to the water. Once you have a better understanding, you can buy a bigger bat house to fit larger colonies inside.
Remember, the more bats you have in your bat house, the more mosquitos and other insects that will be eaten. Bats can eat more than their own body weight in mosquitoes and other pesky insects like wasps and moths in a single night. They're the best friend you never knew you had!
Contrary to popular belief, bats don't just live in caves. In fact, a majority of bat species prefer trees, but they have to be plentiful and near a body of water. That's why you're almost guaranteed to find bat colonies near the edge of a forest.
Remember, when in doubt, look for a combination of height, sun access, nearby water, and available trees. If you're able to find a spot with all four of these criteria, your bat house is likely to attract tenants rather quickly.
When installing the bat house (regardless of where you put it) try to put it at least 10 feet up (12-20 feet above the ground or above the tallest vegetation beneath the bat house is best). That's generally the height that bats prefer to stay away from natural predators such as snakes, raccoons, weasels, mink, owls, and hawks as well as domestic cats.
Perhaps you've previously attempted to put a bat house up against your home but were unsuccessful. This could just be because of the constant noise in your home, especially if you have a full house of children or have a few pets.
Bats try to avoid danger at all costs. If the bat house is mounted up against a house that seems too rambunctious, they'll opt to go elsewhere. For that reason, it might be better to install a tall post in your preferred location for setting up the bat house kit.
This can also help you find the perfect spot that's in closer proximity to water, tree lines, and can give you the preferred height for the bat house as well. Baffles are an easy solution to keep predators away from post-mounted bat houses, too.
Remember, try to set up and install that post anywhere between 30 to 50 feet of water. It doesn't have to be a large body of water, mind you. Even a small man-made pond or natural wetland can attract bats as long as insects are flying around it (which there most certainly are).
Now that you have seen all of the different places and things to consider when building your high-quality bat house kit, be sure to put this information to good use!
If building a house isn’t your cup of tea, be sure to check out our ready-made bat house options, including the recycled 40 Colony Bat House.
For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page, and we will be happy to assist you further.