Bats & Bat Houses
The Need for Bats & Bat Houses and Instructions on Placing a Bat House
Why are bats so great?
Bats eat millions of pounds of insect pests yearly, pollinate flowers, and even disperse seeds that help the rainforests grow. Contrary to popular myths, bats don't fly into your hair, they don't have rabies and they don't attack people. Bats are actually very clean animals that won't interfere with feeding backyard birds.
As the primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature. And, as consumers of vast numbers of pests, they rank among humanity’s most valuable allies. A single little brown bat can catch hundreds of mosquito-sized insects an hour, and a typical colony of big brown bats can protect local farmers from the costly attacks of 18 million root-worms each summer.
Why should I get a bat house?
Bats are disappearing every day. Not only are individual bats killed and injured, but 40% of all bat species are endangered or threatened! Bats need homes to live in just like birds do and you can help give them a place to live by purchasing a bat house. Considering all bats do for us, everyone should get a bat house!
Bats are extremely important. Yet due to years of unwarranted human fear and persecution, bats are in alarming decline. By putting up a bat house you are helping by giving them a home. You will also benefit from having fewer yard and garden pests.
Bats are great! Where should I put my new bat house?
Where you mount your bat house plays a major role in the internal temperature. Houses can be mounted on such structures as poles, sides of buildings and tall trees without obstructions. Houses placed on poles and structures tend to become occupied quicker than houses placed on trees.
- Bat houses should face south to southeast to take advantage of the morning sun.
- In northern states and Canada, bat houses need to receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.
- Paint the house black to absorb plenty of heat (when baby bats are born, they need it very warm). Use non-toxic, latex paint to paint your bat house and only paint the outside.
- Mount at least 15 feet above the ground. The higher the house the greater the chance of attracting bats.
Bats return from migration and awaken from hibernation as early as March in most of the U.S., but stay active year-round in the extreme southern U.S. They will be abundant throughout the summer and into late fall. Most houses used by bats are occupied in the first 1 to 6 months (during the first summer the bat house was erected). If bats do not roost in your house by the end of the second summer, move the house to another location.
Thanks to the Organization for Bat Conservation for the information.