Bat House Buying Guide
What should I look for in a good bat house?
All bat houses are not created equal! There are many different bat houses available commercially in some big box stores and online retailers. But, you need to be able to “weed out” the bat houses that won't be a productive habitat for your bats. A bat house that doesn't house any bats is nothing more than yard decoration, at best. There are 2 main components that will make or break whether a bat house will attract the most bats possible. Familiarize yourself with these and you won't fail to make a productive bat habitat.
Bat house design
Many bat houses on the market are not built with extensive knowledge about how bats colonize and what they look for in a good shelter. Here are some important design specifications to look for in a well designed bat house:
- External height of 24” at a minimum
- Internal chambers should have dimensions of at least 20” tall and 14” wide. The taller and wider the chambers are, the better...and the more chambers, the better, too!
- The depth of the internal chambers should be between 3/4” and 1” and should have roughened surfaces for the bats to cling to. Plastic mesh attached to the landing areas is a good way to give the bats a surface to cling to on the internal chamber walls.
- There should be a landing area (it's like a front porch for a bat house!) thats at least 3” to 6”. This will give the bats a convenient and welcoming entrance to their new home. Would you want a house that was uncomfortable and difficult to enter???
Bat house construction
The construction and materials selected in building your bat house are just as important as the design component. Not only is the durability and longevity of a bat house is directly dependent on the materials used in construction, but so is the comfort and health of the bats that occupy it. Most bat houses are made of wood. Look for woods that are resistant to water such as exterior grade plywoods and cedar. Any wood used in bat house construction should NOT be pressure-treated wood or treated with any sort of chemicals other than water-based paints or stains. Any hardware and fasteners should be exterior grade and rust-resistant. inches from the bottom. Plastics and cement boards can be used for reliable construction materials. They also require less maintenance. By paying attention to the design and construction of a bat house, you can ensure the installation of your bat house will be a safe, healthy and welcoming home for your bats to provide them everything they need to be productive for years to come.
Another important component of being successful is properly placing your bat house.