Bat House Placement Guide
So you have your new, bat-friendly bat house and you need some direction on putting it up? Good! Proper care needs to be given about the installation of your bat house for maximum utility. What good is the best bat house in the World if a bat never finds it? Just like real estate in the human world, the three most important things to consider when looking for a place to install your bat house are: location, location, location. Follow these tips and your new bat house will be the best bat house in the neighborhood!
Since bats live on diets of insects, areas rich with bodies of water and vegetation are ideal. Many bat colonies stay within a quarter of a mile from lponds, akes, streams and rivers because of the steady supply of food. Of course, areas where bats are already occupying buildings are prime locations for bat houses. Makes sense, right? So do you have a place in mind for your bat house? If so, let's talk specifics of where and how to mount it.
There are several, good options for places to mount your new bat house. Generally speaking, anywhere in the direct vicinity of the area that bats are currently roosting is usually a safe bet. That being said, here are some good rules of thumb for specific mounting instructions.
- All bat houses should be mounted at a MINIMUM of 12 feet above ground (15-20 feet is ideal)
- Mounting poles are a great idea
- Wood, stone and brick buildings make good mounting surfaces due to their ability to retain heat from sunlight
- Metal buildings (and buildings with metal siding) are NOT recommended
- Trees are NOT recommended
Exposure to Sunlight
Bats colonize in large groups to share body heat for warmth. A warm environment is also important to rearing young. With warmth being so important to where bats call home, placing your bat house in a location that will give it the proper amount of sunlight to allow the bat house to retain the heat needed to keep your bats comfortable.
If the July high temperature in your area averages 80 degrees F or less, make sure to position your bat house in a location that gets it at least 10 hours of direct sunlight each day. For areas with July high temperatures of 80 to 100 degrees F, position your bat house to get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. In this case, more is always better!
Use the color of your bat house to your advantage! Darker colors keeps heat for longer periods of time than light colors since lighter colors reflect heat rather than retain it. So to keep the temperature in your bat house higher for longer periods of time after its exposure to direct sunlight, paint or stain it with a darker color finish. The darker the color, the longer it will retain heat.
While there is a 1-to-1 relationship in the placement of your bat house and the occupancy rate of it, we highly encourage you read some MORE tips on how to attract bats to your bat house.