Bats have been linked to vampires, Halloween, and other spooks for their wings, beady eyes, and sharp fangs. You can find them all over the world, except in the polar regions and areas with extremely cold climates. If you’ve been having mosquito or pest problems, installing a bat house is one of the most effective ways to keep those critters off of your property.
To install a bat house, your structure should be 12-20 feet off the ground, placed in an area that receives 2-8 hours of sunlight every day, and near a water source. Make sure your bat house faces southeast or southwest and is at least 20-30 feet away from the tree line.
In this article, we will discuss bat houses and the benefits of having one on your property. We will also be laying the installation guide to help you take on a successful bat house project.
Things to Know When Building a Bat House
Building a bat house may be on your mind if you’ve been having mosquito or pest problems, as bat houses are some of the most effective ways to keep mosquitoes at bay. For a bat house to operate, it must be installed properly. Unfortunately, people tend to make some mistakes. Many low-cost bat houses don’t come with any recommendations on where to install a bat house in your yard.
When planning your bat house installation, you must keep a few things in mind.
1. Bat houses must be near a water source
You should have a natural water supply within 1,500 feet of your property. If you do, there’s a good chance you’ll attract a lot more bats than expected. You’re in luck if you do have natural water sources like streams, lakes, ponds, and creeks for they are beneficial to bats.
Try to get the bat box as close to the water source as possible. Although, it has to be at least 25-50 feet away from the coast. Remember you have to build or buy a bat house that is big enough to accommodate the bats. Bats congregate around bodies of water to build colonies. As a result, you’ll have a good chance of filling the bat house with 200 or more bats.
If you don’t have a natural water source within 1,500 feet, it’s fine. You can still attract a large number of bats by trying a different approach. You will need to purchase 1-3 bachelor bat cages. These smaller cages may hold up to 20 bachelor bats at a time.
This means that a colony will not grow surrounding your property, but with these sorts of bat boxes, you may still have over 60 bats residing on your property. That’s more than enough bats to get rid of your mosquito problem altogether.
Make sure you have some form of artificial water supply close to the dwellings to draw bachelor bats. Both koi ponds and birdbaths are a good choice of water supply.
2. Bat houses must be set at a specific height
A bat house should be located 12-20 feet off the ground in most cases. Bats prefer to be away from other animals and people, particularly predators, such as cats. The majority find that putting their bat house on two 20-inch poles is suitable. When it comes to deciding where to install a bat house in your yard, using posts gives you a lot of options. If you do things well, this flexibility usually results in more bats.
3. Bat houses must be away from tree branches
The location of your bat house is influenced by the presence of trees. Indeed, bat houses must be set back at least 20-30 feet from any tree line. Why? Bats do not like being near tree limbs or branches. This is a perfect reason for predators to munch and feed on bats.
If you have a tree line rather than just a few trees, set the boxes around 20 feet ahead of the tree line, as close to a water supply as possible.
4. Bat houses must be located in full sunlight
Bats, especially at night, require a lot of heat to survive. Hundreds of bats roost in a single house to allow their body heat to keep them comfortable together. So, make sure your bat house faces southeast or southwest to attract more bats. A bat house facing these directions will receive 2-8 hours of sunlight per day.
In this way, the bat house will warm up to an optimal temperature for bats when the sun shines on them. A heated bat house will also attract mom bats eager to start a family. Female bats will not build their nests in areas that are too chilly for them.
One signs that prove the beauty and hospitality of your backyard is the presence of wild animals. From small insect such as bees and butterflies to birds to even bigger mammals, the presence of these creatures in your backyard is truly a sight to see. To increase the chances of these sightings, here are 5 ways to attract wildlife to your backyard.
Benefits of Having a Bat House
Bats have over 1,100 species worldwide, with 40 species found in the United States alone. Despite their small size, they have a huge ecological impact, accounting for one-quarter of all mammals on the planet.
They mate in the late summer or fall, and the pups are born the following summer. Bats use echolocation to find their way in the dark, which is what causes them to suddenly change direction if you move onto their path.
Bats are usually found in caves during winter, but in the summer, when they raise their babies, they live in trees, under bridges, and in buildings. However, large urbanized areas make it extremely difficult for bats to live and navigate. That’s why you may end up with a colony nesting in the eaves of your house or other structures. The largest urban bat colony in North America, 1.5 million at the summer peak, lives under the Congress Bridge in Austin, Texas.
Getting engaged in bat conservation and helping these endangered species by building a bat house is a fantastic way to help with this movement. Your bat house’s design is determined by the tools, wood, and building supplies you have on hand, as well as your talents and money.
Putting up an artificial roost, such as a bat house, is one of the finest methods to help with bat preservation. Bat houses may be very valuable in providing secure roost areas for bats, especially since bat populations have declined dramatically.
Bats serve humans and the environment in various ways. Here are some of the benefits of having a bat house on your property:
- Bat houses offer an alternate roosting habitat for bats that are unable to enter buildings. As a result, the chances of humans coming into touch with bats will be reduced.
- Installing a bat house on your property may protect your yard from nuisance insects, such as mosquitoes, moths, and beetles, while also providing a safe home for bats.
- Bat houses provide a secure, warm environment for female bats to rear their offspring. Bat populations increase slowly because most female bats only produce one pup every year.
- Bats are also finding it more difficult to find natural roost locations to rear their young as a result of habitat loss and degradation. You may offer a secure habitat for bat moms and their pups by installing a bat house on your property.
- Installing a bat house in your yard offers bats a haven that is free of white-nose disease. Because there are more bats, fewer pesticides are needed, resulting in fewer chemicals being discharged into the environment.
- Bats are the primary pollinators of the night. They can actively assist your garden flourish in the nighttime while bees take care of the day shift. As bats are nocturnal creatures, the majority of their job is completed in the evening.
- After devouring fruits and nectar, bats disperse seeds. The seeds wind up in new regions because they are in their excrement, and flying animals frequently defecate while in the air. This aids in the spread of plants to broad, open regions that were previously devoid of vegetation.
- Bat feces are surprisingly popular and crucial. Guano is known as bat poop and is an outstanding source of fertilizer. Many gardeners use it as much as possible since it has the perfect nutritional ratio for plant development.
Many people have become bat conservationists because bats play such an important part in our ecosystem. Many nature lovers support the movement that heeds to save bats against human and natural phenomena as bats are frequently depicted in the media as dangerous creatures.
By erecting a bat house, you can provide a secure haven for these animals to live and reproduce. With all of today’s natural habitats being destroyed, these kinds of structures are critical for these animals.
If your bat house meets all of the criteria listed above, then putting one up in your backyard isn’t a terrible idea. Most houses, on the other hand, aren’t well-positioned to attract bats. As a result, additional considerations should be taken care of and prioritized.
Bat houses that are poorly planned, constructed, or placed are not ideal for bats to utilize as nesting sites and will not attract them. For the best chance of success, whether you’re building or buying a bat house, seek the latest designs and builds. Also, remember the information that we shared in this article to make sure that your bat house will be a haven for these creatures of the night.