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Where to put your Bat House

Recommended Best Practices For Bat House Installation in Our Region

Bat houses should be placed as high up as possible, at least 12 feet (4 meters), in an open area that gets plenty of sun, south or south‐east facing, and without clutter of trees, buildings, or other objects nearby. They can be mounted on the sides of buildings such as houses, barns, sheds, or garages, or on a metal pole or wooden post.  Bat houses mounted on trees or metal siding are seldom used.

If you would like some assistance with deciding where to put your bat house or to install your bat house, please contact us and we will come to your home to assist you if we are able to.

Please follow these best practices for bat house installation:

Sun Exposure

Temperature is one of the controlling factors of a successful bat house. Houses should be placed to be south or south-east facing and should receive at least 10 hours of sunlight; the more sun the better.

Height

It is best to place your bat house as high up as possible, away from the reach of cats and other predators.  All bat houses should be mounted at least 12 feet (4 meters) above ground; 17-20 feet (5-6m) is best.

Cover

Ideally, there should be cover over the bat-house to protect from rain and the elements.  However, the entrance should be uncluttered so the bats can easily fly into the house.  Ideally, bat houses should be placed at least 20-23 feet (6-7 meters) from branches, wires or other clutter so that bats can easily fly in and are free from aerial predators.

Protection from Predators

Houses mounted on sides of buildings or on metal poles provide the best protection from predators.  Maintain an uncluttered entrance around the bat house.  Metal predator guards may be helpful, especially on wooden poles, to prevent predator attack.  Bat houses should not be lit by bright lights.

Location

Most nursery colonies of bats choose roosts within 400 m of water, preferably a stream, river or lake. Greatest bat house success has been achieved in areas of diverse habitat, especially where there is a mixture of varied agricultural use and natural vegetation.  Bats may find houses more quickly if the houses are situated along forest or water edges where bats tend to fly.

Timing of Installation

Bat houses can be installed at any time of the year, but are more likely to be used during their first summer if installed before the bats return in spring.  When using bat houses in conjunction with excluding a colony from a building, install the bat houses at least two to six weeks before the actual eviction.

Mounting

On Buildings

Wood or stone buildings with proper solar exposure are excellent choices, and locations under the eaves often have been successful.  If you choose a simple single-chamber bat house, it must be mounted on a heated building.

Click here for detailed information about installing a bat house on a building

On Poles

Bat houses are very successful when they are mounted on poles or posts in an open area.  Posts should be at least 20 feet long (so with 4 feet buried in the ground, that would be 16 feet high).  Metal poles can be used or wooden posts with the bottoms treated and/or in cement.

Mounting two bat houses back to back on poles is ideal.  Place houses ¾ inch apart and cover both with a galvanized metal roof to protect the center roosting space from rain.

It is essential that you determine where underground gas lines are before you dig.  For information, please  call Fortis BC ONE CALL at 1-800-474-6886 to request underground line information.

Once bat‐houses are placed on a post, they are very heavy so installation can be challenging.  A work party or small machinery may be required.  Contact us to see if we can help.

Click here for detailed information about installing a bat house on a pole or post

 

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