How and where to mount a bat house or bat box
Wondering how and where to put up your new bat house? Here are some tips.
The cooler the state you live in, the darker you want your bat house. According to studies by BatCon, or Bat Conservation International, Most of the US is able to use a black or darkly stained bat house. The only exception is in Central Texas, Arizona, Southern Californa and the very southern tip of Nevada, where you should use a lighter stain or paint. The reason for the dark color is to absorb heat, so the sun heats up the bat house to a temperature the bats need.
The best place (for the bats) is on a building, near the top, facing the morning sun, so as high on the building as you can get it, facing south-east.
You can also mount your new bat house on a post or pole or even a tree, but the odds of attracting bats will decline.
The construction of the bat house DOES matter. The bat house should be at least 24″ tall, have chambers 20 inches tall and be at least 14 inches wide. The bat house should also have some type of ventilation. We recommend the bat house we build, the three-chambered bat house, which is built to the specifications given by the Organization for Bat Conservation and BATCON, (Bat Conservation International). Looker Bat houses are built to the Organization for Bat Conservation specifications as well. (or OBC)
You will want to put your bat house at least 12-15 feet above ground, the higher, the better.
Put up your bat house withing 1/4 mile of water.
Dark Colored houses- Black or Dark Brown- Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and north-east of Pennsylvania.
Medium colored houses- Dark to light brown or dark grey- Almost the rest of the United States, with the above and below as exceptions.-(Our darkly stained houses are perfectly colored for most of the US.)
Light Colored, or no stain- Central Texas, Southern California and Arizona.
How to put up your new bat house:
Find a spot where the bat house will not be bothered by pets or children. While bats do not all have rabies, they are wild animals and you do not want your dog or children playing with them.
You’ll want a spot where the bat house will catch the morning sun, heating up the house in the morning, while the bats are roosting.
Next…through practice, this has worked the best for us.
4″ X 4″ post, roughly 6-8 feet long, use treated or cedar lumber, or fence post.
2- treated 2X4’s, 12-16 feet long.
Screwdriver/nut driver, 3″ deck screws and bolts to fit through your 4X4 post or wooden 6″ diameter fence post.
How to do it:
set a 4X4 treated post or 6′ diameter fence post into the ground below the frostline, using a level to make sure it is straight.
Set up your 2X4’s on each side of the post, and either clamp them in place or have a friend hold each one there, while you use an auger bit to go through the 2X4’s and the post, you’ll want 2 holes as far apart as you can, but at the same time, the higher the bat house is, the better.
Put a bolt in the lower hole, and just hand tighten it, with 2X4’s on the outside of the 4X4 or post.
Attach your bat house to the opposite sides of the 2X4’s using the decking screws.
Now swing the bat house up, GET HELP! or your bat house will swing over the top and come falling down. Once you have it vertical, use the second bolt to secure it in place and tighten it down.
You could also put the 4X4 into the ground, then add a bag of cement to the footing to ensure stability.