Installing a Bat House
Preparing the House
The most critical dimension is the ¾” width of the entry space. All inner surfaces must be roughened to permit bats to climb on them with ease. Rough outside surfaces are also preferred. Since daytime temperatures in the bat house must be very hot—about 80–90°F—you may wish to paint the bat house black so it will absorb heat from the sunlight.
Placing the House
The placement of your bat house will play a major role in its success. For example, the more exposure to sun, the better success you’ll have securing occupants. Ensuring the bat house faces east to get the morning sun is a good start, but ideally sun exposure should extend beyond the morning hours. The most successful bat houses at Como Zoo and Carver Park are mounted on a pole about 20 feet up, with full exposure to the sun all day.
Bat houses should be placed on buildings such as the side of a house or garage or they can be mounted to a pole—studies have shown that bat houses placed on trees are less likely to be occupied. The houses should be free of obstructions with at least 20′ of open space to allow the bats to locate the house and easily fly in and out. Mount the bat house at least 15′ high to keep predators out. The higher the house is placed, the greater your chance of attracting bats.