There are many reasons for wanting bats in your backyard. Whether it’s to benefit from their pollination services, pest control, or you just simply enjoy their nightly displays of aerial acrobatics, consider these tips for attracting bats to your backyard!
For many species of bats, dead trees provide a prime roosting location. The narrow, rough space between the bark and the wood provides an ideal space for a bat (or a few) to squeeze in nice and tight. If a dead tree does not pose a safety concern, consider leaving it in your yard to provide protected refuge for bats and the insects they eat.
Dead tree not an option? Give the bats the next best thing – a bat house to mimic the space and habitat that a dead tree would normally provide.
Building your own bat house is a great way to get involved in bat conservation. Community Bat Programs of B.C. has designs for three different types of roosts freely available on their website; single chamber, four-chamber, and rocket boxes.
Check out their website here for blueprints, and additional tips and tricks for building your own bat house.
Opting to buy a house instead? Call us at 250-767-2455, visit us at the Peachland Visitor Centre at 5684 Beach Avenue, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org order one!
It's also important to keep in mind that although we have developed the best model of bat house we can, it's ultimately up to the bats as to if they want to roost in your bat house! Also, even though these tips are based on years of experimentation, please don’t feel you can’t have a bat house if your conditions are not exactly like the ones we suggest.
1. Where should I place my bat house?
Bats prefer roosts mounted on buildings or other large wooden or concrete structures to those mounted on poles or on trees (not recommended). But pole mounts work well in climates that are moderate to hot, without extreme variance between day and night temperatures.
Bat houses should receive at least six hours of daily sun exposure.
2. How many should I install?
If more than one roost is desired, begin by testing a few in different places. You can mount them next to each other on a building, painted or stained different colours, or on poles back-to-back, a light one facing north and a darker one south. Bats are more likely to move into roosts grouped three or more together.
3. How high should the house be?
Best siting is 20’-30’ from the nearest trees and at least 10’ (from the bottom of the roost)—12’-20’ is better—above ground (or above the tallest vegetation beneath the bat house). Locations nearest an area’s largest water sources are the most successful—preferably ¼ mile or less.
4. Keep Fluffy Indoors
We all love our furry feline friends, but cat attacks are one of the most common causes of bat casualties. Keep your cat indoors at night, especially during the summer months when the mothers are raising their pups. If you are unable to keep your cat inside all night, bring it in about half an hour before sunset until an hour after sunset, as this is when bats are most active. If your cat has found a bat, he/she may have learned where the roost is and will return, which will place the entire colony at risk.