should I know about bat house design?
What does “certified” mean?
Where should I mount my bat
How much sun does my bat house
Should I paint or stain my bat
When should I mount my bat
What are the benefits of bats?
What about bat conservation?
Will bats harm people, pets, or
Do bats carry rabies?
Do I have bats in my area, and
if so, what types of bats?
How do I attract bats?
Should I use bat guano on or
near my bat house?
When do bats hibernate?
How do I know if I have bats in
my bat house?
Should I clean my bat house?
How do I get bats out of my
What should I know about
bat house design?
You should consider design when
selecting your bat house. All landing areas and
interior surfaces should be rough, such as natural
cedar, to allow bats to easily cling when landing and
roosting. Ventilation gaps are integral to maintaining
suitable bat house temperatures. According to research,
larger bat houses (multi-chamber or "nursery" houses)
have higher occupancy rates than single chamber houses.
Most North American bats prefer to live in large groups,
called colonies, so a house that can hold at least 300
bats is typically recommended. An alternative approach
is to combine a
for the females and their pups, and a
smaller house for the more solitary
males, which can establish larger and more stable bat
does “certified” mean?
Choosing a certified bat house
ensures it is constructed with the best materials and to
the appropriate dimensions. Lone Star Woodcraft bat
houses are handmade in the USA from 100% Western Red
Cedar, and certified by Bat Conservation International’s
Bat Certification Program. Their program is based
on many years of research to determine the most
effective ways to attract bats to your bat house. For
more information, click
should I mount my bat house?
You may place your bat house on a
pole, building or a dead or unbranched portion of a
tree. Bat houses mounted on poles or buildings,
however, tend to have a higher occupancy than those
mounted on trees. When mounting on buildings, wood or
stone buildings are best, and your bat house should be
mounted under the eaves with sun exposure. You should
mount your house 15-20 feet above the ground. Avoid
areas that are brightly lit at night. Placing your bat
house near a water source such as a stream, river, lake,
pool or even birdbath can exponentially increase your
chances of attracting and keeping bats. For more
information on mounting options, visit our
How much sun
does my bat house need?
Depending on the climate where you
live, you should place your bat house as follows:
- If your
average July temperatures are greater than 80°F, mount
your bat house where it will receive at least 6 hours
- If your
average July temperatures are less than 80°F, mount
your bat house where it will receive at least 10 hours
paint or stain my bat house?
While in many cases it is not
necessary to paint or stain a Lone Star Woodcraft bat
house, doing so can sometimes help to maintain optimal
temperatures in cooler/northern climates. Cooler areas,
such as the northern U. S. and Canada, may benefit from
a darker color to help absorb more warmth from the sun.
Never paint or stain inside the bat house or the landing
pad, as the bats need a rough natural surface to hang
from when they are roosting or landing, and this may be
compromised by paint or stain. Also, keep in mind that
cedar will naturally darken in color over time. See our
Region Map for staining/painting
I mount my bat house?
You can mount your bat house at
any time of the year. If you are evicting a colony of
bats from a building, a bat house should be mounted
several weeks prior to the eviction.
the benefits of bats?
General speaking, bats are
important indicators of a healthy environment. Because
bats are sensitive to high pollution and pesticide
levels, they are useful as a warning sign to potential
environmental problems. Further, the effectiveness of
bats in some areas diminishes the need for pesticides
that can harm both the pests and their natural
predators. Some species of bats are also vital
pollinators of many plants.
Bats are also important weapons in
combating insects that are dangerous to humans. With the
increased media coverage of the dangers of West Nile
Virus, many people are looking for effective ways to
prevent the spread of the disease. As most of us are
aware, West Nile Virus is primarily spread through
mosquitoes. Mosquitoes make up a significant portion of
a bat’s diet, and bats cannot contract WNV by eating
infected mosquitoes. Approximately 70% of all bats are
insectivores, including the majority of North American
bats. North American bats primarily feed on night
flying insects, especially mosquitoes. A small bat
can capture more than 1,200 mosquitoes in a single
hour! One of the most effective and environmentally
friendly ways to reduce the mosquito population near
your home is to install a bat house.
Besides mosquitoes, bats can help
control the populations of beetles, moths, and
leafhoppers. Bats that live in our yards, in addition to
eating pests, serve as natural insect repellents. Many
yard pests, especially moths that attack gardens, lawns,
and shrubs, can hear bats from over 100 feet away and
attempt to avoid them by leaving the area!
about bat conservation?
Bats are valuable allies, well
worth protecting. Worldwide, they are primary predators
of vast numbers of insect pests that cost farmers and
foresters billions of dollars annually and spread human
disease. For example, in the United States, Little Brown
Bats often eat mosquitoes and can catch up to 1,200 tiny
insects in an hour. An average-sized colony of Big Brown
Bats can eat enough cucumber beetles to protect farmers
from tens of millions of the beetle's rootworm larva
each summer. Large colonies of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats
eat hundreds of tons of moth pests weekly. Bats play key
roles in keeping a wide variety of insect populations in
balance. Yet, they rank as North America's most rapidly
declining and endangered land mammals. The largest known
cause of decline is exaggerated human fear and
harm people, pets, or birds?
It is important for people to
remember that bats are wild animals. Bats are not
aggressive, and do not intentionally attack people or
other animals. However, they will bite in self-defense
if handled. Caution is always recommended when finding
a dead or injured bat.
Birding enthusiasts should not
worry about competition between bats and birds. Since
bats are nocturnal, they rarely come in contact with
most birds. Also, there is rarely competition for food
since there is not typically a shortage of insects that
are consumed by both bats and insect eating birds, such
as the purple martin.
Many people have serious
misconceptions about bats. Perhaps one of the most
popular of which is the belief that bats are vicious
carriers of rabies. The fact is that bats are actually
quite harmless, and do not exhibit any higher percentage
of rabies infection than any other animal species. In
fact, bats infected with rabies usually do not exhibit
the aggressive behavior that often occurs with rabies
infection in other animals. Rabies infection normally
paralyzes the bat, so do not pick up a bat that may be
lying on the ground without thick protective gloves. If
in doubt, contact your local wildlife control agency.
Do I have
bats in my area, and if so, what types of bats?
Bats are found on every continent
except for Antarctica. They are particularly abundant in
North America, and many people in the United States and
Canada have bats in their backyard without even knowing
Most areas have several different
species of bats. The Big Brown Bat and the Little Brown
Bat are the most abundant bats in the United States.
Other species that may be in your area include the
Pallid Bat and the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat. You can find
out what types of bats reside in your area by sending us
How do I
Putting up a certified bat house
is the first step toward attracting bats. Suitable
housing for bats is rapidly decreasing in many areas, as
many people view them as pests and try to evict them
from buildings. Attracting a colony can take some time.
Some factors to consider include bat house
location/height, bat house temperature, and a water
source nearby. Click here to learn more about
where to mount your bat house.
use bat guano on or near my bat house?
Many people think that by
spreading bat guano on or near their bat house, it will
attract a bat colony. This has not been scientifically
proven, and is generally discouraged because of the risk
of exposure to harmful bacteria that can exist in the
In most of North America, bats
hibernate from late fall until early spring. They often
seek out caves and abandoned mines, and will migrate
from their current homes (buildings, bat houses, etc.)
to warmer, more secure places. Some species, such as
the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat, migrate in the winter to
warmer climates such as Mexico.
Some bats in warmer climates do
not hibernate. Instead, they go into a state of torpor,
or temporary hibernation, if outside temperatures
approach 32°F. Torpor is a state of inactivity in which
the bats stay in their day roosts for extended periods
of time to conserve energy until temperatures begin to
How do I know
if I have bats in my bat house?
One easy way to find out whether
or not your bat house is occupied is to look for bat
guano (bat droppings) under or near the bat house.
Another way is to shine a strong flashlight up into the
house. It is recommended that you only do this once a
week, as frequently disturbing a colony can cause them
to abandon the bat house.
clean my bat house?
Lone Star Woodcraft bat houses
require very little maintenance, and do not require
cleaning. General maintenance, such as removal of any
wasp nests, or restaining/repainting, should be done
when the bats have left for the winter. Over time, your
bat house may require re-caulking to exterior joints to
ensure adequate heat retention and weatherproofing.
do I get bats out of my home?
Merely putting up a bat house will
not lure a bat colony out of a house. Successfully
evicting a bat colony requires a few steps. The first
step is to inspect the inside of the house for small
openings through which bats could enter. All openings
connecting the attic or other roosting areas to inside
living areas should be sealed, although entry places on
the outside of the house should be left open, allowing
bats to exit. At dusk, watch the bats leaving the house
to locate exactly where openings are located. Be sure
to scout all sides of the house as there is often more
than one opening. Entry places should be covered with a
plastic mesh or netting that will allow the bats to exit
by crawling under the mesh, but not re-enter the
house. You should not evict bats during the months of
June, July, or August, because there could be many
younger bats that have not developed their flight
abilities and are dependent on their mothers for food.
Also, remember that you will want to put up a bat house
nearby several weeks before the planned eviction. It is
best to put the bat house in a place nearby where the
bats will become accustomed to it. Click
detailed instructions on bat eviction.
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