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Bat House Basics

One of the best ways to control insects is by adding a bat house to your area. To ensure the house is right for you, first check the design and size. According to research, larger bat houses that accommodate 100 to 300 bats, often called nursery houses, tend to have higher occupancy rates than the smaller houses. All landing areas and partition surfaces should be rough, so bats can easily grip the area. Look for homes with vents if your average July temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit.


Habitat.
Your bat house should be placed within 1/4 mile of a natural water source such as a stream, river, or lake. Bats tend to fly along forest or water edges, and bat houses located in these areas tend to be found more quickly than those in other locations.


Placement.
Bat houses may be placed on trees, poles, or buildings. Boxes mounted on poles or buildings tend to have a higher occupancy than those mounted on trees. For mounting on buildings, wood or stone buildings are best, and your bat house should be mounted under the eaves with some sun exposure. You should mount your house 15-20 feet above the ground, away from any streetlights or other light sources at night. It should also not be placed in a brightly lit area.


Sun Exposure.
You should place your bat house where it will receive at least six hours of sun if you live in a region where average July temperatures range from 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a region where average July temperature are less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you should mount your bat house where it will receive at least 10 hours of sun daily.


Timing.
You may mount your box at any time of the year. Bat houses mounted in the spring are often occupied more quickly than those placed at other times. If you are evicting a colony of bats from a building, a box should be mounted several weeks prior to the eviction.