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sunspot 06-05-12 10:00 PM

bats & bat houses
Are there any bat experts here?

Our property is home to a small colony of bats. We want them to stay and prosper (and continue eating mosquitoes). To that end I built a pair of bat houses but thus far the bats are ignoring them. The bats disappear in the winter and come back in the spring so I made sure I had the bathouses up in time for their arrival. We've seen them around for a couple of weeks now but the bathouses are vacant. Should I relocate the new houses, wait a season, or ?

RobertSmalls 06-06-12 05:52 AM

I'm no expert, but I'm thinking about building a bathouse myself. One thing I read is that siting is important. Bats want a warm house (in northern latitudes anyway), so one that's facing south and painted black is ideal. Perhaps mounting it on the south-facing wall of a building would make it more attractive?

Daox 06-06-12 08:53 AM

I've also been wanting to do the same. I know we have bats around but I'd like to promote them sticking around and maybe increasing in number. I haven't gotten around to making any houses yet though.

strider3700 06-06-12 11:42 AM

Definitely get them somewhere where they'll get lots of sun. My understanding is the bats can identify a potential home and will find it pretty quickly so if they haven't started to use it in a couple of weeks I'd try moving it somewhere warmer.

Piwoslaw 06-06-12 02:48 PM

I made a bat house about 2 months ago:) Unfortunately, the site where I got blueprints from no longer works:(
The bat house is on the south side of a large tree behind our house, about 4-5 meters high. No occupants yet, though. I've seen a random bat fly over our house every now and then, but it's hard to tell how often they show up since we rarely sit outside after dark (mostly because of mosquitos, which means the bats aren't doing their job!). I read somewhere that bats spend the winter in caves, bunkers, attics, etc., but during the summer look for places closer to feeding grounds. It was implied that they find their summer hangout in the spring and don't move until autumn, but I'm not sure if this is true for all bat species.

sunspot 06-06-12 09:14 PM

Well if they don't move until autumn I guess there's no hurry to move the bat houses. I did put them in a south facing location and painted them flat black to absorb as much heat as possible. They must be really fussy. Bummer...

Higgy 06-07-12 09:01 AM

We were outside the other day and sitting on our back deck (back of the house is facing west), I looked up and I noticed a black fuzzy thing on our house right near the roof line, and I was is that? I shined a flashlight on it because the corner it was in was dark, and it looked fuzzy and I told my wife, that is a bat. And I thought...YES a bat. It was right near dusk, and an hour later it was gone hunting I guess. But it never came back and I'm sad. I want to buy a bat house now and mount it somewhere. Good info here.

SimpleManLance 06-07-12 09:19 PM

i have a bat infestation. about 50+ bats live in my chimney. it is the original 1930 chimney that has a lining in it. it is used for venting my hot water heater. the cap is not quite sealed and they get in-between the cap and the old chimney. the hot water heater keeps them warm so they never find a new home. i would love to build a new home for them but i don't know how to accommodate that many. im scared that if i build a one way valve and get them all out of the chimney then seal it up i will start finding them in the attic or other places where they bother me more.

sunspot 06-07-12 09:49 PM


Originally Posted by SimpleManLance (Post 22342)
the hot water heater keeps them warm so they never find a new home.

So they're holding out for a heater! Crafty little buggers. I must be out of my mind to even think about heating bat houses. My wife was rather shocked at the scale of the undertaking when I built the houses initially. If I add heat she'll have me committed!

basjoos 06-10-12 06:24 AM

The following article is about bat species found in South Carolina and, among other things, discusses what is known about their summer and winter roosting locations. Many of these species are wide spread and might also be native to your location. But as the article states, many bat species simply haven't been well studied. But it should give you an idea of the types of locations that bats would choose to roost in.

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