How to Attract Bats: Your Go-To Guide
If you’re curious about how to attract bats, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to save the bats or have these pesky mosquito eaters take care of your insect problem, we’ve got you covered.
At Big Bat Box, attracting bats is what we do. After studying these flying mammals for awhile now, we set out to create the premier bat house on the market. And what does a bat house need to succeed? Bats.
We had to build a bat box designed to attract bats. Our whole design goal revolved around one question...how to attract bats. And figuring out what attracts these unique animals is exactly what we found out.
How to Attract Bats: Your Go-To Guide
So let’s dive in. Let’s find out exactly how to attract bats. No if, ands, or buts. To keep things as simple as possible, we will discuss the three main ways of attracting bats to your yard or property:
- A Bat House(s)
- Native Plants & Gardens
- Adding Water
These are the only two true ways to attract more bats to your home, and hopefully - eliminate your mosquito problem once and for all.
Install a Bat House(s)
For most property owners and bat conservationists looking to attract more flying mammals, bat houses provide the perfect solution. The small homes provide housing for up to 200 bats at one time and give you the best chance to save the bats.
Many a property owner simply buys a bat house and throws it up without any careful planning whatsoever. This is not the way to go about things if you want to attract more bats. In fact, this is entirely wrong.
With carefully planning, you’ll have more bats on your property than you could ever imagine. If you don’t plan well, you won’t attract any bats with one of these houses.
Luckily, we did all the research for you. If you’re willing to invest in a bat house, then we can show you exactly how to set it up properly, what size house you need, and more. So let’s take a look.
- Step One: Water & the Right Size Bat House
Bat houses attract one of two things. Either, you’ll attract a colony of bats filled with males, females, and babies. Or you’ll attract a bunch of bachelor bats.
The type of bat you’ll attract will determine which type of bat house you should buy. The type of bat house you should buy will be determined by your location. Specifically, how close your property is to water?
Ideally, your home is less than a half-mile from a natural body of water. Water attracts bats, especially females, who prefer to only leave the nest briefly. As such, female bats won’t lay a nest further than a half-mile from water. While half-a-mile is doable, being 1/4th a mile away is preferable.
If you’re close to a body of water, you can purchase a big bat box. When females nest, the males always follow and so do the baby bats. This means a colony can form in your bat house. If a colony forms, you could have up to 200 bats living in your bat home.
If you don’t live near a body of water, then the chances of a colony forming in your bat house aren’t likely. In fact, we’ve yet to see it happen. But don’t worry! You can still attract bats and get rid of your mosquito problem.
How? By installing bachelor bat boxes instead of on big bat house. See, male bats aren’t as concerned with living near water until they have a “bat family” living together. As such, male bats will go where there’s shelter and bugs.
If you already have mosquitoes, all you need is the bat shelter now. That’s where bachelor bat houses come into play. By properly positioning 2-3 bachelor bat houses on your property, you can attract tons of mosquito-eating bats to your home.
Bachelor boxes provide housing for up to 20 bats per box. By installing a couple of them in proper positions, you’ll be able to control your insect problem once and for all.
- Step Two: Where to Place Your Bat House
When attracting bats is of concern, the placement of the bat house is a big deal. Without proper placement, you simply won’t attract any bats. Luckily, putting your Big Bat Box in the right area isn’t too tough.
First, you’ll want to place the house high above the ground. A minimum of 6’ is required. However, we’ve found greater success placing the bat house around 15-20’ off of the ground. Just make sure to not attach the house to a tree. This will make bats more susceptible to predators. Not a good thing when how to attract bats is on the mind.
Next, the box will need around 4-8 hours of natural sunlight each day. Bats need heat to raise their young, so bat mamas will only put a colony in a bat house that has a lot of natural light from the sun to keep things warm. Also, make sure to not place your bat house near a street light, as bats simply don’t like them.
- Step Three: Timing
We’ve found that bat house tend to get occupied quicker in the spring. While placing the bat house out in fall or winter still offer opportunity for some bats, most colonies tend to form in the spring and early-summer months.
Try to mount your Big Bat Box between March and June/early July. During these times, you’ll find more bats willing to change homes. Once the weather gets too cold, bats don’t look to do much until spring rolls around.
- Step Four: Paint Color
Paint color can attract bats due to the paint’s ability to absorb or deflect heat. What does this mean? In hot area, you’ll want to paint the bat house a lighter hue. In cooler area, painting the house a darker cooler will keep it warmer and attract more bats.
Lastly, do not paint inside the bat house at all. Bats prefer a natural, rougher surface to hang from and relax. Paint inside a bat house disrupts this ambiance.
Native Plants & Gardens
Now, bat houses aren’t the only ways to attract bats to your property. There’s another interesting way to do just that. Planting native plants and gardens can attract bats almost as well as a bat house.
The easiest way to do this is build a big garden full of native plants on your property. Native plants attract more insects than one could ever imagine. Insects attract bats. However, there’s more to the story.
Plants like fruits and vegetables also attract a different kind of bat - a bat that eats fruits. See, certain bat species eat fruits and vegetables along with their daily insect intake. By planting a garden, you’re also attracting these flying mammals, too.
Lastly, you can add a water source to your property in an effort to attract bats. Do note - a man-made water source won’t increase your appeal for colonies of bats unless it is fairly large. Small water sources tend to attract bachelor bats.
Your best bet is creating an artificial pond or adding a large birdbath. Both these water sources will drastically increase the appeal of your property for bachelor bats.
How to Attract Bats: Everything YOU Need to Know
Everything you need to know about attracting bats can be found above. By following the guidelines presented, you’ll be able to fill a full Big Bat Box or a few bachelor bat houses with mosquito-eating bats.
One final note: filling a bat house can take over a year. If you haven’t seen bats move into your bat house within two years, moving the location or changing placement would be ideal.