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How to Get More Bats in Your Bat House - GUARANTEED

Photo by Will Mu

So, you want to get some bats on your property? Are you looking to control mosquitoes and enjoy outdoor living, again?

Then you’ve come to the right place. At Big Bat Box, we’re all about attracting more bats to your property, conserving the species, and ultimately, controlling pests and mosquitoes on your property.

Enough with the small talks, let’s dive in and find out how to attract more bats in five simple steps…

First and Foremost

If you already have bats living on your property, your chances of them moving into the bat box are very good. In fact, unless you royally screw something up, your bats will be instantly attracted to the Big Bat Box.

That’s the good news. There’s some bad news, too. Well, it’s not bad news, it’s just reality. If you don’t have bats on your property, we’ll have to take a few extra steps to attract them. While it’s not guarantee, we’ve had great success doing so.

Just look at one of our prior customers had to say…

“I bought a bat house in 2015 from Big Bat Box. This is the third summer the house has been up now, and we finally have bats! My husband saw the bat guano underneath the house when he was up on the roof a few weeks ago cleaning the gutters. I’m not exactly sure what we have, but based on the size of flying bats we’ve seen, I’m guessing they’re little brown bats.

We live on the south side of the Big Thompson River, just west of Estes Park, at the foot of Giant Track Mountain close to the Beaver Meadows entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. I’d say we’re about 200 yards from the river. We’re on the north slope of the mountain, so it’s cooler here and gets less sun. The bat house is mounted on the east side of our house. Our elevation here is about 7,800 ft.

The Big Bat Box is the best-constructed bat house I’ve ever seen, and I know a little about bat houses since we sold them for years at a retail store we used to have. I was also impressed with the map showing what exterior color one should request based on where one lives. As the new owner, I think you have a great company.

We tried for years, beginning nearly 30 years ago, to get bats in various locations in Colorado. This is the first time we’ve ever had success. It may be the location, but I also think it’s the Big Bat Box.”

One More Thing

Before we dive into attract bats 101, we need to discuss the difference between a colony of bats and bachelor bats.

Bachelor bats are just that, a few male bats that take up residence on your property. Where as a colony of bats is a fancy way of saying a family. It’s where the female bats raise her pups. This is ideal, as you will have whole team of bats cleaning up on your bugs.

Below we’ll will discuss exactly what it takes to get a colony of bats. Even if a colony isn’t popular where you live, you may still have a very good chance of getting batchelor bats, which is great.

Why? Because bachelor bats have huge appetites for mosquitoes, too!

How Likely Are You to Get Bats?

Now we’re getting to the good stuff - how to attract more bats! A study done by Bat Conservation International has found that these five factors determine is you attract bats or not. In fact, your success rate of attracting bats will be between 83% and 92% based on which factors you hit and where you miss the mark.

In layman’s terms, that means the closer you fall within the guidelines or each category, the higher likelihood your mosquito issues will disappear overnight.

Here are the top five things that successfully attract bats - in no particular order:

  • Quarter of a mile or less from a stream or river, or a lake.
  • Located in areas with mixed agriculture (including orchards).
  • Two or more hours of daily sun, directly on the box.
  • Higher a bat house is located, off the ground, the greater the occupancy success.
  • Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation -Certified bat box painted the right color.

  • If you have all five conditions on your property, then congratulations. You have a 83-92% chance of successfully attracting a colony of bats. However, if you meet all five conditions above to a “T” - we found the success rate to be nearly 100%.

    Now, let's look at each of the five points in detail:

    Are You Close to a Body of Water?

    Nursery bat houses, which are capable of supporting hundreds of bats, need to be close to water. This is because the female bats do not like to be away from their flightless newborn pups for much time. The adult bats drink by skimming water into their mouth as they fly low over a body of water. The water source can be a lake, pond, or a stream that is several feet wide.

    Nursery bat houses that are within a quarter mile of a water source have the greatest potential for success. If you do not live near a body of water, you can still have bats, it is simply less likely that you will have a colony of bats.

    In these situations, we recommend buying our batchelor bat box, a smaller and inexpensive box to house the few batchelor bats that are normally be found in areas more than a half-mile from a body of water.

    Is There Mixed Agriculture Around, Including Orchards?

    Flowers, fruits, and orchards attract bugs like nobody’s business. You’ll find more bugs around an orchard than you’ll find anywhere else. There’s simply more food for many insects with all the flowers and fruits around.

    Bats know this, too. Bats come to orchards to eat the insects - not the fruit. As such, the biggest draw for many bats is being close to an orchard. These locations ensure a bat will never be far away from one heck of a feast.

    Now, not everyone can live near an orchard. There just aren’t that many orchards out there. So what can you do? Plant a few few trees or maintain a small garden near where you want to keep the bat box.

    By doing so, you’ll attract a few extra insects to your property, but the extra bats you attract will more than make up for it. This I guarantee!

    Do You Have a Warm Sunny Spot to Put Your Bat Box?

    Bats are small warm-blooded mammals. Because they are so small, they lose a large amount of heat through their skin. They replace this lost energy by eating thousands of mosquitoes and other insects every night. However, in the morning when the bats return home to sleep, their house may be uncomfortably cold.

    They will huddle together to stay warm and yet this alone may not be enough. You can assist them in staying warm by placing your bat house in a location where it will receive the warmth of the sun. Specifically, the bat house should face south or southeast so that it receives the warmth of the sun. From our experience, most people underestimate how much heat a bat house needs.

    It’s almost impossible to overheat a bat house. In fact, it’s much more likely that it’ll not be warm enough.

    How High Up is Your Bat House?

    We’ll keep this one simple. The higher a bat house is located off the ground, the greater the chance of occupancy success.

    Bats use sight to locate their new homes. Generally, a bat is more likely to spot your bat house as being a possible home if it is high up and out in the open.Another reason for placing the bat house higher up is to avoid predators. For example, hawks will often pick off bats as they leave their home. The danger of ambush by hawks may be the reason why bats avoid flying through tree branches.

    Is Your Bat House Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation -Certified & Painted Based on Climate?

    Poorly made bat houses do not attract bats. Remember, it is critical that all of the requirements are fulfilled to assure your best chances of achieving success. All our bat boxes have been Certified by Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation , and are engineered to attract bats. We designed the Big Bat Box based on years of comprehensive study.

    Finding the Ideal Bat House For You

    Now that you understand how to attract bats, it’s time to be honest with yourself and the situation. You need to decide what type of bats are best for your need:

  • Can I attract a colony of bats?
  • Or should I settle for a few bachelor bats?

  • After reading through the above list, you should have a good idea about the chances you’ll get a colony of bats, or if you should settle for bachelor bats.

    From our experience, the defining factor is if you live within ½ mi of a body of water, river, or stream. If you do not live that close to water but live in a predominantly agricultural area you may still have a fair chance of getting a colony of bats.

    If you don’t have either of these, you may want to settle for trying for bachelor bats. Bachelor bats still eat a ton of mosquitoes, too. Don’t be upset. Your pest problem can still be solved by bats.

    We just want to be honest and upfront with everyone. Most people will have some level of control over points 3-5, but will have little control whether they live near water or in an agricultural area.

    The Overall Verdict: Attracting Bats Using a Big Bat Box

    If you feel good about your chances of getting a colony of bats you can get our Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation -Certified large nursery Bat Box here.