Successful bat attraction begins with a natural environment that is conducive to bats. A favorable environment and the proper location for mounting a bat house are essential in attracting bats and bat colonies. There are five primary factors to consider before mounting a bat house: when, where, height, sun and water. These factors are the keys to ensure quick habitation for newly mounted bat houses.
When: Bat houses can be mounted any time of year. However, bat houses mounted in the spring are often inhabited more quickly.
Where: Mount bat houses on structures or poles facing southwest. The location should be clear from tree limbs, power lines and other cable assemblies to allow free flight. Ensure that ventilation slots of the bat house are not obstructed.
Height: To effectively attract bats to bat houses, mount the bat house at a height of at least 15 feet, and a maximum of 25 feet.
Sun: Bat houses should be mounted in full sun, except in extremely warm climates. The goal is to maintain a temperature between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit inside the bat house during the summer. An outdoor thermometer may be attached to the structure beside the bat house to monitor changing temperatures.
Water: A water source is necessary within half a mile to a mile of the bat house. The closer a bat house is to a creek, lake, stream or other water source, the better its chances of being inhabited.
Bat waste, or guano, may be something to consider before mounting a bat house near doorways, walkways or other access areas.
Like any wild animal, bats found on the ground may be sick, injured or rabid. Do not risk being bitten; call a local wildlife rehabilitation representative for assistance. Make sure all pets are current with rabies vaccinations.