Like us, bats prefer to come home to comfortable temperatures and a house that doesn’t leak. From twelve years of research conducted by Dr. Merlin Tuttle, we’ve learned that bats are most likely to choose houses with:
- sealed joints
- roosting chambers at least twenty inches tall
- painted or stained exteriors, and
- roughened landing and roosting areas
We incorporate all of these preferences and more into each of our bat house models. And with fourteen different bat species climbing into houses across the U.S., you’re likely to have residents if you install your bat house using the recommended guidelines. We now know that bats prefer a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day in all but the hottest climates (see Region 4 on the map
). Houses should be mounted at least ten feet from the ground (preferably 12 feet or higher) and twenty feet from branches or other places a predator might perch. Nursing colonies, which often settle into the multi-chambered houses, are usually established within 1/4 mile of water. Houses erected in areas with a mix of natural vegetation and agricultural use show the greatest success.
Photos above: 1. Base view looking up into chambers, 2. Interior panel with routered grooves for bats to hang from and holes for bats and pups to crawl from chamber to chamber, 3. Multi-chambered house mounted on a home. Multi-chambered houses are thermally stable and can be mounted on wooden posts, steel poles, and sides of homes, barnes or other structures.
Bats prefer roosts mounted on buildings or other large wooden or concrete structures to those mounted on poles. But pole mounts work well in climates that are moderate to hot, as long as the variance between day and night temperatures isn't excessive. Mounting in trees is not recommended. Bats are generally roost-loyal, so you can expect even your migrating families to return year after year.
Along with your order, we’ll send you complimentary copies of installation instructions, the Attracting Bats
flyer, and of course, your Bat House Seal of Approval from Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation. To read more about bat houses, please visit the MTBC website
Build Your Own
If you want to learn more about bat houses, the best resource we have found is The Bat House Builder's Handbook by Merlin D. Tuttle, Mark Kiser, and Selena Kiser. This data-driven, information packed guide distills 12 years of BCI research into useable facts, troubelshooting tips, and even provides detailed plans for building your own!