5 key qualities of a successful bat box

February 17 2022 – Harrison Broadhurst

You may know that not all bat houses are created equal; They come in a range of shapes, styles, and sizes. So how do you know which bat house the bats will love?

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Unfortunately, most of the bat houses on the market are not designed well for the animal. Bat expert Dr. Merlin Tuttle reports that close to two-thirds of bat houses on the market are poorly designed and constructed, or are sold with inadequate instructions, making them unlikely to succeed.  

Make sure your bat house has the following features to help ensure it will be an ideal sanctuary for the bats:

HERE ARE 5 KEY FACTORS OF A GREAT BAT HOUSE, AS DEFINED BY BAT EXPERTS:

1) TALL CHAMBERS

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The size of your bat house does a lot more than determine how many bats can fit inside.

TALLER BAT HOUSES HELP PROVIDE A RANGE OF TEMPERATURES THAT ARE NEEDED BY THE BATS.

As the sun hits the bat house, the warm air rises and is caught at the top of the bat house, increasing the temperature. The lower area of the bat house on the other hand, especially below vents, remains cool.

The temperature gradient created in tall bat houses permits bats to better regulate their body heat by adjusting their position on hot versus cool days.

Tall bat house chambers allows for the bats to better regulate their body heat

Tall bat house chambers allows for the bats to better regulate their body heat

 

2) BETTER GRIP

Bat House Grips should mimic bats’ natural habitat: tree bark

Bat House Grips should mimic bats’ natural habitat: tree bark

MACHINE CUT ROUGH WOODEN GROVES CREATE A DURABLE & EFFECTIVE GRIP FOR BATS THAT MIMICS THEIR NATURAL HABITAT: ROUGH WOOD AND TREE BARK.

These grips are not in any way dangerous to the inhabitat.

Avoid bat houses that have stapled plastic mesh grips, as the stapes can protrude into the chambers and harm the bats. 

Plastic mesh griping on bat boxes is not ideal for bats

Plastic mesh griping on bat boxes is not ideal for bats

3) EFFECTIVE VENTILATION

It is important that your bat house has vents near the base to allow for more airflow.

VENTS ALLOW BATS TO ESCAPE EXTRA HIGH TEMPERATURES AND THUS AVOID OVERHEATING ON WARM DAYS.

4) THOROUGH SEALANT APPLICATION

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WITHOUT SEALANT TO FILL CRACKS, INSULATIVE PROPERTIES ARE VASTLY DETERIORATED AND MOISTURE SEEPS IN.

To avoid this, your bat house should have all joints sealed with residential construction-grade, water-proof silicone so the inhabitants can stay warm and dry.

5) HIGH QUALITY LUMBER

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Bats will typically return to a bat house year after year, so it’s important that the wood used will not deteriorate over time.

Pine is a soft wood and should generally be avoided.

Ideally you should use sustainably sourced, Western Red Cedar that has natural bug and moisture-resistant properties. This will keep the bats safe and happy for years to come.

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POOR-QUALITY BAT HOUSE ARE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE FOR BAT CONSERVATION

Why is it so important to pay attention to the quality of your bat house? Dr. Merlin Tuttle who has over 60 years of experience researching and educating people about bats explains why:

 

“Seeing well intended people disappointed by cheap, “imitation” bat houses troubles me greatly. It gives good conservation a bad name. The BatBnB line of houses is the first to be developed for mass sale that meets all my personal criteria. I have been involved in the design and construction of these houses from the beginning and am happy to endorse them as unsurpassed in meeting bat needs, resisting deterioration, and still looking great.”

— MERLIN TUTTLE // MERLIN TUTTLE'S BAT CONSERVATION

 

BatBnBs are high quality, sturdy, maintenance free, and last for years. 

ONCE BATS FIND YOUR BAT HOUSE, THEY WILL TYPICALLY RETURN TO IT YEAR AFTER YEAR. 

By putting up a BatBnB, you will be providing real conservation help to these, misunderstood species that need our help now more than ever.

 

Get your bat house sanctuary today!

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