Want Bats?

A common question I receive, for those who understand the benefits of bats, is How Do I Attract Bats?

Here are some ideas for How To Attract Bats;

1 - Put up a bat house.  

2 - Put the bat house on the side of a building as high as you can get it.  The heat from the building transfers to the bat house later in the day, keeping the bats nice and warm.  Most people won't do this because of unfounded fear of bats so another option is to erect the bat house on a 4 x 6 beam or equivalent sized pole.  When placing the bat house on a beam or pole, try to get the bat house as high as you can so as to be in the normal flight path of bats and to protect from predators.  The bat house should face South or South East to ensure it receives at least 8 hours of direct sunlight.  Ensure there is a clear flight path in front of the bat house, of at least 10 feet, to allow for easy entry and exit

(note; trees are NOT a good idea for fastening bat houses to as trees move too much, they shadow the bat house, the trees fall down and also, as the tree grows, the lag screws pull away from the bat house and it falls to the ground). 

2 - Protect trees and snags  (especially old hallow trees as bats will use these hallows as a natural roost).  

3 - Protect vegetation along streams, rivers, and lakes and replant those areas that have been degraded. 

4 - To turn your garden into a bat magnet, start by enticing night-flying insects with plants that bloom both day and night; choose bittercress, four-o'clock, fireweed, goldenrod, phlox, wild Sweet william, bachelor's buttons, and cardinal flower, as well as
aromatic herbs like lavender, spearmint, thyme, and sage; arrange plantings in
clumps to concentrate food sources.  

5 - Install a light approximately 10 feet up, in your garden; leave it on at dusk to encourage moths and other night-flying insects and, consequently, foraging bats (mercury vapour lights are particularly alluring to insects).  

6 - Build a shallow pond that appeals to caddis flies and other insects that start life in freshwater and emerge as adults. 

7 - Plant leafy deciduous and thick coniferous trees, such as elms, maples, spruce, and pines, for hoary, red, and other foliage-roosting bats. 

Please note that relocating bats from one area to another is futile.  Relocated bats will attempt to return to the area they were taken from.