According to our expert Merlin Tuttle, any bat that moves into a bat house in your yard will already have inspected your house and found it unsuited for use. If your house was good for bats, they’d likely already be there. Since bats are wild animals, there’s never a way to guarantee how they will behave. That said, many exclusion professionals will recommend that a well-placed bat house on the exterior of the location in-question will encourage bats to choose the bat house next time they return from hibernation. This works best when the exclusion professional has built in a one-way exit to your barn/attic so that the bats are forced to find a new home. With a BatBnB nearby they’ll be very likely to take up residence there rather than try to sneak back into a building.
If you place your bat house according to instructions, occupants are unlikely to be caught by cats as it will be too high up for them. Dogs will have as much as interest in guano as they do any bird poop and are very unlikely to ever interact with a bat. We recommend that all your animals be vaccinated for rabies, as is common practice. If your house pet ever brings a bat into the house, call animal control to properly care for or safely dispose of the animal. Never handle the bat yourself.
As soon as winter is over, bats are out and about looking for a place to live and raise their families. With the decades of research-backed bat house improvements that every BatBnB has built in, and as long as all of the proper placement tips are followed accurately, Merlin Tuttle estimates BatBnBs to achieve close to a 90% success rate in occupancy. Some researchers tracking bats have documented bat houses being populated as soon as 24 hours after being put up. BatBnB does not guarantee your unit will get occupied but will offer detailed guides on maximizing your chances for occupancy. We've already had reports from several customers who had bats move in to their unit in less than a month after putting it up! Other times it can take a few seasons for the bats to find their way there. The best part is that once your friendly neighborhood bug-catchers have moved in, they are very likely to return year after year. If you have met all requirements for ideal placement and your BatBnB has still not been occupied after two or three seasons, try moving the unit to another location. Bats are wild animals who will do as they please, so we cannot guarantee that your unit will become occupied, but with the level of research, quality and effort put towards our designs, you won’t find a bat house on the market with better odds of occupancy than ours.
Most high-quality bat houses are occupied within a few months to a year. I would re-evaluate the appropriateness of the location if after two years your bat houses still haven’t been occupied. Some of the most successful houses that Merlin Tuttle has observed took 12-18 months to be occupied. There was one that was on a shaded side of a building went unused for five years. But when moved to a sunny spot just 50 feet away on the same building, it attracted more than it could hold in just a few months. Some were actually hanging out the bottom or clinging to the outside, apparently desperate to stay with their colony. Always feel free to email us photos of your BatBnB and we can give you an evaluation on the location you’ve selected. Location is key!
Once you’ve found a suitable location, first dig a hole 3 feet to 4 feet deep with a shovel, post-hole digger, or an auger.
Attach your BatBnB to the pole, before erecting the pole. You can find mounting guidelines for your BatBnB in the included booklet or www.batbnb.com/hanging-guide.
We like to put a few inches of gravel in the hole to drain water away from the pole and help prolong the life of the pole.
Raise the pole while inserting into the hole (this may require the help of a friend).
Use a level to make sure the pole is straight.
Fill around the pole using cement, gravel, dirt, or a combination of them (you can find many guides for setting poles with the materials you’d prefer to use by simply searching online).
We recommend adding small amounts of fill at a time and periodically checking the levelness of the pole as you go.
Check out our Hanging Guide for details. BatBnBs should ideally be placed 15-20 feet from the ground on a wall, shed, barn, or post that receives 6-7+ hours of direct sunlight each day. Keep them away from areas with heavy foot traffic, and make sure the guano can fall into a low traffic, non-edible garden bed or lawn where it won't disturb you or anyone in your family -- the plants will love the natural fertilizer! Trees are almost never a viable option, they should always be a last resort as they often house predators and can obstruct necessary sunlight. If you must choose a tree, make sure it’s 15 feet or more away from the nearest branch, and that it still receives the necessary sunlight.