In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to attract bats to a bat house and to lure them to your yard.
At the mention of bats, most people will freak out, thanks to the thought of all the vampire flicks they’ve seen growing up. Luckily, bats aren’t as bad as the movies have made us believe.
On the contrary, bats can be considered harmless (except when provoked of course), they also have certain benefits to humans. For this reason, more people have embraced the habit of luring bats into their yards.
If you’d love to have some bats keep your company, then keep reading.
Why You Would Want To Attract Bats To Your Yard
If you told someone that you’d love to attract some bats to your yard, they would think you’re crazy, or some spooky kind of person. However, there are valid reasons why you would want to attract bats to your yard.
First of all, North American bats eat up pest insects. They can consume as many as 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour!
You know what this means right? It means a colony of 75 bats can consume as much as 75,000 insects in about an hour. You would agree that natural pest control doesn’t get better than this.
There’s another reason you would want to attract bats to your yard, their droppings are a super-rich nutrient-dense fertilizer. This will help your garden plants thrive.
Now the big question is, how do you attract these beneficial flying mammals to your yard?
I’ll be giving you the right tips to achieve your goal.
Practical Ways To Attract Bats To Your Yard
Bats, just like all living mammals, need water to thrive. You can attract them to your yard by installing sources of clean standing water.
An artificial pond would do just fine. You could also install a birdbath or a fountain to draw the bats in.
The same way it works with birds, it can work with bats too.
Make sure the birdbath you install has enough space by the edges for them to land on and drink. The birdbath should also be easy for the bats to climb out of.
Bats generally don’t stand to drink, but the extra comfort wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Don’t Remove Your Dead Trees
Yes I know, dead trees can be hazardous, but only if they are close to a house, power lines, fences, or areas where people usually frequent. Other than that, you can use them to attract bats.
Bats need a good source of shelter, and old trees can be considered to be a nice “apartment” for them.
Besides hollow trees, abandoned buildings also make a good residence for bats.
The reason bats would love to live in dead trees is because they are mostly abandoned, occupied mainly by the insects they would love to eat. Secondly, the narrow spaces between the barks and the wood itself are adored by bats
Bats do not like to be disturbed when they hibernate, so a dead empty tree provides the privacy they require. If they keep getting disturbed, they would leave, or use up their stored-up fat and reserves and starve it out.
Plant Blooming Flowers
If you have a garden filled with lots of night-blooming flowers, then the bats will naturally be attracted to your yard. This is because such plants attract insects, which are a favorite meal for bats.
This works for both parties. The bats will have a guaranteed meal while helping you get rid of destructive insect pests at the same time.
If you’re not sure which plants bloom well at night, allow me to recommend a few. You can plant datura, evening primrose, moonflower, yucca, matter lilies, night-blooming jessamine, and cleome.
Planting any of the above mentioned, or a combination of a few of them will do. Flagrant is known to attract nocturnal insects, which in turn will attract the bats.
The concept here is simple, attract enough nocturnal insects to your garden, and the insects will attract the bats.
You can Also try scent-releasing flowers to attract bats at night. Soapwort and sweet rocket plants will do the trick.
Use A Lot Of Lights
Having several bright lights around your yard can also be used to attract bats. It is known that several flying and creeping insects are attracted to lights, so having lots of lights will attract the insects, which will then attract the bats.
To avoid being bothered by insect pests, install the lights farther away from the house so the visiting insects would keep their distance.
How To Attract Bats To A Bat House
Install A Bat House
Having a ready-made home for the bats is another great way to attract them to your yard.
The bat house should be made of rough, non-toxic wood, as these are the kinds suitable for them. Cedar and play will do just fine.
The reason you should use rough-surfaced wood to build your bat house is that these kinds are easy for the bats to climb in and out.
If you’re not up for making the bat house yourself, then you can always buy one. Be sure the one you get is BCI certified.
To get the best results from your bat house, make sure they are at least 2 feet tall, a foot wide, and about 3 inches deep. You should also place them about 10 to 15 feet above the ground.
An extra tip here is to place the bat house in an area where it can get enough sunlight, as bats love the warmth. Painting the box black wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Choose The Right Location
Before you install the bat house, make sure you carefully consider the area where you want to place it and how advantageous it would be to your cause of attracting bats.
If you plan it in the wrong position, you will not achieve the desired results and you will have to move the bat house to another location.
Naturally, bats roost inside trees, but they wouldn’t pass up the chance to live in a cost bat house if it is placed high up a pole or on top of a building.
The reason they would take the bat house over a tree is that predators can easily reach them in the trees, but not in the bat house. Another reason they prefer the bat house being on a pole or building rather than the trees is that tree branches can get in their way when they want to get in or get out of the bat-house.
As I mentioned early, positioning the bat house about 20 feet above ground level will increase the chances of the bats occupying the house.
You also need to keep in mind that bats use sight to locate their roosting spots. If the bat house is covered by tree branches, then they will hardly spot it, but if it’s placed on a tall pole or rooftop, visibility would be better.
The spring and early summer seasons are the best times to attract bats to your yard. This is not to say a bat house cannot attract bats in the fall or winter, but you should expect better success in the warmer months.
Keep An Eye Out For Bat Activity
After the bat house has been set up, you need to observe the box to see if bats have moved in or not. Careful monitoring will let you know if the bats have moved in or not, and if you need to change the location of the bat box.
An indication of bat activity would be their droppings on your yard. These droppings, known as guano may not occur in large quantities if the house is occupied only by a handful of bats so you need to look closely.
Bat droppings are usually small black dots, so if you find these in your yard then some bats have moved in.
Another way to tell if the bats have moved in is by simply looking into the bat house. By daytime, you can flashlight into the house to see if there are any bats there.
Be warned though, do not overdo it, because the bats will leave of they feel like an intruder is constantly threatening them.
The Size Of Your Bat House Matters
Bats can come and go depending on the season. They tend to return to the same nest every year, so you have to keep the bat house in prime condition when they leave.
Also, remember that the bat colony can grow, so you need to provide a spacious bat house to accommodate an increase in the bat population.
For a start, a bat house that can contain about a hundred bats is perfect.
Bats may not be the prettiest creatures on Earth, but they do have their benefits. They help control insect pests and their droppings are good for plant soil.
I trust this article on how to attract bats has been helpful.