QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk BCM a Question
Is it ok to spray paint outside with spray paint and what color if i can? I live in the Guntersville, Alabama area.
All bat houses should be painted or stained; and you probably need to freshen it up every 4 years or so and go over the seams so it's airtight. Otherwise bats may never use it. A dark brown, green, or even black should work. Have a look at this section especially the "choosing a bat house location" https://batmanagement.com/blogs/bat-roosts
Should I paint the inside of my bat house?
No need to paint -all- of the insides. Use black spray paint to darken the bottom few inches of the baffles -after- the bat house is constructed. This cuts down on the light reflected up into the bat house from the bottom. You don't really want bats hanging out on paint, so no need to paint all the insides of the bat house.
I actually have a perfect tree with the right sun exposure. Can I mount this on a tree?
If your tree gets quite a lot of direct sun, it may be suitable. Do -not- bother with a tree if the bat house will not get 8+ hours of direct sunlight. Here are some steps to help you attach the pole mount (which is two separate pieces of wood) to something round and irregular like a tree trunk: 1) Lay out the pole mount brackets square to each other with the proper spacing on a table. Test fit the bat house onto them to be sure you have them at the correct distances apart. 2) Temporarily and securely attach scrap wood to both ends of the pole mounts, so that you essentially make a rigid “frame”, which will keep the proper spacing and orientation of the pole mounts. 3) Take this “frame” to the tree, and screw the pole mounts to the tree using stainless steel lag bolts (not included in the kit). I believe if you do not use stainless steel lag bolts you run the risk of killing the tree! That said, if the tree is not healthy, any bolting into it may kill it. 4) You should not be able to remove the scrap wood that was holding the mounts flat and parallel. If not much twisting or shifting occurred, the bat house should mate nicely with the mounts.
Cedar vs. yellow pine wood for the most durable bat house and lowest maintenance?
The wood thickness has something to do with it, how many screws are used to hold it all together, and how well the bat houses have been finished (how many coats of paint used, etc.). So, material is actually not a big player in this in my opinion. True cedar may be more insect resistant, but either box will probably fall apart from normal weathering long before insect damage comes into play. A BCI study clearly showed that bat houses finished with stain or paint were used more often than unfinished ones, so for best results those sweet smelling cedar bat houses really should be painted anyway.
The longest lasting bat houses will be the plastic shells such as the Four Chamber Premium.
How high above the ground should I set up my bat house?
The bottom of bat houses should be at least 10’ above the ground. Higher is fine but no lower as bats need a swoop zone to gain airspeed.
Hi - I live in SE Wisconsin, about 30 miles north of the Illinois border and 40 miles west of Lake Michigan. Bats have been roosting in the peak of our roof, which they entered through a hole that formed in the mortar of our chimney. Recently, I patched this hole in the chimney up, however I know that when the bats return they will likely be able to find another spot to gain access (log homes). I am looking at the 3 chamber bat house, and thinking that I should mount it on the chimney, where the hole in the mortar had been. My questions: 1) would installing the bat house on our chimney just invite more bats and increase the probability that bats would roost in the peak of our roof again? 2) If it is suitable to install on the chimney, the peak is about 30' high and has southern exposure. Given how high it is, it would get sunlight at dawn as well as dusk and have direct exposure most of the day. Would it be best to install where the bats are used to going or would it be better to put somewhere else on my property that has southern exposure (I live on 5 acres, which is about 1/2 wooded). Thanks!
Hello - While you could certainly install a bat house on the chimney, it may be harder to monitor and do any maintainance. I would establish a solid permenant location elsewhere on the property that receives almost all day direct sun if possible, and install a bat house on a post. A great idea then is to perhaps also install a double chamber bat house (low investment, and has crevice spacing for both big brown and little brown bats) on the chimney as you envision. After about 3 years that wooden bat house on the chimney may need repainted, so at that point I would actually remove it and place on the back side or below the bat house you've established on the post. The bats will follow the bat house to the post.
If the chimney and rest of the eves, etc. are properly bat-proof, you won't get any more bats in the building.
Will I have bats at 8500 feet in the mountains of Colorado? Would love to put up a house but not sure I've ever seen or heard one at our cabin.
Hello I investigated some rather nice cabins of a client that were having seasonal bat conflicts near Steamboat Lake, CO which is at 8100'. As bats are found seemingly just about everywhere, I don't think your location is out of the question at all! For roost selection you might consider the Rocket Roost https://batmanagement.com/products/bcm-rocket-box or the 4 Chamber Premium Bat House https://batmanagement.com/products/four-chamber-premium-bat-house with the "universial core" which is intended for a wide range of species preferences.