QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk BCM a Question
What kind of post should I get for mounting 1 or two bat houses?
Hello - I recommend a 4''x6'' x 16' treated post, it should be $50 or less from a local lumber yard (Lowes/Home Depot doesn't carry that length). Add a post protector to extend the life of the post. https://batmanagement.com/products/post-protector-4-in-x-6-in-x-42-in Also at the lumber yard will be 60 lb bags of concrete mix for $4 a bag, you may want 2 bags. A 3' deep hole that isn't much bigger than the post will use all the concrete, if the hole is a little big, add a few rocks. More info installing is in our manual with the bat houses and also in our learning center: https://batmanagement.com/blogs/bat-roosts and also some videos: https://batmanagement.com/pages/video-bat-house-how-tos
I purchased a three chamber bat house from you years ago and have had a booming bat population through the years. I take down the bat house each winter and perform maintenance on it. Today I noticed it was infested with bat bugs - ugh! I had it in my garage and am not too happy with it, but my question is, how do I treat the bat house to get rid of the bat bugs but do not harm the bats when they return? I do not want to use poisons that could affect the bats when they return this spring.
Turn the bat house upside down and sprinkle diatomaceous earth in all the chambers, taking care it gets to the roof. After a week tap the bat house right-side-up so just a dusting remains inside. The bats will love you for it. Here is a link or simply search for "diatomaceous earth” on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KPXGNTO/ref=emc_b_5_t
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.
Is the 3 chambered bat house suitable for suburb outside of Boston?
Sure - I suggest painting it black for that location, or any very dark color. Thank you!
Once a post mount is installed (12’ height, 3’ in ground) how does one reach the house to clean or maintain it? Does post protector allow post to be removed? Are there protectors for 4x4 posts? Are 4x6 more rigid less likely to bow then 4x4?
First, a 12' post is a bit short; you would want to start with a 14' or 16' post so the bottom of the bat house is ~10' above ground.
You could use the post protector as a sleeve and it would be possible to remove the post from it. This will be quite heavy though. Cleaning wasp nests could be done from the ground using a long thin stick. No other cleaning would be necessary as the droppings fall out the bottom. You can get 4x4 post protectors yes.
Can i install d hse facing directly east under the house eave and how much for shipping
Hi- if you live in FL or other Gulf Coast states, or in desert regions, you probably can and still get bats. Other areas it may be shaded too much by the eves. For shipping costs, just enter the item and your address in the shopping cart and it will calculate it before you buy anything. Thanks!
Im in northern Florida (near Jacksonville) and have a 2 acre pond and a 20' telephone pole near the pond and free of tree obstructions, so I think this would be a perfect location for a bat house . . . however I'm concerned about heat as it gets very hot here in the summer and this location gets direct sun all day long . . . I can send you a photo of the location if you would like . . . I have purchased the Hello Bat spray (which seemed to have been recommended ) . . . what bat house would you advise . . .
Hello we have customers around Jacksonville successfully using the 4 Chamber Universal https://batmanagement.com/products/universal-four-chamber-premium-bat-house in the kakhi/tan color. The Three or Two Chamber bat houses would also work painted a medium brown color. You might consider 2 bat houses back-to-back on that pole one facing SE and the other NW. If starting out with only one, place facing SE so the bottom of the bathouse is 10' or more above ground.
hi im a boy scout in MA and im building several bat house colonies for my eagle project, i have purchased your booklet but am unsure what size screws to use on the main body of the triple chambered bat house
Hi- pretty much 1- 1/4'' screws will put the entire bat house together. When you get to attaching roof strips, angle them and they won't stick out the other side. If they do, just hammer them flat.
In GA, the mosquitos are intolerable if you don’t spray. Is it a waste to install a bat house if we do?
Having bats around will still help; insects can hear bats as predators and may be driven away just from having a colony nearby. While you are probably talking about community level spraying, having bat colonies would reduce reliance on spraying, especially for crop pests.
I used 2 treated 10ft 2x4's overlapping by 5ft. Mounted the bat house at the top. 15ft high. Was it a bad idea to use treated wood ?
It's perfectly fine to use Pressure treated wood for the supporting structure of bat houses. We don't use PT wood for the interior of the bat houses, even though no one has proven that it negatively impacts bats roosting for the long term.
Is single chamber,double chamber or triple chamber bat house best for use in southern Maine (Portland area)?
I would try the double or possibly the triple; painted balck, and placed in a location that receives all day sun. The double chamber has two crevices of different sizes, one for little brown bats and one for big brown bats, either of which could be in your area. Both might not be bad idea!
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.