QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk BCM a Question
Do spray-on attractants really attract bats to a new bat house?
Design, construction, and placement of the bat house will ultimately decide if you get bats. There were controlled experiments to test bat preferences (choice of substrate, orientation, landing pads, etc.). In these tests there was no statistical difference in their choice of guano treated vs untreated. While a specific “spray” was not tested, there also does not seem to be -any- research actually backing up manufacturers claims. We always tell folks not to waste their money. If you have a well-designed bat house installed in a good location, bats will use it, when they need it. Patience is important.
I have heard sketchy information linking bats (among other animals) to corona viruses. Also, I understand that bat guano may be hazardous after incidental contact. Is it safe to be sheltering bats, especially in proximity to one’s home / living area?
The short answer is yes it is safe. I wouldn’t move it for a few seasons; attaching to buildings often is very successful. If you get a bunch of bats, they will splatter dropping on the siding around the house. On occasion a young one won’t survive and you’ll find it on the ground below the bat house. As long as everyone in the house knows not to play with wild animals/downed bats, you won’t have a problem. The guano is possibly hazardous if it is in large quantities and disturbed after many years; you will never have this scenario with a backyard bat house. A quick video we helped create with Merlin Tuttle recently is right along your lines here: https://youtu.be/b7HUsWkefmo Please see my general bat house manual All About Bat Houses here: https://batmanagement.com/pages/manuals A few articles on COVID and a few older heath articles are here: https://batmanagement.com/blogs/human-and-bat-health
What is the best bat house for Tucson, AZ?
For summer use I suggest mounting a bat house in -full shade- in your area. Probably any color is good; just keep in mind it really must be in full shade all day. Best bat houses in your area face northeast or east. No bat house works on poles in your area, but rather must be installed on buildings or other large structures. You might try a second bat house on a different side of building, as keeping a few bats around in winter might require another bat house in a different location. Perhaps a location that gets a few hours of direct morning sun and then is shaded. This gives bats some options and by watching where they go you will learn what they are looking for in your local area. You have the Western pipistrelle (“Canyon bats”) and Mexican free-tail bats in Tucson year-round. Both of these -could- use buildings or bat houses year-round, most famously the free-tail bats are in certain bridges around the city and put on a good show in the summer.
Is a \'day lodge\' only used for daytime resting? I want something that the bats can use for long term resting and perhaps even hibernating.
Bat houses are ususally intended for female bats to raise young in the summer. Indeed they spend all day in the bat house, leave at dusk and return at dawn. The reality is that some may not exit any particular night, and they might start returning an hour after they leave. The same bat house that female bats raise young in when mounted in full sun, may also attract a few solitary males when mounted in the shade, or even a different species. In certain parts of the country, you could have bats year-round in bat houses, even different species at different times of the year. If you want a wide range of bat activity, the best idea is to install several bat houses in different locations so bats have a range of microclimates to pick from.
I live in Petaluma California which is southern Sonoma County. We have mild winters and two and three-quarter acre property. I’m wondering where I should place a bat house. Summers can be very hot sometimes reaching 106°F. Should I be looking for shaded area near the redwood trees in our yard or the backside of the barn on our property?
I don’t think you can lose with the sunny side of the barn but put the bat house high enough so that the eves of the barn shade the bat house in the afternoon. Ideally you’d want it to get hit with direct sun in the morning, then shaded in the afternoon. It is best to try multiple bat houses in different locations if trying to attract them to a new location. The DayRoost bat houses we offer are inexpensive for those kinds of experiments.
In central NJ, I have a tiny creek running by. Also, I am on a hill, with a lots of forest. What is a good placement?
Hello- ideally you want a position where the bat house will receive full morning sun, and some shade in the mid-to late afternoon, about 6-8 hours of morning sun. It could be mounted on a building or a pole; trees are usually too shady. If on a pole, about ~30' from trees is good so bats can avoid predators For more guidance please see our All About Bat Houses manual at: https://batmanagement.com/pages/manuals