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Most Common "House" Bats in North America
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Big Brown Bat

Eptesicus fuscus

 

The "farmer's friend" is found throughout North America.

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Little Brown Bat

Myotis lucifugus

 

The little brown bat, was once -the- most widespread house bat.

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Brazilian Free-Tail Bat

Tadarida brasiliensis

 

AKA Mexican free-tailed bat is found Southern and Western US.

Eastern North America "House" Bats
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Evening Bat

Nycticeius humeralis

 

Evening bats are found throughout the Southeast & East-Central US.

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Florida Bonneted Bat

Eumops floridanus

 

Found in South Florida, this is the largest bat in the US.

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Indiana Bat

Myotis sodalis

 

Federally endangered, this bat is known to use bat houses in the Eastern US.

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Northern Long-Eared Bat

Myotis septentrionalis

 

This federally-endangered bat is widespread in large Eastern US forests.

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Rafinesque's Big Eared Bat

Corynorhinus rafinesquii

 

This bat is a cave specialist in the Southeastern US.

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Southeastern Bat

Myotis austroriparius

 

The bat forms large colonies in the Southeastern US.

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Tri-colored Bat

Perimyotis subflavus

 

Tri-colored bats are widespread across the Eastern US.

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Velvety Free-Tailed Bat

Molossus molossus

 

This sub-tropical bat can be found in the Florida Keys and the Everglades.

Western North American "House" Bats
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California Myotis

Myotis califoricus

 

This bat is widespread in far western states and Canada.

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Canyon Bat

Parastrellus hesperus

 

Canyon bats are found throughout the Western US and Canada.

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Cave Myotis

Myotis velifer

 

This bat can form large colonies in TX, AZ, OK, MO, and NM.

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Long-Eared Myotis

Myotis evotis

 

This bat prefers high-elevation forests in the Western US & Canada.

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Pallid Bat

Antrozous pallidus

 

In the Southwest US, this is the scrappiest bat around.

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Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat

Corynorhinus townsendii

 

This bat is found in cave and mine regions of the Western US.

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Yuma Myotis

Myotis yumanensis

 

This bat forms large colonies widspread across Western North America.

Worldwide Importance of Bats

BCM's President John Chenger partnered with Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation to create this video, drawing from Merlin's unparalleled first-hand experiance with bat conservation worldwide. 

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Why Bat Houses?

Threats to Bats 

Like most wildlife, bats suffer from habitat loss and land conversion. Many natural bat roosts have disappeared as old growth forests have been logged. And managed forests no longer have the stands of ancient trees with roosting features bats need. As a result, some bats move into homes and other man-made structures. But bats often become persecuted out of fear or ignorance as people become intolerant sharing their living quarters with bats.

 

White-nose Syndrome (WNS)

Even worse, since 2006, hibernating bats have been dying by the millions in the Northeast. They are suffering from a fungal invasion which interrupts their ability to hibernate and causes them to burn their stored fat reserves too quickly in the winter. Thus, they are forced to awaken months before their insect food is available and they end up starving to death on the winter landscape. Many large summer roosts have dwindled to fractions of their former numbers. Bat houses have now become critical refuges to remaining remnant populations.

 

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Bats Most Likely to Use Bat Houses

Throughout much of the United States and southern Canada, the little brown myotis and the big brown bat are the most likely species to use bat houses. In the southeast, Mexican free-tailed bats and evening bats are more common. Free-tailed bats are also found throughout the western U.S. They will use bat houses, as will many other myotis species.

 

In general, any bats that naturally roost in buildings or under bridges are candidates for a bat house.  Most bat-house bats are those that prefer “crevice” roosts between 3/4” and 1-1/4” wide. Crevices can be created by “baffles” of plywood stacked together with appropriate spacing. A few species prefer “cavity” roosts instead and are simply looking for large “void” spaces, without baffles.

 

Successful bat houses are large: they are “tall,” at least 2-3 feet high by 1-2 feet wide and 6” deep, with 3 or more baffles. They also must be “air-tight” with no drafty gaps around the roof and top two-thirds. And, bat houses on poles or buildings are more successful than those on trees. 

 

The following describes many of the species confirmed to use bat houses, but it is by no means an exhaustive list of all potential bat house-dwelling bats.