BCM Four Chamber Premium Bat House
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It seems the pups are falling out. I have been reading about pup catchers. Do you recommend I install one of these?
There are some conflicting observations about the usefulness of pup catchers. PA Biologists observed pups never being recovered on pup catchers at all, while others have observed pups climbing back into the bat house. It probably depends how old the pups are, and the reason behind them being out. One theroy is mothers build up toxins from pesticides, which are relased into the first pup they have. BCM offers a Pup Catcher here that is robust enough to use many years: https://batmanagement.com/products/bcm-pup-catcher There is a DIY solution here: https://batworld.org/bat-house-pup-catcher/ that I like because it is adaptable to whatever bat house or roost you are having problems with. Note the “pup catcher” and it’s parts will deteriorate over time and should be considered something that is a temporary fixture to your problem roost. The lower board that supports the catch pocket makes a great perch for raptors that may pick off all the pups, so only use this device if you really have a problem and remove it promptly.
I have some spruce trees that I have been told they will die in ~ 5 years. If I trim off all the branches, and leave just the main trunk would this be a good “pole” for the bats?
As long as enough limbs are trimmed off so that the bat house receives direct sun most of the day (especially in the morning), that snag would be just fine. Be forewarned if the bat house is shaded it probably won't work. Mounting a bat house is a little trickier because the tree is round and uneven. If using our pole mount kit or something similar, attach the pole mount brackets straight and flush with each other on a flat surface using a few pieces of scrap wood. The mounts can then be lag-bolted onto the tree, and the scrap wood discarded. The two brackets should then be on the tree in the proper spacing and position for the bat house. In addition, stainless steel lag bolts should not corrode and kill the tree like other materials.
I actually have a perfect tree with the right sun exposure. Can you give me suggestions to mount the Premium Bat Box on this tree?
If your tree gets quite a lot of direct sun, it may be suitable. 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.
I was referred to you by Merlin. I'm wondering what color bat house you would recommend for central Florida (south facing)? I'm thinking of starting with your BCM four chamber premium model. The house will be mounted on a free standing pole, thus, no shade.Thanks!
Hello you may be in a transition zone between the dark and light bat house. I would probably start with the tan bat house and if there is no activity after a few seasons or temperatures suggest it is too cool, it can always be painted darker with paint formulated for outdoor plastic. (I have painted some plastic pipes in PA which still look good after 10 years.) But, mounting in sun it may work just fine as-is as tan. We would appreciate any followup you provide and can help with determining temperatures, etc. for you; email firstname.lastname@example.org Anyone else reading this who has not checked out Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation should do so; the website is a fantastic resource.