What is a Bat House?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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A bat house is a type of small building used outside the home for bats to sleep in. People occasionally build bat houses because they may prevent bats from taking up residence inside attics and basements. If bats have confined, warm places to sleep during the day that are easily accessible, they may be less likely to venture into homes. Another reason to build a bat house is for pest control because bats tend to eat lots of mosquitoes and other insect pests during the day. Having bats around the vicinity of the home isn't considered a bad thing by everyone because, when bats are around, other pests tend to become less of a problem.

It is possible to purchase bat houses that are already built, but people who have some knowledge of carpentry may be able to build their own bat houses without much trouble. There are several different plans available for building bat houses, but the average bat house is no more than a medium-sized box made out of scrap wood with an open bottom for bats to fly into at night. People usually drill holes into the sides of their bat houses for air circulation and nail up some type of netting on the inside of the houses for bats to hang from. After a bat house is built, it should be nailed to a tree or pole at least 15 feet (4.6 m) off the ground.


Some people paint their bat houses black so that the heat from the sun can be absorbed, which should make the inside of a bat house warmer. It is also occasionally advisable to caulk the corners of bat houses for better insulation and to keep extra light out. Bats often live inside caves, which are naturally dark and warm. An ideal bat house created to attract bats should mimic the natural sleeping environment of bats as closely as possible.

A bat house is not guaranteed to work for keeping bats out of homes or for pest control. It is always possible that bats around an area will not find the bat house built for them suitable and may still prefer to try to get inside a house. If bats don't use bat houses that were built for them, they might not stay in an area, which means that they won't be around to help keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay. In the event that a bat house fails to work for its intended purpose and bats continue to invade homes, calling local wildlife control to deal with bat problems might be the best option.


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