Encouraging bats onto your property presents endless ecological benefits. From eating mosquitoes to pollination and there’s no better way to play your part than installing a bat house in your backyard.
In this buyer’s guide, we will share our expertise helping you choose the best bat house kits. Covering topics such as where to hang it, what makes a good bat house, and most importantly, which one to buy.
Do Bat House Kits Work?
The success rate of bat houses depends on a number of factors.
- Anti-Predator Design and Location
- The Amount of Direct Sunlight
- Secure Hanging
- Near a Water Source
- Bat House Kit Build Quality
We will talk about each of these conditions in more detail throughout the article.
If you are planning to hang a bat house and provide a secure roosting site for bats, then keep reading. This guide will offer proven strategies to allow you to successfully play an important role in bat conservation. As well as providing you with a buyer’s guide as to the best bat house kit for your backyard.
With various environmental and biological factors contributing to the declining population of bats, it’s important we all play our part in protecting or creating suitable living and breeding habitats.
Since 2012 White-Nose Syndrome has reduced the North American bat population by 7 million bats, which in turn affects the overall ecological balance and food chain.
Bat House Benefits
So why would anyone want bats around their property? Well, if you look past the fang-tastic reputation of bats, not only are they fascinating animals they also bring numerous ecological benefits.
Bats can eat up to 1000 insects per hour and are very useful for the control of insect populations. In fact, bats are considered to be the best natural way to control mosquitoes. They also devour moths, beetles, and other insects.
The pollination of plants by bats is called chiropterophily. They are night-time pollinators, and some plants even depend wholly on bats to pollinate. That alone tells you how important bats are to biodiversity in your local environment.
Bats often drink nectar from flowers, but they also feed on fruits and other food to survive. They ingest the fruits and defecate the seeds. As a result, the seeds populate new areas, giving rise to seedlings and plant species distribution.
Bat Guano as fertilizer
Bat guano or feces is used to enrich the soil. It makes an excellent fertilizer, the nutrients in the soil will be replenished, resulting in active vegetation growth. How about that, free fertilizer and the bat are even offering an overheads muck spreading service whilst you’re fast asleep in bed.
DIY Bat House Kits
A little bit of know-how is enough to build your own bat house. Bats live in trees, rock crevices, old buildings or under bridges. So if you decide to design and build your own bat house, try to mimic the natural spaces bats occupy.
Here are a few tips for setting up the perfect bat house:
- Use weather-resistant wood or rubber
- Ideally, there should be a water source nearby
- The house should get lots of sunlight and should be warm and dark
- The inside surface should be textured enough for the bats to cling onto
Where To Buy Bat Houses
Bat houses are available for purchase in local hardware stores and online. Not surprisingly there are good quality bat houses available through most of the large online retailers such as Amazon where you tend to get a better price, as well as smaller specialist conservation stores where you may find some alternative designs.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while purchasing a bat house… so we will run through the key things to look for when trying to find the best bat house kit for your yard or garden.
Bat House Kit Buyers Guide
Size & Chambers
You can use either single and multi-chambered bat houses. The chamber is the gap within the bat house where bats will rest or sleep. Bat generally like to slot into a tight narrow spot in groups for warm and security. The more chamber you have the more bats your bay house will hold.
The ideal size of a bat house depends on where you wish to locate it, and how many bats you wish to accommodate. But generally anything 13”+ in height will work just fine.
The landing pad is the first area of the bat house where the bats will come into land. This benefits from some form of a groove or textured surface to assist the bats and well,… just make their life that little bit easier. A wide landing pads allows more bats to move in and out of the house at any one time encouraging a healthy colony to build up over time.
Wooden bat houses are easy to manufacture therefore tend to be more cost-effective. They also have good thermal qualities in that wood is warm to the touch and will not build up as much heat as other materials such as metal. Wood is also a great fibrous texture for bats to claw into. Look out for bat houses that have been treated with preserve or painted. All of our bat houses on test are treated for long-life.
If your bay house lets in even small shafts of light, then don’t expect to see bats making it there home. A well-made bat house will be ‘light-tight’ making for a nice dark cosy space for your local bats to feel secure and comfortable.
You get a variable quality and style of hanging fixtures in bat house kits. The more durable the better, but in truth it really depends on where you intend hanging the bat house. If you locate it in a sheltered spot away from wind then once its mounted it won’t move. Bats are very light, so that’s not the concern, think more about wind movement and a strong fixture where your bat house is exposed to gusts.
5 Best Bat House Kits Reviewed
If you’re looking for the best Bat House Kits, there are a lot of brands to turn to. Thankfully, we’re here to share our favorite bat houses with you.
Sometimes one or two products stand out from the crowd. That’s the case with our top two products on review. Both are great bat houses, but the Big Bat Box just takes it for us as we can’t fault it in any way. Perfect construction and feels built to last a lifetime.
- BCI Certified Bat Box
- Superior Build Quality
- Beautiful Design
At 11×16” this house has a nice build finish and is very sturdy and well constructed.
Built from high-quality cedar thick cedar panel wood, it can stay outdoors and withstand any weather. Also worthy of note is the stainless steel hardware that comes with it, allowing to assemble and hang it anywhere with ease. Provides a nice grooved 10” landing pad.
It has two chambers and can hold up to 75 bats. A very high-quality bat house and a well-deserved winner of our Best Buy Award.
- Two chambers can hold up to 75 bats
- Excellent Build Quality sturdy
- Available in 3 colors
Here, this bat house made from Western Red Cedar is resistant to rot and insect damage. It serves up as a great living space for bats, as the 1/2“ thick lumber provides excellent insulation. Moreover, the narrow interior dimensions retain heat, maintaining an ideal temperature for the bats. Dimensions 15×10”.
This model comes with two pre-drilled holes in the landing board, a sturdy hanger, and three 2 ½ inch exterior grade deck screws. Since the mounting hardware is included, it is pretty easy to install, and all you need to do is find the perfect site to hang this bat house.
- High-quality build
- Easy to install
- Hold the bat house securely to the tree, house or other structures
- Very good build quality, but not perfect!
If you are looking for a large bat house with enough room to house dozens of bats, consider purchasing this one. The external dimensions are 15″x9.2″x3.2″ and it has a rough platform to make landing easy for the bats.
This is made from high-quality cedarwood and is resistant to rot, decay, and adverse weather conditions. In addition, this bat house is stained a dark color, as bats need privacy and prefer dark sites.
This one comes pre-assembled, so installation is very easy. It has a sturdy hanger that easily mounts on trees, houses, and poles.
- Sturdy and well-built
- Easy to mount
- Well-fitted joints
- Very small gaps allowing light into box
Built from ultra-durable cedarwood, this bat house comes in two chamber sizes, 2 or 3 chambers, and provides enough room for dozens of bats to roost. So if you have hopes of housing a full colony of bats, this is a great bat house for you. Dimension 9.25”x15”.
This bat house comes pre-assembled and can be installed with ease. The hanging hook is similar to a picture hook, so you may choose to upgrade this depending on your hanging location and surface.
Overall, it delivers the promised quality, is easy to install, and we think it looks elegant.
- Sturdy and well-made
- 3 Colour Option
- Lightweight hanging fixtures
This single chamber bat box measures 13.25″x 8″x 4.75″, and holds up to 12 bats. It is made of Cunninghamia wood and is well-built and feels sturdy. The material is rot-resistant and has natural anti-fungal properties, for a long lifetime.
This bat house kit features a neat foot plat to allow easy footing for landing bats. A small entrance point offers additional predator protection.
- Good constructed
- Easy to install
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Variable build quality
- The lightweight hanger may need upgrading
Where To Hang A Bat House Kit
The location of a bat house is critical to its efficiency. Here are a few factors you should consider before selecting a site to hang a bat house:
Bat houses should be exposed to at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to heat the cat house cavity space. Try hanging the bat house in a position where it receives direct sunlight.
Bat houses work the best near water bodies. It is best to find a site that has a water body within 400 m. Bats drink a lot of water, so it is essential to have a water source nearby.
Mounting Or Hanging
Bat houses can be placed on poles, sides of buildings, wooden or other concrete structures, but bat house poles are often the most successful. Due to the anti-predator qualities. It’s not easy to climb a pole!
Bat House Poles
Since bat house poles are high above the ground, they are likely to receive adequate sunlight. Also, the predators won’t be able to attack the bats easily. Avoid mounting the bat house near bright lights and on trees.
Owls, hawks, snakes, raccoons, and house cats are among bats most common predators. Setting up a bat house high above the ground will help to prevent an attack. Bat house poles are an excellent choice to avoid predators.
Choose a site with clear surroundings so that bats can detect predators beforehand and prevent attacks.
How To Hang A Bat House Securely
A bat house should be mounted at least 10” foot off the ground to avoid predation. South or East facing to get the morning sun and at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
The majority bat house kits come with hanging hooks, similar to a picture hook. These are fine but can be prone to risk from strong winds.
Look out for premium models with screw in plates offering the possibility to screw the back of the bat house directly onto the hanging surface. This will give a firm and secure fixture.
How To Attract Bats To A Bat House
Even when you have the perfect bat house, it is important to make it attractive for the bats to bring them in to make it home. Bats are out there looking for a roosting site, and if they can’t locate your flawless bat house, what’s the point.
Follow the tips mentioned below to turn your bat house into a bat-friendly magent:
Plant night-blooming flowers
Most bats are nocturnal and they forage for food at night. So bats are more likely to find your bat house if you plant night-blooming flowers nearby. Evening primrose, fleabane, and moonflowers are a few species that bloom at night time.
Add a water source
Bats enjoy ponds, rivers, and other water sources as many insects may congregate in these areas. They also drink a lot of water, day and night. It is ideal to have a water body within 400m from the bat house. Or create one. A simple garden pond will provide ample biodiversity.
If you don’t have space to dig a pond why not create a container-based water feature in a half barrel or old bathtub.
Keep the bat house warm
The biggest challenge of a bat house builder is to get a warm and consistent temperature inside the bat house. Not so easy with weather fluctuation throughout day and night. Keep the bat house in a spot that it receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. Avoid micro climates prone to frost.
Keep the bat house free of wasps and bees
While you are waiting for bats to set up home in your bat house, make sure wasps or bees don’t hijack the space. Inspect it regularly, and keep the bat house clean.
Avoid the use of pesticides
Bats are natural pest controllers and often feed on insects. Pesticides and other treatment methods can poison bats and should be avoided to keep the bats safe.
Bat Attract Scent
Using spray attractants is a good way to entice bats into bat houses. The success rate of bat attractants lies in its scent. The ideal attractant should have an odor familiar to bats like the bat roost scent, without any toxic substances like ammonia.