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first bat house!

Posted by rembetika austin, TX (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 8, 05 at 18:17


i just purchased a large bat house from wild birds unlimited, and am planning to put it up high on the side of our house that gets lots of southwestern sun in the afternoon.
has anyone in central TX tried this type of house & had success attracting bats?
also, does it need to be painted a certain color, and how do you keep wasps from building nests in there?
the guy at the WBU store said that rubbing some ivory soap on the top (inside) will prevent them, and it doesn't bother the bats. is this true?
any other words of wisdom are appreciated... thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: first bat house!

Bats hate strong smells, so I suggest avoiding the soap. You may have missed the spring move (mom's kick the males out to pup, which is when most new colonies get started) but you may still get some. If you do not, do not dispare (sp)! You can weather the house by turning up upside down for the winter (which will also keep wasps out). Bats prefer weathered wood. You might also 'cheat' by rubbing some guano on the bottom. If you don't have local rehabber, I'd be happy to mail you some (ewww eh?)

You want to hang your house so it gets morning sun (bats like it hot) and around 30 feet up. Don't paint it!! Best of luck!

RE: first bat house!

I got a bat house hung up on the side of the one barn ,it overlooks one of our pastures.Ive never gotten a bat.They do like to slide in behind my shutters though.I dont know where my dog gets them but she had 2 this past month.

RE: first bat house!

hey kristy, thanks for the advice.

actually, there's kind of only one spot on our house where i can hang it, where it's flat with no obstructions-- but-- 30 feet up?? wow, that's pretty tall!!-- the tallest point on our house is maybe 15!, and it doesn't get morning sun, and it gets less than 6 hrs of it. but it's so darn hot here for about 10 months out of the year, i wonder if it will work anyway?
also, about the soap- a guy who worked at the wild birds unlimited store where i got the bat house told me to do that, so- i hope he's not giving out wrong information to all the customers. i was wondering about that, b/c i know bats have a very refined sense of smell.
i can get some guano at the garden store, but thank you for the offer ;)!

OK, i just found this link to a video that describes all about how to build a bat house, how to put it up, plus the site has links for where to buy, etc...

RE: first bat house!

rembetika, it can't hurt to try. Those numbers are just the ones that got the most 'hits' by bats when chosing houses in an ongoing study by bat conservation international. The other set ups got bats too, just not as quickly or as regularly. You may still get bats if you provide a good house and have what the bats want - bugs! There are no absolute rules when it comes to animals, they like to keep us on our toes. I do know that the bats I've raised or rehabbed really dislike soap. I have to be very careful to rinse my hands well before handling them or they scurry up my sleeve.

bulldinkie, maybe there is a regular breeze that they don't like on that side, or it may not get enough sun. It might do better on a different side.

Good luck getting 'residents'. They are great to have around.

RE: first bat house!

Too funny! Our next door neighbour put up at least 4 bat houses in the green-belt behind our houses which, after 2 years haven't had any occupants. (I believe they don't have a long enough uninterrupted 'flight path')
However, we do have one that likes to snuggle into our patio unbrella when it's closed. Poor thing....wish it could fine one of those nice houses out there! ;-)

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