Tricks to Attracting Bats

Tricks to Attracting Bats

By “Birdman” Mel Toellner


As you read this Pond Boss article in early November, memories of Halloween and Trick or Treaters and all the spooky decorations might still be up. I know my young grandsons love Halloween. One unfortunate thing is how bats are portrayed as evil, blood sucking, dangerous creatures, and part of the Halloween theme. In reality, there has never been a documented case of a bat from a bat house attacking a human. 

Bats save you and farmers billions of dollars in pesticides and are critical pollinators.  Each night bats eat their own weight in insects, eliminating billions of mosquitos. Want fewer mosquitos on your favorite pond or lake? If so, I suggest you properly put up quality bat houses and manage them in a responsible manner, and it’s likely to happen.

Bat houses should be attached at least 15 feet high, free from obstructions, with at least 20 feet of open space, and facing southeast to gain exposure to sunlight. Different bat species in the U.S. prefer various roosting temperatures. Some bats prefer their bat house to be in full sun, while others prefer partial sun, and yet another species will be attracted to houses placed in the shade. The vast majority of bats prefer a bat house that gets 6 or more hours of sun a day to keep them warm. The placement of your bat house plays a major role in the internal temperature. Attach your house to structures such as poles, sides of buildings, or tall trees without obstructions. The area under the bat house should be clear, allowing the bats to fly in and out. Houses placed on poles and structures tend to become occupied quicker than houses placed on trees. Plus, placing a bat house on a tree makes it vulnerable to predators. Raccoons can easily reach the house.      

Some bats that commonly use bat houses in the United States are Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus), Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis), Mexican Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensi), and Southeastern Bat (Myotis austroriaparius), and Tri-Colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus).

My favorite bat houses are those made to Organization of Bat Conservation (OBC) standards. You can buy them direct from OBC at their website: They are built to not only attract bats, but also give them the best environment for success. Features like a wooden block between the slots to keep them from warping together, durable plastic netting to provide easy entry and movement within the house, and properly sized and placed ventilation slots make OBC bat houses the expert’s choice in bat housing.

For those of you who think big, there is a new business you can find at: who has just finished a pre-order-crowd sourcing campaign. They market extra large houses and a line of fancy stylish designed bat houses, all of which are to OBC standards. They estimate cranking up and having orders delivered early next year. If your needs and budget allows, check them out.

How do you know if your house is being used? Simply observe your bat house at dusk to see if bats exit; look for bat guano under the entrance of the house; and if you can, also look into the house with a flashlight to see if it is inhabited. Don’t try to reach into the house. If the bat house is not in an optimal location or has a poor design, you are less likely to have bats living in your house. Sometimes it can take over a year before bats decide to roost in your bat house.

There are a few myths and truths about bats worth dispelling:


A few myths and truths about bats (Courtesy of OBC)

Myth – Bats get tangled in your hair.

Truth – Bats don’t build nests and have little interest in our hair.


Myth – Bats attack people.

Truth – Bats are afraid of humans and try to stay away from people as best they can.


Myth – Bats suck blood.

Truth – The vast majority of bats are insect-eaters. The one species of bats that does drink blood is the Vampire bat. Vampire bats only live in South Mexico, Central America, and South America.


Myth – Bats are dirty.

Truth – Bats groom themselves just like cats and are clean.


Myth – Bats are blind.

Truth – All bats can see. Many types of bats have small eyes and use echolocation to navigate, but they are not blind.


Want to learn more about bats? I suggest checking out and Bat Conservation International at Also, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions on bats or other wild birds you’d like to attract to Remember to check out the “Tips to Attracting Bats” video clip posted on my website. 

I can’t recommend strongly enough that you should put into action the tips and tricks to attracting bats to your property that I share in this article, as it’ll be one of the best Treats that you and others who utilize your property will benefit from. Remember nature is a stress reliever from God. Take time today to listen to the birds sing! 

Related Posts