April 9th, 2021
There are over 39 species of bats in the United States with 36 of these species doing a remarkable job of eating mosquitoes and other flying insects. The gray bat alone can eat as many as 3,000 insects per night!
In most species, the female bat has only one baby per year. With the rapid loss of natural shelter due to expanding subdivisions and people moving into areas that had been formerly remote, man-made bat shelters are filling an important niche. Depending on the size of the shelter, one to several bats can use a single shelter. Bats are nocturnal and flying at night. They will enter the bat shelter through the bottom and then “hang out” during daylight hours. A shelter is also used for hibernation during the winter.
Where to Locate Your Bat Shelter:
Choose a site away from a frequently used area or entrance. The bat shelter should be hung 12'-15' above the ground in an area protected from the wind. It can be in a tree, building, etc. It is best to provide some sort of permanent water source. Hanging a shelter near a light source may help attract bats (the light attracts insects during summer nights.) Fall, winter, and early spring are the best times to hang a bat shelter. It may take up to two years for bats to be attracted to a shelter so be patient and don’t give up!