Which bat house is best?
Bats are like bees in that they’re an essential but misunderstood part of the ecosystem that’s in sharp decline. Bats are responsible for eating millions of bugs — a single bat can eat several thousand insects in one night alone. Without these adorable friends, we would struggle to keep crops alive, and we would be overrun by insects.
The best bat house is the Outer Trails Two-Chamber Bat House. It can hold up to roughly 20 bats and is weatherproofed to resist moisture.
What to know before you buy a bat house
The larger the bat house, the more likely it is for a cauldron of bats to move in. Houses at least 20 inches tall and 14 inches wide with a 6-inch landing zone work best, but smaller houses are still acceptable if you’re on a tight budget.
Bat houses use different colors to absorb the amount of sunlight needed to warm the house without becoming too hot.
- White or untreated wood is best for summer temperatures that exceed 100 degrees.
- Light brown or gray is best for summer temperatures around 95 to 100 degrees.
- Dark brown or gray is best for summer temperatures around 85 to 95 degrees.
- Black is best for summer temperatures that don’t exceed 85 degrees.
What to look for in a quality bat house
What bats like
There are some general points of construction to look for when shopping for bat houses.
- Airflow: Bats don’t need much more airflow than the main opening provides. If there’s too much of a draft, they won’t stay.
- Insulation: Bats like to stay in warm, humid environments. Houses with insulation are most likely to keep them happy.
- Sealing: Bat houses should be kept sealed at all times once installed. If it has a removable front panel, don’t buy it.
Bat houses are typically made of wood or plastic.
- Wood houses are the most common. They should be untreated, as bats are sensitive to chemicals, though external painting is fine.
- Plastic houses are uncommon, despite their increased durability and decreased need for maintenance over wood houses.
Bats like tight spaces, so their houses are made of tiny chambers that are 1 inch deep or less. While it’s perfectly fine to have a single chamber, bats are more likely to stay in multi-chamber houses. Multi-chamber houses are also more likely to attract bats with pups.
Bats need to have grip surfaces that are comfortable and easy to hold on to. Otherwise, they won’t hang around. Grooved and scored surfaces are best, though square plastic mesh that’s either one-eighth or one-quarter inch will work too — it will just break down as time wears on.
How much you can expect to spend on a bat house
Bat houses can cost $30-$200. Basic, single-chamber houses typically cost less than $50, while two- or three-chamber houses cost up to $100. Houses with more than four chambers start at around $100.
Bat house FAQ
Why should I attract bats to my home?
A. There are a few reasons to want bats around your home besides simply helping endangered animals survive.
- No insects: A cauldron of bats can eat thousands upon thousands of insects in one night. If you have issues with mosquitoes or other pests, bats will help.
- Pollination: Like bees, bats are an important part of pollination. Having some bats around will help all manner of plants grow.
- Fertilizer: If you have a garden, bat droppings, also known as guano, make for excellent — and free — fertilizer.
Where should I put my bat house?
A. You should place a bat house in accordance with the following rules.
- Height: Bats like to be high up. Aim for a minimum of 12 feet high, though 15 to 20 feet is preferred.
- Heat: Bats like to be warm. In colder climates, place your houses in direct sunlight. In hot climates, place the houses in partial sunlight.
- Trees: Bats don’t like trees, as their predators hide in the branches. Place your bat houses on the side of your home or on a pole with nothing above it.
How many bats can fit in a single bat house?
A. That depends on the size of the house. The smallest house can usually hold roughly 20, while the largest can hold 100 or more.
What’s the best bat house to buy?
Top bat house
What you need to know: It is reasonably priced and can hold more than enough bats.
What you’ll love: It comes pre-built and is weatherproofed to resist changes in temperature and moisture from rain and snow. It can hold up to 20 bats or more and comes in brown, black and faux-bark finishes. The design allows for proper airflow throughout the house.
What you should consider: Some consumers reported receiving damaged houses. Others had issues with durability. Strong winds can rattle the house.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bat house for the money
What you need to know: It comes stamped with the Audubon Society’s approval.
What you’ll love: It’s made of reforested inland red cedar that’s rough with plenty of grooves to make it easy for the bats to cling to. It can be purchased individually or in a pack of two, three or four with each house holding up to roughly 20 bats.
What you should consider: Some customers had issues with the hanging instructions, finding them confusing or lacking in detail. The included screws aren’t the best — you may want to buy better ones.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These are specially designed for specific areas of the U.S.
What you’ll love: It’s made of cedar and either painted or unpainted to be more comfortable for bats in specific climates of the U.S. There is a map on the listing pointing you to which house to purchase. It is double-chambered and can hold up to roughly 75 bats.
What you should consider: Some purchasers received boxes that weren’t put together correctly. It is more difficult and complicated to hang than most bat houses.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.