Cedar bat house with a finish that repels moisture. Constructed to allow reliable airflow for a comfortable bat environment. Available in choice of two or three chambers. Nice price.
A few houses were damaged upon arrival. Some quality control issues noted.
You cannot beat the quality for the price. Good, solid cedar construction. Comes ready to mount.
On the small side. Some users report placement instructions are inadequate.
We love the grooved walls that make it easier for bats to enter and roost. Very simple to install.
Some users report the craftsmanship isn't on par with more costly models.
Quality weather-resistant cedar construction with dual chambers that can hold as many as 75 bats. Design is proven to attract bats, earning it certification from Bat Conservation International.
Some complaints of quality control issues such as components that weren't assembled properly.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Bats might make you think of Dracula – or black-clad kids who listen to Bauhaus – but there's so much more to these fuzzy flying mammals. One bat eats thousands of insects each night, and bats help pollinate plants.
Sadly, bat numbers are on the decline, and many species are in danger of extinction. By placing a bat house on your property, you can help boost their numbers. But first you need to figure out what to look for in a bat house and how to find the right one for your local bats.
We at BestReviews have done our research to bring you all the information you need. Check out our top recommendations, read our guide below, and you'll soon be in possession of the perfect safe haven for bats.
Benefits of a bat house
Why buy a bat house? There are many benefits, for both the bats and for you. Here are some of them:
Many species of bats are endangered. Bats have lost a large amount of their natural habitat and roosting sites. Placing a bat house on your property gives them a safe and suitable spot to roost.
A bat house can help keep bats out of your attic. If you live in a place highly populated by bats, a bat house is an appropriate place for them to roost and can stop them from moving in somewhere you don't want them, such as your attic or barn.
Bats are a natural pesticide for your garden. Bats eat huge numbers of insects each night.
Bats are pollinators. In some areas, bats are important pollinators. For instance, the lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican long-tongued bat are pollinators that spend part of the year in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Bat guano is an excellent fertilizer. It also helps distribute seeds.
Bats are amazing creatures. If you like bats, you might simply enjoy having some living on your property.
Bat house construction
The overall construction of the box should provide the type of environment bats like. If it doesn't, they’re unlikely to move in, and they won't stay long if they do.
Draft-free: Bats don't like drafts, so your chosen bat house should be well constructed, without any gaps (except the entrance).
Warm: Bats like a warm, humid environment, so a well-insulated bat house is ideal.
Sealed top: The box shouldn't be opened (in fact, it's illegal in some places to open a bat house once bats have moved in), so there's no need for a removable lid or front panel.
Dry: Bats certainly don't like living in houses that leak, so the joints should be sealed to keep water from getting in.
Bat houses have multiple slim chambers rather than one large chamber because bats prefer tight spaces. You can find bat houses with one to six chambers. Each chamber should be around 0.75 to 1.0 inch deep. While single-chamber bat houses are fine if you don't have much space or you’re on a tight budget, studies have found bats are more likely to move into larger, multi-chambered bat houses. If you want to attract mothers with pups or encourage breeding, you'll need a bat house with at least four or five chambers.
In general, bats prefer large bat houses. You'll have the most luck attracting bats to houses with a chamber measuring at least 20 inches tall and 14 inches wide. They'll also need a landing area of up to half a foot long. If you don't have room for a bat house this large, you can make do with a more compact model, but bats might not move in as readily.
The majority of bat houses are made of wood, but you can also find some made from molded plastic. Any wooden bat houses should be made from untreated wood (though the outside can be painted or stained) because bats are sensitive to chemicals. Molded plastic bat houses, though less common, are more durable and need less maintenance.
All surfaces inside a bat house should be grooved or scored to give bats enough purchase. If they can't grip the inside walls effectively, it won't be a place they’ll want to stay. Alternatively, the inside can be covered with one-eighth- or one-quarter-inch square plastic mesh. However, some experts consider this inferior to grooved surfaces because the mesh can break over time.
The main factor that influences the cost of a bat house is size. However, you'll also pay more for the best, most well-constructed bat houses.
Small: Single-chamber bat houses generally cost between $30 and $50.
Medium: If you're looking for a larger two- or three-chambered model, expect to pay $50 to $100.
Large: The largest bat houses, with four to six chambers, tend to be priced between $100 and $200.
Pay attention to the color of the bat house. Darker colors absorb more heat, so they're good for areas where summer temperatures are lower. Black is good for areas that experience highs of less than 85°F in July, dark brown or dark gray where July temperatures are 85°F to 95°F, medium brown or gray where average temperatures are 95°F to 100°F in July, and light wood colors or white where July temperatures exceed 100°F.
Get the right house for the bats in your region. Although most bat houses are designed for a wide range of bats, some are specifically tailored to attract certain species. Check before buying, and also make yourself aware of the bats that live in your area. There's no point in buying a bat house made to attract endangered Florida bonneted bats when you live in the Pacific Northwest.
Check your bat house for other inhabitants. Sometimes other species move in before bats get a chance. Wasps are perhaps the main offenders. Regularly check the bat house and clear out unwanted guests (though in the case of wasps, you'll need to wait until the nest is empty).
There are some excellent options that didn't quite make it into our top five. The Songbird Essentials Five-Chamber Bat House is certified safe by bat conservation experts. Its roomy five-chambered design means it's large enough to fit at least a couple hundred bats and even attract nursing mothers. The double-chambered Kenley Bat House was carefully designed according to research on bats' needs and preferences. It is naturally weatherproof and built to last. What stands out about Uncle Dunkel's Triple-Chamber Bat House is the bark front that mimics the type of habitat bats generally look for and helps encourage them to the bat house.
Q. How many bats can fit in a bat house?
A. That depends on a range of factors, including the size of the bat house, the number of chambers, and the species of bat you attract (different species have different roosting densities). Manufacturers often overestimate the number of bats that their houses can fit, so don't believe everything you read. We generally wouldn't expect more than 65 bats to roost in a single chamber.
Q. Where should I position my new bat house?
A. A bat house should be mounted high off the ground – at least 12 feet, but 15 to 20 feet is ideal – on a pole or the side of a building. Bats rarely use houses placed in trees. Trees aren't great for bats because predators can perch in the branches and wait for them to exit their house. Bats like warmth, so a bat house must be positioned in a location that gets plenty of sun. If you live in a cooler region, position your bat house in full sun. Partial sun is better in hot climates.
Q. How can I encourage bats to use my bat house?
A. Bats go where the insects are, so planting the type of garden that encourages insects – especially flying insects – will also encourage bats into the area. Bats need to live near water, too, so installing a pond, water feature, or even a simple bird bath can help.