The beginning of August signals the start of “bat season”. The pups that were born earlier this Spring were 3-4% their mothers weight when they first appeared. Each night they stayed behind inside the roosting structure (attic, dead tree, etc.) while mom went out to feed. Now they are mature enough to follow mom out at night and feed on their own.
This is good and bad for home owners who have bats roosting in their homes. First, juvenile bats, just like our own children, tend to do things that you wouldn’t want them to do. As a result, they tend to end up in places where they should not be. (Can’t you just imagine momma bat telling junior “don’t do that” right before he slips down a crack in the ceiling or wall?) This means that you can unexpectedly find a bat inside your living space. Also, it means that there are more bats living inside your hove than there were earlier in the year. And, the bats tend to be a little noisier. The end of July and beginning of August is when most bat calls come in.
The up side to all this is that once the pups are on the wing, the problem can finally be dealt with. Bat removal is not done by trapping and relocating bats. Bats have excellent “road maps” in their heads. Some species migrate from cave to cave and move from roosting tree to roosting tree. After all, they find their way back to their roosting locations each year. Why wouldn’t they be able to find their way back. Hauling them away would be foolish anyway. You want them out of the house not out of the neighborhood.
So, the first part of the “getting them out but keeping them around” process is to establish a roosting structure outside the house. This is, of course, optional. Putting up a bat house is not a mandatory part of excluding bats from your home. But, many people want to continue to enjoy the insect control benefits that the bats have been providing.
The bat house that you see in the pictures is built according to plans put out by Bat Conservation International. It has a “single sided design” so that it can be hung on the side of a building. This design can also be hung back to back as a pair like you see here. These are going up at a client’s house where an exclusion project is going to take place. We want to get these up several weeks in advance of the exclusion (eviction) of the bats from the client’s home. This gives the bats time to look it over and to get used to the new roosting structure.
Bats can be finicky about picking living quarters. There needs to be sufficient sunlight to warm the bat house. This one is oriented to maximize solar input and to keep it nice and toasty for the new colony that will hopefully take up residence there.