How to Install a Bat House on a Wooden Post

Materials Needed:
  • (1 -2) bat houses from Organization for Bat Conservation
  • 20-foot - 4x6-inch wooden post
  • (1-2) bags of concrete mix or limestone
  • Post hole digger or auger
  • (2) 3-inch long lag or decking screws per bat house
  • Tamper or similar tool to compact soil and cement
  • Level
  • Drill, appropriate driver and drill bit
  • Work gloves*
  • Helper*
  • Non-toxic, latex paint* (color varies depending on region)
  • Caulk and caulk gun**

*optional
**Not necessary for OBC’s bat houses.

The Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC) recommends mounting two bat houses to each post.  This allows you to take advantage of your resources and efforts while supplying habitat for more bats.  It also increases your chances of attracting bats to your yard by giving them more options with varied temperatures during the year.

We recommend the triple-celled (or XL) bat house for post mounting, and especially for rural areas.  The single-chamber bat house is great for urban areas, but we encourage you to provide as much habitat for bats as you can with our triple-celled bat house.

OBC has years of experience and collaborative research to create a successful bat house.  To purchase our U.S.A. made bat houses, visit our website.  We also supply free plans on how to build your own bat house.

Instructions:
  1. Find a suitable location for your bat house and post.   The bat house should be at least 15 feet high and in an area free from obstructions.  It should also receive at least 6 hours of direct sun each day.  In most locations, it is best for the bat house to face east or southeast to take advantage of the morning sun.  To find the best location for your bat house based on your region, view our location recommendations.
  2. Paint and caulk** the bat house at least 24 hours before mounting it to a post.
    **OBC bat houses are already caulked so you can skip that step!
    Refer to our website for the painting recommendations for your region. If you are mounting 2 houses, try painting one and not the other or using two different colors of paint to provide bats with more options. 
  3. On a level surface, align the bat house flush with the top of the wooden post.  Use a tape measure to center the post down the back of the bat house.
  4. With the bat house aligned to the post, drill a hole through top center mounting portion of the bat house and into the wooden post.  Then drill another hole centered on lower portion of the landing area of the bat house.  Use caution when drilling through the mesh in order to prevent the mesh from tangling and tearing. 
  5. Using the drill with the appropriate driver, drill the screws through your two predrilled holes. Be sure to go through both the bat house and the post.  Again, use caution when screwing into the plastic mesh.
  6. Dig a 3-4 foot hole using a post hole digger or an auger.
  7. With the help of a friend and while wearing work gloves, raise the wooden post with the bat house(s) attached to it placing it into the center of the cement and soil mixture. Be sure the bat house(s) are facing the correct direction, allowing them to obtain the most direct sunlight during the day.
  8. Fill the whole a 1/4 of the way with a cement/water mixture or limestone, add a 1/4 layer of soil, then a 1/4 layer of cement or limestone, repeating this process until the hole is filled.  End with a layer of soil on the top for a more natural look. This will also prevent a mess when compacting the mixture.
  9. Use a level to be sure that the post is straight.  If you don’t have a level, have a friend view the post from at least 10 meters away, making sure it is straight.
  10. Using a tamper, compact the soil and cement around the post.
  11. If necessary, such as with high winds or larger holes, add supports angled at 45 degrees on each side of the post until the cement has dried.

Thank you for supporting bat conservation by providing a new home for bats! How do you know if bats are living in your bat house? We recommend that you check your bat house as least once a month in the morning during the warmer seasons with a strong flashlight. You can look for bat guano on the landing platform and under the bat house. Guano is similar to mouse droppings- it is black and about the size of long-grain rice. Also be sure to observe your bat house as the sun is setting. You’ll be able to see and count bats flying out to feed on the insects in your yard!

Share your bat house success stories with us!

© 2012 Organization for Bat Conservation
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