Purchasing a bat house is easy, however having a colony bats take up residence inside it is sometimes another story. To tip the odds in your favor using bat attractant can help. Here’s what you’ll want to know when considering using it.
Having a bat house that’s full of bats can have many advantages. Bats can help to put a huge dent in your mosquito population as they each are capable of gobbling up around a thousand of these backyard pests per hour.
And of course don’t forget the grade-A guano (bat poop) fertilizer for your garden. Even with the right placement however, it’s not uncommon to have to wait a year, two, or even three before they move in and you can enjoy these bat house benefits among others.
Placement Comes First
No amount of bat attractant will work if you don’t have your bat house in the right location. So before you start spraying it with any scents you need to know where to put a bat house first. Bats like to roost near a fresh water source, and that typically means within a quarter of a mile at the most.
(Man-made alternatives such as birdbaths can be used as a substitute.) Your bat house should also be installed in a spot that gets daily direct exposure to the sun. Facing an eastern or southeastern orientation can help with this since it keeps the temperature in the house high which is what bats prefer.
You’ll also want to make sure the house is at least ten feet off the ground or higher and doesn’t have any obstructions such as branches near the entrance so the bats can enter and exit easily and safely.
Bat House Attractant Basics
Studies show that bats are very responsive to smells. They also search out spaces where other bats happen to be currently roosting. A bat attractant helps you use these natural traits to your advantage. The goal of an attractant is to get the bats to investigate your bat house.
And if you have placed it in a location that creates the conditions they like, then hopefully they will move in. Because bats have a sensitive sense of smell many bat house owners will fill their new bat house with damp soil before using it.
By leaving soil inside the house for a few days and then dumping it out, it can help to get rid of the new bat house smell which bats tend to avoid. Another simple action which can help too is to simply let your house air out and weather a bit outdoors for a period of time before installing it and using your attractant.
Bat Attractant Options
When choosing an attractant you have a couple of different types pick from. Some consist of a paste made from actual guano which of course can be very convincing to a bat’s nose that bats have been using your bat house.
If you have an active roost on your property, or know someone who does, you may want to make your own homemade bat attractant. To do so you’ll need to collect about a cup of guano and then mix it with water. Once it has a paste-like consistency you can pour it into your bat house which will allow it to really soak in.
This method is not for the squeamish and you’ll want to wear a paper filter mask and rubber gloves when doing so for safety. Luckily you don’t have to use guano at all in order to attract bats to your yard and bat house.
There are also sprays which smell like bat pheromones. Ammonia sprays are another choice as well, and these mimic the smell of bat urine since that is one of the chemicals that it naturally contains. These two types of sprays are typically the most popular since you won’t have to deal with any bat poop, possible bacteria, or mess.
When To Use A Bat Attractant
Often times, people will install their bat house and after a long period of waiting get frustrated when it doesn’t seem to be attracting bats. They will then try an attractant. There’s nothing wrong with doing this but you may end up wasting a lot of time waiting first with nothing to show for it.
The easiest way to save time and increase your odds is to use a bat house attractant from the start. But don’t forget, house placement is critical. The time of year and your location can also play a role. Normally the best months to install a bat house and use your attractant are from January to April.
This is when bats come out of hibernation and are looking for their summer-time roost. Of course you will want to be sure to follow the seller’s instructions for where and how frequently to apply your specific attractant.
Using a bat attractant isn’t foolproof. However it can definitely help to increase the odds of getting bats into a bat house without a long wait and being able to enjoy the benefits of having them inside as quickly as possible.
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