One method of creating bat roosting habitat or assisting with bat eviction is to build a bat box aka bat-house. But to be successful and help bats, it is important to do it right.
- First, consider if installing bat boxes is necessary – bat boxes provide alternate roosting habitat when bats are excluded from a building or natural habitat is lost. Read the current Best Practices for bat boxes in BC for more information.
- Look at designs, decide which is suitable, and download plans.
- Aim to provide a variety of microclimates – consider back-back maternity boxes, or multiple boxes that receive differing amounts of sunlight.
- Carefully consider where and how to install. Many boxes don’t get installed, and of those that do, many don’t get occupied.
- Register your bat box to contribute to Citizen Science
- Monitor annually by looking for guano, listening for bats, and joining the Annual Bat Count if your box is occupied
- Send in a guano sample for genetic testing to learn which species are in your bat box
- Don’t forget to maintain your box in fall or winter when bats are gone – make sure it is well attached, there are no leaks, and there are no wasp nests inside.
- The 2023 Best Management Practices for the Use of Bat Houses in the US and Canada is a lengthy that might be of interest to those wanting detailed information.