Kim Williams, the executive director for the Organization for Bat Conservation located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said it doesn’t matter if you build your own bat house or buy one. But siting it is important.
“We recommend you put a bat house on a pole 12 feet or higher,” she said. “The higher the better.”
The bat house should also be facing south to southeast and it should be painted a dark color to absorb heat.
A water source nearby is helpful, but not mandatory.
“Bats like to forage over water because that’s where mosquitoes and gnats and other insects hang out,” she said.
If you do decide to build your own bat house, Williams said, be sure to use cedar for the exterior and be sure to caulk well so there are no drafts.
She added that early summer is the best time to put a bat house up.
“Anytime during warm weather is good,” she said. “They’re always looking for places to live, places they want to raise their young ones.”