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Steel Pole

Materials Needed:

  • (1-2) bat houses from Organization for Bat Conservation
  • 20-foot metal pole with at least a 2-inch diameter
  • (1-2) bags of concrete mix or limestone
  • Post hole digger or auger
  • (2) U-bolts with nuts and plates
  • Tamper or similar tool to compact soil and cement
  • Level
  • Drill, appropriate driver and drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 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, back to back, at the top of the pole.  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 pole 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:

  • Find a suitable location for your bat house and pole.  
  • 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.
  • Paint and caulk the bat house** at least 24 hours before mounting it to a pole.
  • **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. 
  • Align the bat house flush with the top of the steel pole.  Use a tape measure to ensure that the pole is placed down the center of the bat house.
  • With the bat house aligned to the pole, mark where the holes for the U-bolt will need to be drilled.  One U-bolt will go around the pole and through the top mounting portion of the bat house.  The other U-bolt will go through the bottom portion of the bat house, on the landing pad. 
  • Drill holes through the center of the mounting portion of the bat house that are the same diameter of your U-bolts. Then drill two more holes centered on the lower portion of the landing area of the bat house for the bottom U-bolt.  Use caution when drilling through the mesh in order to prevent the mesh from tangling and tearing.
  • Insert each U-bolt around the pole and through the drilled holes in the bat house.
  • Slide the plates over the U-Bolt ends and tighten the nuts on each U-bolt using an appropriate driver on your drill.
  • Dig a 3-4 foot hole using a post hole digger or an auger.
  • With the help of a friend, raise the steel pole with the bat house(s) attached to it placing it in the center of the hole.  Be sure the bat house(s) are facing the correct direction, allowing them to obtain the most direct sunlight during the day.
  • Fill the hole 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, 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.
  • Use a level to be sure that the pole is straight.  If you don’t have a level, have a friend view the pole from at least 30 feet away, making sure it is straight.
  • Using a tamper, compact the soil and cement around the pole.
  • If necessary, such as with high winds or larger holes, add supports angled at 45 degrees on sides 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!