Bat House Project
Arizona's bats are an invaluable natural resource. Bats are the primary predator of night-flying insects such as moths, beetles, and mosquitoes. A single bat can catch hundreds of insects in just one hour. Installing a bat house is an excellent way to learn more about bats and their roosting habits. Also, attracting bats to your area is a natural way to reduce lawn and garden pests.
To improve your success at attracting
bats to your bat house remember to keep
the following in mind:
- Temperature is a critical factor
in roost selection. In the hottest areas
of Arizona, bat houses should be on north-
or east-facing structures where they
will receive morning sun, but be shaded
from direct sun in the afternoon.
bat houses on the side of a building
or on a pole at least 12 feet above ground
(higher is better). Houses mounted on
trees are usually not successful.
bats like a clear swoop zone to exit
and enter their roost, so avoid placing
the house in an area with obstacles,
such as tree branches.
- Do not mount
the bat house close to bright lights.
Arizona, bat houses should be painted
a light color to reflect heat.
you have a bat house in Arizona?
would love to hear from you. Let us know
what's working (and what's not!) to help
us determine what sort of bat houses
work best in our hot climate. Send information
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Did you know Phoenix has a great urban
bat-watching opportunity? Each summer
several thousand Mexican free-tailed
bats and western pipistrelle
the Maricopa County Flood Control Tunnel near 40th Street and Camelback
Road as a day
Directions to see the bats:
Street and Camelback Road intersection,
head north on 40th Street. (Parking
is very limited;
please respect private
property and restricted areas. You may need to park south of the
intersection.) The path
(levee) to the tunnel is located on the north side of the Arizona Canal.
Head west on the path about 200 yards (past buildings and parking
garage). You will
see the flood control channel just north of the canal. Head north about
20 feet from the gravel path to the paved path. The paved path will
to the top
of the tunnel (you'll see bat-watching information signs posted here),
and you can look over as the bats fly out of the tunnel.
They exit the tunnel just after sunset
each night (total exit time; approximately
45 minutes) throughout the summer months
(May through October). If you're
an early bird, you may just want to see them return around sunrise
If you know of other urban bat areas,
please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.