Bat house/insect attraction/solar cell question

I have a bat house hanging on one end of my shed. My idea is to make my property more bat friendly, helping with mosquito control. I’ve already addressed standing water/etc and I really do not have a “mosquito problem” per se, but what the heck, huh.

I have a few little brown bats I see in the evenings, but no bat house activity as yet. I was wondering if installation of a light near the bat house would attract bugs and thus bats to the bat house area. Ideally, this would require no wiring.


Does my idea sound like it will work?
Does a light exist that would be insect attracting yet run off of a photo voltaic arrangement? (This is the question that led me to post in general questions.)
Anyone have a bat house that would like to share their anecdotes, feel free.


From an engineering standpoint, this is easily doable, but I don’t know whether this will make your bat house any more bat-friendly (I’m going to work in a Batman pun in here yet).
You need to figure out how much light you want - I have a friend who collects beetles, and he uses a battery-powered UV lamp as an attractant. If you choose something like 10W, and want it to run for 8 hours, you need 80 WH of energy. Figure 60% efficiency, and you need to collect 133 WH. On a good day, you can get maybe 6 hours of peak sun, so you need to have a panel which will provide around 20W (or so). Then you need a decent-sized battery, but this isn’t much energy, and a small gel-cell will work. Of course, you could try some UV LEDs, which could be powered with a much small system, but they don’t put out much light.
I think it’s time for a trip to the Bat-Lab for some Bat-tery research…

vetbridge your idea might attract bugs, but that really doesn’t sound like your problem.

You said the house was attached to your shed. According to this and this site, houses should be mounted between 10-20 feet high.

I had a bat house in central Arkansas and could never get bats in the darn thing. I did al ittle research online and went to my local extension office and they told me to hang it higher. I put together 30 ft of galvanized pipe and anchored it into the ground and sure enough, in two weeks I had to go get another house because mine was full. BTW, they really didn’t help the mosquito problem much, but they were fun to look at and the kids enjoyed seeing them.

IANABS (bat specialist), YMMV.

I have read that as well. I have a house ready to mount on the side of my house, but I need some help (a ladder holder) due to the slope of the yard there.

The shed bat house is a second location. I was hoping that the shed sitting on a hill would help. Hmmmm. Maybe I can mount a 2x4 or 2x6 to raise it higher. Alternatively, there are some cool poles designed for purple martin houses that are light weight and telescope.

Thanks guys. Elevating the house seems like it should be simpler than the light idea.

hehe. The mosquito issue is more my cover story/excuse for getting and erecting the bat houses.

billyb0b - How’d you know your first house was full? Did the little bats come knocking at your door demanding better accomodations?

When I was a kids we’d be playing outside at twilight and the bats would come out of the walnut trees and the carriage house and swoop and dive. We loved to watch them. I wonder - I have plenty of trees plus the loft in my bard. Would puuting up a bat house drawn them closer to my house?