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Placement of Bat, Duck, Owl and Squirrel Houses

We'll  answer the questions here you have asked us over the years regarding placement and maintenance of your wildlife house.  Bat, duck, owl, and squirrel houses are all covered here.

                                 PLACING A BAT HOUSE

Before deciding on where to place your bat house, keep in mind that bats need:

  • enough bugs  (e.g., mosquitos) to eat
  • water to drink (if not by pond or other close natural source, keep bird baths filled)
  • a comfortable temperature--as mammals, that means not too hot and not too cold.  We recommend placing the house east, towards morning sun.  If that is not possible, placing it facing west is second best.

A pole or tree is the best place for mounting.  Although sides of buildings sometimes work, we recommend keeping the bats away from homes, etc.. they only need a quarter of an inch to squeeze into buildings.. Poles or trees offer a clearly defined space for their bat community.

How high should you mount the bat house?  As a rule, somewhere between 12 to 20 feet high is best.  Since bats need "swooping" space, their house should be clear of tree branches or obstacles that would prevent them from easily swooping into and out of their house.

Can I place another bat house close to the first bat house?  If you have a tree line, water, and know there's evidence of bats already, you can definitely place them close together to encourage more bats.  The more bats, the better!

Have a question?  Call 330-221-8799 to speak to a Holleys' wildlife expert.


                                               PLACING A MALLARD HOUSE/NESTING BOX

Ground or Water?  Mallard duck houses can be placed either on the ground by water or three feet above water on a pole. They can also attach to foam on the bottom of house and float. The advantage to placing it on a pole above water is that the ducks are less likely to be harmed by predators.  If your choice of placement is ground, place about ten feet from the water's edge so that there is easy access to water once ducklings are hatched.

Which water source is best? Farm ponds, wetlands, or small lakes with plant growth are optimal for mallards. It is important that there be some vegetation around and in the water to provide camouflage for the ducks.

Does the Mallard take care of her own nest? You will need to help the Mallard mother by providing nesting material (that comes with our duck houses), as ducks do not do well at building their own nest.  Some gravel covered by wood shavings works best.  Change the nesting material periodically.  Always clean these houses once a year...never leave these duck houses totally unattended.

Can you place Mallard houses close together? You can place several nesting boxes within close proximity.  But, give each mother duck enough space to enter and exit her nesting box with ducklings. 


                                   PLACEMENT OF SQUIRREL HOUSES

Can you place squirrel houses close?  Although squirrels seem to be playing, adult squirrels have a need to prove their dominance.  Although there are differences in territorial behavior between flying or red squirrels and gray squirrels or fox squirrels, it is best to allow for their need of dominance.  Placing squirrel boxes no closer than 20-30 feet apart is wise.

How high should I place my squirrel house?  Place a minimum of ten feet high on tree or pole.  Squirrels like branches, so at least place close to tree.  If you are rehabing squirrels and trying to release them, we suggest putting a squirrel box with peanuts in their cage, then moving the house  with peanuts to a permanent tree home.  We do not recommend placing house on side of your home---it's an invitation to move into your home.

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