DIY Bat Houses

If you read my last post you may be wondering how to make a bat house, or you may not have read any of my posts before, regardless, this is a guide for anybody to use to attract and house bats in their garden, meadow, or even a townhouse yard.

Above: An example of a simple yet creative bat house.

Source: http://www.pscountrycrafts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/IMG_4201.jpg

First you will want to grab your materials. For my purposes I used an electric driver/drill/screw gun, various sizes of wood screws, a stapler, 2’ x 1’ x 1/2” pieces of plywood (2 per house), 2’ x 1” x 2” lumber sticks (2 per house), 1’ x 1” x 2” stick of lumber (1 per house), 2”x4”x16’ lumber sticks (1 per house), and some mesh for lining the inside of the house (about 4 square feet per box, can be plastic coated, aluminum, fiberglass, any mesh used to line exterior windows, etc.).

Above: All the parts needed to make a bat house.

Source: http://www.icehouse.net/reighley/parts..jpg

I got my bat houses fully assembled from a teacher who had their students build bat houses last year, but I did manage to build one for the purpose of this blog. You want to use your drill/driver and appropriately sized wood screws to attach the 2’ sticks of 1” x 2” perpendicularly to one of the 2’ sides of a piece of plywood. Use the same process for attaching the other 2’ stick of 1” x 2” to the other 2’ side of the piece of plywood. Now use your electric driver or screw gun to attach the other piece of plywood in the same fashion to the already attached 2’ x 1” x 2” sticks. You will now want to attach your mesh to the inside of your bat house. Use scissors to cut a 2’ x 1’ piece of mesh and staple it to the plywood in several places between the sticks of lumber. You will want to repeat this step for the other piece of plywood. Once you have the mesh attached you will want to attach the other piece of plywood in the corresponding fashion to the already attached 2’ x 1” x 2” stick of lumber so the mesh is on the inside of the box. Now that you have something resembling a box, you will want to attach the last small piece of stick lumber to the top of the box. Once you have that done you are ready to put your bat houses up

Here are some helpful tips for attracting more bats your bat houses. Place your bat houses on the edges of fields or crop pastures and next to trees.  You can mount your bat houses to long sticks of lumber, or just nail them onto a tree in an area that gets plenty of sunlight, just as long as the bat houses are 10-15 feet into the air. These are areas that bats frequently visit and roost to sleep during the daytime. Paint your bat houses black so they will attract more heat during daylight hours, helping to keep the bats in the house happy. For wet of cooler climates you should add silicon sealant to the seams or joints of your bat houses. This will help keep moisture out of the box, as well as insulate the box further. Adding bat feces, or as it’s technically known guano, to the inside of your bat houses will help attract bats quicker.

There are many different methods for putting your bat houses up I used a 2” x 4” x 16’ stick of lumber I got from the hardware store for pretty cheap. If you use this method of mounting you will want to remove one of the plywood sides of the house to screw through to the stick of lumber. While the plywood side is off, it is a good time to add some bat feces, or guano, to the inside of the house, and also add silicon to all the seams if you’re in a wet or cold region. Once the house is attached you will need to dig a hole between 20” and 3’ deep to secure the bat house in the air.

Have fun with your new project and bat friends!

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