How To Build a Bat House

Photo of bats

Many people are afraid of bats. They associate them with Halloween, vampires, and haunted houses. So why would anyone want these blood suckers in their yard? For starters, most bats are insectivores--which means they eat the real blood suckers--mosquitoes. One bat can eat up to a thousand mosquitoes in an hour. Bat guano is also good for the soil. Bats usually make their homes in trees; but due to forest being cleared, bats need more places to build their homes. Much like a bird house, a bat house can be made from wood. Unlike bird houses, bat houses are very narrow and the opening is located on the bottom. The following are directions on how to build a bat house.

Required Materials

  • plywood
  • mesh
  • paint
  • caulk
  • screws
  • screwdriver
  • staples
  • jigsaw

First, mark and cut the plywood into two pieces with a jigsaw that are 24X14 inches. One will be the front and one will be the back. Cut the front piece into two pieces. Call one piece top front and the other bottom front. When they are assembled, this will create a ventilation gap. Roughen the top and back pieces with a knife or saw to give the bats footholds.

Next make the sides. The sides will create the space between the front and back. They need to be 24 inches long and 2 inches thick to give the bats space. With a caulk gun, glue the sides to the back. Use a drill to secure screws to hold it together more securely.

Paint the piece a dark color. Black is preferred. The outside will be a color that blends in with the surroundings. If you hang it on a red barn, paint it red. If you hang it on a tree, paint it brown.

Before you attach the top pieces, add the mesh or net to the bottom piece. Use a staple gun to attach the netting. This will give the bats better holding.

To attach the front pieces, caulk the side pieces and place the top front piece and the bottom front piece a half inch apart to allow ventilation. Place several screws in the front to secure the pieces to the sides.

Once it is dry, you can hang your bat house on your house, post, barn, or tree. It needs to be at least fifteen feet high and facing either south or southeast. There needs to be enough sunlight to keep the bats warm.

You may not see bats right away, but give it some time. Bats usually look for homes in the spring, so hang it at the end of winter. It may take a year to attract bats, but once you attain your new house guest, you will learn why bats are beneficial.


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