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Build a Bat House
Finished & Painted
Frame & Back
Do-It-Yourself Bat House
Step 1: Materials
(All wood should be rough cedar)
(2) 18" 2x2s
(1) 15" 2x2
(5) 15" 1x6s
(1) 15" 1x4
(1) 15-1/2" 1x4
(1) 11-1/2" 1x1
Step 2: The Sides, Top and Back
This bat house accomodates 30-50 bats and can
be built for about $20. For the sides of the bat house, take the two
18" 2x2s and place them 15" apart. Attach the 15" 2x2
to one end with nails to form the ceiling. Lay three of the 15"
1x6s across the sides, butted against each other, and attach with three
nails on each end. If you use cedar, the rough side of the wood should
be on the inside so the bats can grip it. If you dont use cedar
or a wood with a rough surface, staple a piece of ordinary black vinyl
window screen to the inside back wall of the bat house. Let it extend
to the bottom for grip.
Step 3: The Front and Roof
Turn the bat house over and attach two more 15"
1x6s, butted against each other, at the top. If you live in the central
or southern United States, leave a half-inch ventilation gap between
the third piece of the front; if you live in the north, dont worry
about it. The third piece of the front is a 15" 1x4 that has a
11-1/2" 1x1 nailed along the center of the bottom edge. This piece
restricts the entrance to 3/4-1" at the bottom of the bat house.
It is big enough for bats to enter but too small for predators. Nail
the 15-1/2" 1x4 to the top of the bat house for the roof, making
it flush with the back.
Step 4: Waterproofing and Painting
Use a caulking gun sparingly to seal all of the
seams during assembly. No caulking should enter the bat area. This keeps
air and moisture out. Finally, you need to paint it. If you live in
the north, choose a dark color to absorb the heat from the sun. If you
live in the south, paint it white to deflect the heat from the sun.
Step 5: Location, Location, Location
A bat house needs to be warm, so its important
to place it in the sun. A tree is not a good location. The best place
is on the south side of a house, about 15-18' from the ground, so bats
can easily fly in and out, and predators cannot get near them. Bats
also need to be within a 1/4 mile of water, which provides an ample
food source because water attracts many insects.
Step 6: What to Expect
Wondering which type of bat lives in your area?
The little brown bat and the big brown bat live in the northern two-thirds
of the United States. In the south, Mexican free-tailed and evening
bats are most common. In general, any species that naturally roost in
buildings or under bridges will live in a bat house. A few final bat
facts: contrary to popular belief, bats do not swoop down on your head
(theyre much more interested in the insects around you). And as
for rabies, youre more likely to contract it from a cow.
to see plans for a Bat House on a post. Or Bat
Conservation International, Inc. for a small Economy Bat House.
Last updated: Thursday, 09-Sep-04 16:15:08
Park information: firstname.lastname@example.org