Bat House DIY
As Halloween quickly approaches it seemed like the perfect season to share our Bat House DIY, we did over the summer.
As spooky as it may sound, adding a Bat House to your yard has a plethora of amazing beneficial environmental impacts. My Bat House DIY is designed to show you how to create and make your very own Bat House or Bat Box, for your own yard. Did you know that bats eat mosquitos? So if you live near a water source that my draw mosquitos, having a friendly neighbor bat can help to cut down on your mosquito infestation in a natural, environmentally friendly way. Bats generally don’t bother people at all and they eat many species of insects that would destroy are gardens or crops, so keeping bats around is actually a really good thing.
- Bats make up 20% of the mammal species; there are over 1200 species of bats around the world.
- Three different species of bats feed on blood. Most bats feed on insects or fruit.
- It is commonly misconceived that you can get rabies from bat or bat poop.
Bat House DIY Tutorial
- Table saw or circular saw
- Variable-speed reversing drill
- Hammer (optional)
- Screwdriver bit for drill
- Tape measure
- Clamp (optional)
Caulking gun Sander (optional) 1 1 ⁄2″ hole sawOkay so I will be the first to tell that we totally did our research online before venturing into this project. It turns out that their are pretty specific specifications for a Bat House to be successful. It seems they are a little bit more particular about their homes than birds. We found all of this great information and even the building plans available online at Bat Conservation International, batcon.org As you can see above in the house plans from the Bat Conservation site. Bats prefer roost chambers at least 20 inches tall and at least 14 inches wide. All houses should have 3 to 6-inch landing areas extending below the entrances or recessed partitions with landing space inside. While the number of roosting chambers is not critical, they recommend, the more chambers the better for conserving heat. Single-chambered houses should be mounted on wooden or masonry building, facing the sun, which helps to buffer temperature fluctuations.They recommend using an unfinished rough wood that the bats are able to climb easily. We were in luck since we have a lot of left over pallet boards from various projects, like my Potting Bench/Rustic Garden Dining Table project. We measured the boards and our left over pieces were perfect. We had enough wood we decided to build the Basic Four chamber Nursery House, (link here) where you can click over to get your own set of plans.Ron first made the back wall of the bat house to the specifications, and added the roof top board for the stability. To save a little time he used a nail gun to attach all the boards and miter box to make the cuts. They recommend using plywood but since we already had the pallet boards we opted to caulk the grooves later.
The next step was to add the two sides which are deeper than the roof board. This will allow an opening for the bat to climb up into to roost. Ron attached the boards making sure not to have any exposed nail that could harm the residents. Once our sides were in place, we repeated the same process for the four inside chambers. Finally, we added the front boards and the slanted front single roof board. We also added the optional back mounting board since we knew this would be mounted to a tree in our back yard. We wanted it to be stable in the high winds we get through our yard.Once it was assembled it was time to seal it up. They recommend that you stain it with a good weather proof stain, and even have a chart for each region that gives you a stain color recommendation for maximum heat absorption to keep the bats warm. We are located in Zone 2, which is medium to dark stains. Since our wood already has varied colors, we will arrange the boards to provide a nice medium to dark color pattern. I have to say I really like the Minwax Poly Shades for exterior stains, since it already contains stain and polyurethane all in one simple step. I tend to like walnut, maple, and other dark colored stain colors as well. I find that the Antique Walnut is a beautiful rich color on most woods. Once we stained the box front and back and allowed it dry. We added a clear silicone caulk to seal up all the cracks and crevices.
Designer Tip:By staining first then caulking we avoided having any unsustainable areas or unsightly raw wood colored lines embedded under the chalk on the box.
After allowing the caulk to dry over night it was time to install our new Bat House 22-25 feet up a tree that got ample sun exposure. We already had a tree in mind prior to even building the Bat House, so up the ladder it went and was attached to a nearby Tulip Poplar tree. Now it just needs to become one with nature and lose all of our humane scents and we should have our batty residents soon. Which is wonderful because the bug buffet from these woods, creek and lake are plentiful. We also love the location since we can see the house from all angles of our home, but it is not overly obvious. You will also want to pick a location that is not in a walk path since bat droppings will probably occur. I am willing to risk a little Guano for less mosquitos and stink bugs.