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 saw
Okay 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, which here is the link 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 unstainable 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.
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This is perfect for this time of year!
That is awesome! When I saw the title, I didn’t really think you would be making an actual bat house! So cool! Thanks for sharing!
You’ve got a great bat house DIY! It’s very professional-looking as well. I find your step-by-step photos for illustration very helpful.
That’s very cool. Have you seen any bats use the house? We have them in our area too.
this is so interesting. I never thought of doing this! what a great idea!
All very interesting but I am still terrified of bats. They used to swoop down right near us at the campground, scared the daylights out of me.
I wonder if I build this at our house. Would I see bats in the bat house? Anyways, this is an amazing bat house.
Yes I think you would see them at night, since that is when they hunt all the garden pests. You need to make sure there is water nearby and that the box gets daytime sun to warm the box.
Heya I’m here for the first time, and I came across this board and find it truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to give one thing back and aid others such as yourself that have helped me, so I am sharing! Thanks!
This is a really cool idea, I had no idea that they ate so many bugs. We used to play with them as kids.
What a cool post!! I had no idea how beneficial a bat house is!
Very cool post. As scared as I am of bats, and I mean I’m fricking terrified, I know they do some great things for the environment.
You did a really great job explaining how to create a DIY bat house! 🙂 Blueprints and everything! 🙂 I am glad you explained that the human scent needs to be removed over time (just like birds) in order for th ebats to go inside. What a great way to NATURALLY control the pest population. Out of curiousity, how many years will a bat house hold up in a tree exposed to the elements?
Thank you for the great post! 🙂
I had no clue there is something called a bat house, and it can be a DIY project, A super cool post 😀
Oh wow truly? This is pretty amazing, we wanted to built the classical bird house.
I love your creativity and vision for every project. This is such a cool idea, thanks again for another great idea.
How fun! We have bats near my house, but I never thought of building or putting up a bat house. I bet they would love that!
What a interesting idea, I had no idea that bats could be so useful for a garden.
This is a solid DIY for any garden and adds so much back to the environment. Bats are not the evil creatures we make them out to be, they do a lot of good.
Hey! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!
What a fun DIY for Earth Day, and great way to give back to the plant its creatures too!
Ok this is kind of perfect for Halloween but I’m not going to lie, bats do scare me a bit ahahah
I’ve heard of bat houses before, they sound very intriguing and a great addition to any yard. Thank you for these designs.
There’s a bat house we used to visit in Gainesville, FL on the UF campus. Hundreds of bats would fly out of it every night and go across to the pond to eat. It was so cool to watch! I don’t know if I could put one in my own yard though. Maybe my dad will at their lake house yard up in WI.
Bats are very misunderstood creatures. I love them I will definitely be making a bat house.
This is an interesting DIY for a gardener. I have often thought about adding a bat box to my yard to inhibit mosquitoes and varmints. I love the easy instructions and design and how you simply mounted it to a tree to naturalize it.
This is a great idea for a natural pest control for yards and environmentally friendly as well.
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I love the idea of adding bat boxes to an environment as a natural way to pests. Let nature do all the work for you.
This is a interesting idea, I am not sure I have ever seen a bat box before. Do you actually have bats living inside that would be very cool, since they really do eat bugs and things.