First off, a bat house will not lure bats away from the attic of your home. In July of 2004 I performed a bat removal service at a home in a small sub-division and evicted a few dozen bats that were entering through the gable vents. You can help preserve a healthy and diverse wildlife ecosystem by inviting more bats into your backyard habitat with these bat box plans for an easy to make and decorative bat house. The links below provide free plans and information that has proved successful for a number of years. I painted the bat box with three coats of a dark gray, flat exterior spray paint.
Children can do a lot of the work that is involved in constructing the bat house, including taking measurements, driving screws, and painting the exterior. I decided to build the basic four chambered unit featured on the Bat Conservation International website They have a wealth of information about bats and bat houses. To purchase other styles of ready-made bat houses which are part of BCI’s Certification Program , check out BCI’s Catalog , or Bat Conservation and Management has a line of commercially made bat houses and kits.
Painting your bat house a dark or light color, depending on whether you want to absorb or reflect heat, will help keep it temperate. The more chambers there are in the house the greater the occupancy rate will be. The primary reason bat house builders generally resort to a mesh or rely on rough cedar” is due to the labor involved in mechanically grooving a roosting surface. Continue the scoring until you have covered the interior of parts C, D and E, including the lower landing section of the back (part C) which extends down below the bat house. Once you’ve finished it, hang your bat house high in a sunny corner of your backyard, and the bats will soon find a stylish new home.
The Buzbee Bat House Temperature Plot – this is a great site for links about bats. There is a better chance you will attract bats if your bat house is within 1500 ft of a stream or pond. In many cases I have evicted groups of bats from a gable vents and installed a traditional bat house in close proximity to the secured gable vent (as pictured above) in an effort to get the bats to inhabit the bat house. If you live in the Ohio River Valley, avoid bat droppings, since they often carry Histoplasma capsulatum, a fungus that causes lung disease. One of the best ways of attracting bats to your yard is by building a bat house.
It’s much easier (and less frustrating) to test fit the pieces together now to make any final adjustments rather than trying to make changes after the bat house is halfway assembled. Order a Rocket Box bat house from Bats Northwest; this style has been popular with bats in the Puget Sound region. The goal is take the plywood, which is very smooth, and roughen it up to provide places for the bat to crawl up into the house. Unfortunately we don’t know what happened to it. We looked all over, but it’s now been six years and there’s no sign of it. So, here is how you SHOULD mount your new bat house!
You wouldn’t want to hang the house over doors or windows or over protruding brick or stone work. Set up your 2X4’s on each side of the post, and either clamp them in place or have a friend hold each one there, while you use an auger bit to go through the 2X4’s and the post, you’ll want 2 holes as far apart as you can, but at the same time, the higher the bat house is, the better.
Attach the bat house by driving 3 half-inch deck screws through the corners and into the siding. Bats in Maryland that are likely to inhabit bat boxes include Little Brown Bats, Big Brown Bats, Northern Long-eared Bats, and Evening Bats. Bat Conservation International has many great bat house resources including two free certified bat house plans. Fact – Traditional bat houses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have less than a 5% success rate in attracting bats. Bat houses should be mounted at least 12 hours above ground, and 15 to 20 feet is better. Unlike a bird house that needs room for a nest, the space inside a bat house is very narrow.
Perhaps it is the temperature that the house thermostat is set at or some other unfathomable lure, or perhaps it is a random accident. Great color pictures and detailed instructions for building a single chamber bat house in about 6 hours. You will also need to build chambers so that you can have more bays in the house. The proper time to handle a bat house is during the winter when the bats are not present.
Air-Flow- By installing the bat house over your gable-vent your provide bats with a constant air-flow from the attic. If a tree is your best option, place a metal predator guard around the tree below your bat house. Installing multiple houses in separate locations to create your own small version of a bat lab” can help you determine what works, and improve your chances of attracting more bats more quickly. Both of these sites offer bat houses for sale as well as plans to build your own.
Because female bats require a warm, safe shelter for giving birth in May, bat boxes should be installed in March or early April. Disturbances of maternity roosts can result in large numbers of young bat deaths. The bat houses pictured above were built by prospective Eagle Scout Jake Payne of Troop 54 in Nashville, Tennessee. Or you can build a bat house yourself in an afternoon by referring to the bat house diagrams that accompany the bat questions and answers provided by BCI. Bat houses on your property are a great alternative to expensive, harmful chemicals when it comes to pest control.
Since appropriate temperature may determine how (or even if) your bat house is used, you may wish to consider several factors before mounting it. Lower temperatures, due to higher altitude or latitude, require that bat houses intended for use by nursery colonies be oriented to receive maximum sun, especially in the morning (southeast exposure). Come see one million bats fly out into the July evening sky at a Selman Bat Watch in northwest Oklahoma.
At least six hours of direct sun is recommended for all bat houses where July’s daily highs are between 80° F and 100º F (27º C and 38º C). To create favorable conditions for maternity colonies in the summer, internal bat-house temperatures should stay between 80° F and 100º F as long as possible. No matter where the location, the house should face south or south east (135 is ideal). Since then I have regularly pasted guano on our bat house, but it never attracted any bats.
Writer’s Note: I have to be honest with you: I built this bat house when I had little babies, and as any young mother knows, hanging a bat house doesn’t really reach the top of the to-do” list. If I remember correctly for instance in the Memphis, TN area Mexican Free Tail and Small Brown Bats are common and he suggested 1/2 to 3/4 inch openings were best. Next, print out a template for the bat cutout, which are easily found on the Internet.
Kids can do lots of the work involved in making this bat house, including measuring, driving screws, and painting. Fortunately, the myths are starting to evaporate, thanks in great measure to scientists like Merlin Tuttle, of Bat Conservation International (BCI) in Austin, Texas. There are several commercial bat house kits (also called bat box) available that contain pre-cut wood and only require assembly.
Unlike the backboard, the front part of a bat house project comprises of two plywood blocks that are joined such that they leave a gap measuring about half an inch between them. Bat Houses Resources Building Bat Houses Building the Johnson Bat House from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center of the US Geological Survey. Recommends placing a two-foot wide metal piece below the box, so raccoons and cats can’t jump over it, but you also have to make sure to place it at least a few feet away from the bat house to allow the bats to drop and fly out of the house.
Also check out these pictures of a Bat Condo under Construction It might give you some ideas if you are looking for a huge bat condo project. The three short boards will align to create the front of the bat house (22” long) and longer boards will form the back panel of the bat house (26” long). They groom themselves as obsessively as house cats, love to live in community, and are even known to exhibit helping behaviors , offering food to a needy neighbor. Picture of a Mounted Bat House This is a labeled picture of a bat house mounted on a brick building.
First I printed the Small Economy Bat House plan (pdf) from Bat Conservation International’s website. Once they have completed their entry, place them in a binder encourage your child to add entries to the bat guide book” as they learn about new and interesting kinds of bats! To create the scalloped bat wing shapes on the back (part C) and on the front pieces (part D), use the drawing as a guide to create a pattern out of heavy paper or lightweight cardboard. The project requires only a couple of cuts to cut the plywood into three pieces for the house.
Installing a new BCM Bat House – This page gives a suggestion on how to install a bat house on a pole. I can’t guess why the bat chose that particular night for his upstairs debut-in the bedroom, no less! Some people have painted the inside of bat houses with moistened bat droppings to establish a bat odor, but no one is certain that this makes houses any more attractive to bats. If your house or other building doesn’t have a flat surface this high you may have to attach it to a pole, which would probably double the time and money investment.