Many species of bat are beneficial, providing pollination for fruit and vegetable crops or catching pest insects, such as mosquitoes. These bats frequently roost in a hollow tree or other enclosed space. To provide an alternate home for bats, you can build a simple bat house. Made of exterior-grade plywood, the house offers a safe resting place for bats during the day and an easy exit to allow bats to roam freely at night, returning in the morning. The materials can be bought at any home improvement center and the project can be completed in an afternoon.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2 inch exterior-grade plywood
- 1-by-2 inch pine board, 8 ft. long
- Exterior caulking
- Table saw
- Deer netting
- Staple gun
- Electric drill with 1/8 inch bit and Philips head bit
- 1 inch flat head wood screws
- Exterior latex house paint
- Paint brush
Cut a sheet of plywood to 24-by-26 inches using the table saw. Cut another sheet 24-by-22 inches, and a third sheet 24-by-6 inches.
Cut a section of deer netting large enough to fit on the 24-by-26-inch plywood sheet. Staple the deer netting in place on the plywood sheet.
Cut three 24 inch sections of the 1-by-2-inch pine board. Run a bead of caulk on both of the 2-inch sides of all three boards. Place one of the 2-inch sides onto the front of the 24-by-26-inch plywood sheet along one of its 24-inch edges .
Place the 2-inch sides of the other pine boards onto the front of the 24-by-26-inch plywood sheet, aligning the outer edge of the pine boards to the 26-inch edges of the plywood sheet and ends of the pine boards against the side of the first board, making a "U" shape.
Align three of the edges of the 24-by-22-inch plywood sheet to the edges of the pine boards. Place the final 24-by-6-inch plywood sheet onto the pine boards, next to the 24-by-22-inch plywood sheet. Leave a 1/2 inch gap between the edges of the two plywood sheets, which provides a ventilation space.
Drill pilot holes at regular intervals around the edge of the plywood sheets. Screw in 1-inch wood screws to hold the sheets in place on the pine boards and seal the caulk in place.
Paint the outside of the bat house with several coats of an exterior latex house paint. Allow the paint to dry. Mount the bat house at least 10 feet high on the side wall of a structure where the bat house will receive at least six hours of morning sun per day.
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