Many people think of bats as scary and dangerous creatures. The truth is that bats are very beneficial to our environment. Bats can consume large numbers of insects in a short period of time. Building a bat house and installing it near your home can help to attract bats, which will then significantly reduce the number of pests in your lawn and garden. Bat houses can also help protect and support endangered bat species that have lost their natural habitat.
Things You'll Need
6-foot length of 1-by-12-inch rough cedar siding
20 galvanized nails
Click on the bat house plans included with this step to enlarge them. Print the plans out and keep them close so you can refer to them while you're building your bat house.
Cut two 24-inch lengths, one 14-inch length and one 7-inch length from the siding. The 14-inch piece will be the front top of the house and the 7-inch piece will be the front bottom. Cut two strips 2 1/2 inches wide and 24 inches long from one of the 24-inch pieces of siding. These will be the sides of the house. Cut one strip 4 inches wide by 14 inches long from the remainder of the 24-inch piece you just cut. This piece will be the top of the house.
Cut the tops of the 2 1/2 inch-wide side pieces at a 30 degree angle as shown in the plans. This angle will form the slope of the roof.
Bevel the top edges of the back and front top pieces at a 30 degree angle using the saw. This bevel lets the top rest on the house at the correct angle.
Assemble the house with the rough sides of the pieces facing inside. Nail the back piece and the front top piece to the sides, aligning the angles of the pieces. Nail the front bottom piece 1/2 inch below the front top piece. The 1/2-inch gap is a vent that allows heat to escape from the house. Bats will roost in the bottom of the house during hot weather.
Nail the top piece so that the back edge of the top is flush with the edge of the back piece. This will create an overhang at the front of the house.
Drill two holes on the back of the house, the first two inches from the top and the other 10 inches below the top hole. Using a step ladder, hammer two nails into a post or tree 10 to 15 feet off the ground, ensuring that the holes are 10 inches apart vertically. Hang the bat house by sliding the holes over the nails.
Drill pilot holes for the nails before hammering them to keep the wood from splitting. Or use screws.
To tell whether or not bats have moved into your bat house, place a hard flat surface such as a cement patio block directly beneath the bat house. Periodically examine the block for black pellet-like bat droppings.