Bats have long been feared and thought of as carriers of rabies. While it is true, bats have carried rabies but they don’t carry any more than any other animal. Actually, brown bats are very helpful to farmers. They play a vital role in the balance of nature. A single brown bat can catch hundreds of mosquito sized insects in an hour. A colony of brown bats will kill up to 18 million root worms a summer for a farmer.
Bats are not blind. They will not disturb pets or be disrupted by pets or children. They will not get caught in your hair and they will not destroy the inside of your attic roofs. However, they do like the upper corners of an attic because of the warm and darkness of it. In recent years, there has been an alarming decline of Bats. To keep them out of your attic, you can build your own Bat House.
You will need two 2 foot by 2 foot pieces of outside Plywood. Use a dark stain and stain the inside part of the wood and let it dry. Bats like dark colors. Cut off at least 4 inches from one of these boards. That way you will have a 4 inch landing pad for the Bats. Next scratch some grooves with a knife on these inside pieces. They use their feet (claws) to hold onto these. These grooves should be horizontal. Now take three pieces of 1 by 2 inch slats. Take a caulk gun and caulk these three pieces to the plywood. The 1 by 2’s should make for an airtight fitting. Use some short drywall screws and secure the slats to the plywood for extra strength. Now caulk and secure the other piece of plywood the same way. (Your Bat House has to be at least 12 inches wide and 16 inches tall.) Provide at least a 4 to 6 inch landing pad. You can see this pad when you look at the Bat House sketch.
Bats only need about 3/4 inch of width, to get in. This house is about 1 inch wide. If you want, you can make a two chamber house. Just add three more 1 by 2’s and another 2 foot by 2 foot piece of plywood. Remember to stain the inside a dark stain. Keep in mind that the Bat House should be air tight and water proof. When the house is finished, paint the outside with a dark enamel paint.
note; You can also put a piece of old window screen on the inside of house. Just staple it with a stapler to the wall from a 1 by 2 to 1 by 2, to the inside top of the house. Bats like to hold on to this screen with their feet.
You are now ready to mount your house. According to Bat Conservation.org, the house needs to be at least 15 to 18 feet off the ground. You can hang it on a barn or shed. It needs to receive at least 10 hours of sunshine during the day. So it is good to place it on the sunnyside of a building.
You can mount the Bat House on a light post, tree, or long 2 by 4. However, the house works best on a building.
At first, Bats may not make it their home. However, once one moves in, more will follow. If you place it along the wall of a building, you might want t consider a Bat dropping tray directly under it. You can use kitty litter, sand, or sawdust to collect the droppings.
That’s it. That is how you construct a Bat House.