More than 900 distinct varieties of bats live around the world. The vast majority consume only insects. They are wonderful for naturally controlling a mosquito and gnat population. One bat will eat 1,200 mosquitoes per hour which makes them ideal visitors for anyone who lives on the water or has a pond. Bats also enjoy consuming caterpillars which can damage crops, vegetables and garden plants. Bats' fecal matter is high in phosphorus and nitrogen which can naturally aid soil. Constructing a simple bat house can encourage bats to live in the yard and help control pests naturally.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- 1/2-inch thick rough cedar board
- 1-by-2-inch rough cedar board
- Tape measure
- Safety glasses
- Exterior caulk
- Caulk gun
- Six clamps
- 1-inch exterior screws
- Garden netting
- Construction staple gun with staples
Measure two pieces on the 1/2-inch thick rough cedar. One piece will measure 22 inches long and one piece will measure 26 inches. Cut the two pieces with the jigsaw.
Cut the 1-by-2-inch cedar board into three pieces using the jigsaw. Two pieces should measure 13 inches long and one piece should measure 26 inches long.
Apply a thin bead of exterior caulk along each piece of cut 1-by-2. Lay the pieces along the sides of the 26-inch long piece of cedar with the caulk between the boards. Caulk the corners where the smaller two 1-by-2 pieces meet the larger 1-by-2 piece. Clamp into place. Wipe any excessive caulk away.
Drive a 1-inch exterior screw into the 1-by-2 pieces and 26-inch piece of cedar. Place screws roughly every 6 inches to hold all pieces together.
Paint all the pieces black. Wait for the first coat to dry thoroughly and apply a second coat.
Stretch the garden netting over the 22-inch piece of cedar. Staple into place along the edges of the three attached 1-by-2 boards.. Remove any excess netting with scissors.
Place the front 22-inch piece of cedar over the three 1-by-2 inch boards and the garden netting. Clamp the 22-inch piece of cedar into place. Drive exterior screws roughly every 5 inches into the 22-inch piece of wood and through the 1-by-2 boards.
Caulk all the way around the edges of the bat house. Wipe excessive caulk away. Allow to dry before hanging.
Hang so the bottom slit entrance is facing down 15 feet off the ground. Hang it onto the side of a house, a pole or an older tree. Place in a southern location so the bat house receives at least six hours of sun per day.
Tips and warnings
- Do not disturb the bats during the day or they will move from the bat house.
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