Here is a picture of my bat box. Bats are so much fun to watch. If you see a bat and you throw a penny or a small stone in the air the bat will fly right to it. They use echolocation to find bugs at night. This is kind of like a radar device
Some people have written to ask can I mount my bat box on a pole?
You sure can mount a bat box on a pole! I think mounting to a pole would be better than a tree because bats don't like obstructions to their house, so you won't have any branches and leaves to get in the bat's way. I have read the house should be mounted at least 15 feet high. Mine is about 20 feet high in a tree. Bats are even more likely to use a bat house that is mounted right to your house. Try to face your box where it will get morning sun, to get the bats warmed up faster after a cold night. Another really important thing for your box is to make sure you have a landing area right below the entrance for the bats to land on before they go in. By that I mean to have the back panel of the box longer than the front and to extend the hardware cloth to the bottom of that back panel. (see below I have just added my box opened up so you can see it easier)
It's really cool to make a sling shot for shooting bugs to the bats! They are fun and easy to make and it might even mean less bugs in your garden. I say that because me and my brother are always collecting bugs out of Mom's garden for ammo to feed the bats. If you shoot the bugs towards the bat house maybe the bats will see it and move right in. Bats really aren't blind like that old saying. I wonder where that came from?
Bat Box Directions
First get an adult to help, then print out these directions that my dad wrote and the picture that I took. Ps my dad makes it seem complicated but it is very easy.
Back of Box--To make a bat box first cut a piece of 3/4" exterior plywood 16" wide x 27" long
Front Panel of the box---Next cut the front piece 16" x 21" plywood. A vent needs to be cut into the front panel
Cut a piece of 1x2"pine 16" long, and screw it to the bottom edge of the front panel of the box. This is to close the entrance down to 3/4" wide.
Front Vent Hole----Make a pencil mark 6" up and 2 1/2" in from each side of the front of the box. Drill a 1/2" hole at each of these marks, mark a line from the top of one hole to the top of the other hole, mark a line from the bottom of one hole to the bottom of the other also. Now cut along these lines to make a 1/2" vent along the front of the box.
Side of Box ---Then cut 2 pieces of 2x2"- 21" long
If you don't have a 2x2" piece of wood you can use a 2x4" ripped in half, this will give you 2 pieces approx. 1 3/4"x1 1/2".
Roof of Box---Cut another piece of 3/4" plywood 17" long x 4" wide, this will be the roof of the box. I have found that if I add a 2" X 2" piece 13 inches long to the back panel along the top edge. It gives me more wood surface to screw the roof to( I will call this the roof support)
Hardware cloth-- Now cut a piece of 1/4" hardware cloth to fit on the inside back panel of the box. And long enough to reach the bottom of the plywood, approximate measurement should be 15"x26". The bats use this to hold on to, especially baby bats. Without it they sometimes fall out.( you really can't see it in the picture)
Assembly-- Place the Hardware cloth on the back panel of the box. Now take your two side panels and place them at the edges. Screw them in place from the back of the box .This will hold the hardware cloth in place. Where ever there is sharp edges of cloth still showing caulk the sharp edges or remove them so they do not tear the delicate bat wings.
Now screw the smaller Roof support 2 x 2 inch 13" long piece to the top edge
Screw assembled front panel to the back panel
Screw the 4"x17" piece of plywood to the top of the box to make the roof.
Paint the box black and you're done
A Real Bat
They look very scary!!!! That's why my mom is afraid of them!! Well she isn't anymore.