Yes, you’ve read this right, we’re talking bat houses, not birdhouses!
Bats are great for the environment, and there are many reasons to attract them to your yard.
For one, bats are much like bees in that they pollinate and are attracted to flowers. They also have toxic waste that has many nutrients which are great for plants. And finally, bats eat mosquitoes, which is always helpful in the summer.
In this article, we will give you several different ideas you can use to build your own bat house. Doing so will also give babies a safe place to grow and be nurtured until they are ready to go off on their own. Your garden will reap the benefits, too.
- 16 DIY Bat House Plans
- 1. Simple Design
- 2. Yukon Style
- 3. Quick Project
- 4. Hung on a Shed
- 5. Batman Logo
- 6. Green Energy Insect Repellant
- Video Guide: Modern Builds
- 7. A Nest
- 8. The Benefits
- 9. Do-It-Yourself
- 10. Family Time
- 11. Canadian Woodworking
- 12. Fun Experiment
- 13. One Chamber Roost
- 14. Outdoor Rehab Project
- 15. Easy and Fast
- 16. Budget-Friendly
- Best DIY Dimensions
- Where To Place
- In Your Home (Pest)
- Bat Houses For Sale
16 DIY Bat House Plans
1. Simple Design
This is a very basic design. Cedar is the best option for wood, and you will also need some other materials easy to find at a home improvement store near you. The color you choose for painting is of high importance, too. If you live in an area where the summertime has a cooler climate, paint the house black, and if you live somewhere where temperatures get above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, paint it white or another very light color.VIEW PLANS
2. Yukon Style
This style is best for those who live in the northern regions of Canada. You will need standard plywood, spruce board, different sized wood screws, dark colored water-based stain, burlap or nylon window screen, and caulking. Make sure to caulk the outside parts of the structure to keep out bad weather, and to paint it with a dark color in order for heat to be absorbed. And you’re done!VIEW PLANS
3. Quick Project
It’s said that this particular project will only take you about four hours, and even less if you’re a professional in woodworking. You can even choose to do this as a family and with your children, who can end up learning a lot. Even though this version is a lot simpler than most, still make sure that you work carefully.VIEW PLANS
4. Hung on a Shed
Typical designs do not recommend attaching this structure to a tree or another object in order to give bats free flight, and instead, recommend attaching it to a pole. This one describes how to attach the pole to your shed. This individual purchased their house online but you can build your own according to any of the other instructions in this list.VIEW PLANS
5. Batman Logo
While most of these bat houses include a simple design on the front, this person wanted to include the original Batman logo on his. You can print the logo from online and trace it onto poster board or a foam core. Then, trace it onto the board and cut out the shape using a jigsaw. Be careful and good luck!VIEW PLANS
6. Green Energy Insect Repellant
The individual who created this tutorial explained that this is a perfectly energy efficient way to get rid of pesky mosquitoes in your yard this summer. Once you have completed the project, make sure that you mount the bat house on a structure that is approximately 10 to 15 feet high off the ground and with no branches surrounding it. Make sure that it is facing southeast, and be patient; it may take a year before any bats choose to come.VIEW PLANS
Video Guide: Modern Builds
If you want a video walkthrough, check out this guide from Modern Builds:
The YouTuber shows you how to build a simple single chamber bat house constructed from supplies available from your local home center.
7. A Nest
Our next example is definitely the most budget-friendly and the easiest out of all of them. You obviously do not need to do anything fancy, and if you aren’t particularly handy, then this is a great option. It also does not allow for any light to get in. Follow the instructions closely and you will have a great result! One quick tip- if you enjoy animal DIY projects, check out these free DIY cat tower plans!VIEW PLANS
8. The Benefits
Your bat house should be something that looks like a tree trunk so that your tiny friends will be more likely to build a nursery here. With a rise in deforestation, these small creatures are not always able to find their forever home and a safe place to raise their babies. This is how you can help them.VIEW PLANS
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, this is still a simple project to do on your own. Make sure that you have somewhere planned out for this specifically, and take into consideration the fact that droppings will come out of the bottom. The roost itself can be of a minimal size and will still be beneficial. Good luck!VIEW PLANS
10. Family Time[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
This is the perfect activity to do as a family in one afternoon. It’s a great way to keep your backyard free of bugs and to educate your children on bats. Your children can help out with a lot, but make sure that you are there to saw the wood. When you’re finished, encourage your kids to pay attention to the roost for any activity throughout the year.VIEW PLANS
11. Canadian Woodworking[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
For this example, the constructor suggested angling the roof so that it can shed rain and snow, so that your small friends won’t get too cold. Also, hang the house approximately 10 degrees off of being completely straight so that babies won’t fall out.VIEW PLANS
12. Fun Experiment
This individual ended up being so successful that they had thousands of bats in their own backyard! He’s assembled a pdf for easy printing if you want to build his plan. They suggested building a larger house and having a waterproof roof, because not only will the results be better, but it will also last longer. You also will need ventilation. Finally, make sure it gets as much sunlight as possible.VIEW PLANS
13. One Chamber Roost[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
This project warns against using pressure-treated plywood due to the fact that it can be toxic. So be careful to read about the contents of the materials that you choose to purchase. The final product should be facing south or east and be anywhere above ten feet off the ground.VIEW PLANS
14. Outdoor Rehab Project[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
This one has a unique design. A regular house can fit anywhere from 50 to 75 bats, which is a lot considering its relatively small size. And it is also important to remember that these animals can get rabies. While you are unlikely to ever be attacked, avoid one that is laying on the ground and call animal control. Do not pick it up yourself!VIEW PLANS
15. Easy and Fast[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
Many people seek to avoid using pesticides because of the possible harm they can cause. So, you can use your own natural pesticides- bats! If you don’t like them, they’re easy to avoid, since they’re nocturnal. Measure the dimensions for your bat house carefully, and paint it a dark color. You’ll be done in no time!VIEW PLANS
16. Budget-Friendly[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
Here’s a project that will cost you less than $25. It gives you room to make your bat house bigger or smaller than the one described, and for a lot cheaper than you’d think. The author also suggests that you not put it near your own home so that your children won’t be frightened at night.VIEW PLANS
Best DIY Dimensions
The dimensions and properties of your bat houses are key in successfully attracting local bats. Bat Conservation International has outlined several criteria using different bat populations over more than a decade that will ensure that your bat house has the highest probability of success.
A lot of bat houses that are sold in stores or online do not meet these criteria, and won’t do anything to help the bats in your area. These criteria are based on not only the dimensions of the house, but also the construction, treatment, protection and sun exposure that the bat house receives. While you may follow these criteria and dimensions to the letter, often you need to experiment in order to find the most successful solution for your local bat population.
The height of your bat house is the most important dimension that you need to get right. According to Bat Conservation International, the house must be at least two feet tall. Not only is the overall height important, but you should ensure that the chambers inside of the house reach at least 20 inches in height, with a width of 14 inches. The house must consist of more than one chamber divided by partitions.[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
The rule of thumb to follow is that the taller your bat house, the better your bat colony will thrive. Ensure that your house has adequate venting, particularly if you live in warmer climates. The taller your bat house, the more vents you should install, both on the front of the house as well as the sides. By following these strict height requirements, you will be giving the bat colony adequate room to live comfortably.
The benefits of taking care of a local bat colony extend far beyond sustenance of the bat population. In fact, you will be able to reap the benefits of a natural source of pest control, thanks to the fact that bats not only feed on pests but assist in the pollination of local plants.
Installing a bat house on your property will allow you to support your local ecosystem and will help you do your part for the environment. However, careful planning of the bat house is essential.
Before you start construction on your bat house, either draw up a plan using a CAD software package that will help you to determine the specifications of the house, or look online for a set of plans that fit the brief you are trying to achieve.
Not every set of bat house plans will be designed for every region, so be sure to know the specifications that are required for a bat house to thrive in your location. Plans should include the proper dimensions, venting, style and chamber design that will ensure that your bat colony is well taken care of.
While purchasing a bat house for your property may be an easy way to support your local bat population and improve your pest control, prebuilt designs may not fit the specifications that you require.[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’center’] [/content_container]
Constructing the house yourself may be a cost-effective way to suit your regional requirements in an easy and creative way. You don’t need to have any high-level carpentry skills in order to build the perfect bat house as the steps involved are simple enough for the average DIYer can follow, and the only tools you need are a miter saw, circular saw and a drill.
Once you have found a bat house plan that consists of all of the features that you need, acquire the proper wood for the task.
The DIY Network states that natural cedar is perfect for constructing bat houses, so if you have any old fencing lying around, repurpose it for the house. Follow your plans carefully so that your bat house meets all requirements to support your bat colony.
Where To Place
Temperature is critical for the success of your bat house. Having chosen a design that maximizes warmth, the placement of the house will ensure that the temperature is maintained even during the cooler winter days.
A diverse environment that includes nearby fresh water and trees will ensure that your bats are well fed and hydrated, factors that are essential in the successful maintenance of your colony.
The Bat Conservation and Management website states that your bat house should receive around seven hours of direct sunlight per day. This means that you should place your bat house facing a certain direction depending on where you are in the world – in the northern hemisphere, face your bat house in a southerly direction, and in the southern hemisphere, face your bat house towards the north.
Installing a bat house on your property is just the first step in your journey to support your local bat population.
Bat House Attractant Lure
Attracting bats to your new house, however, can be difficult to achieve without something to catch their attention. Building a bat house in an area where you have already sighted bats is a good indication that they will sense and explore your new house, but by placing an attractant within the house, you can increase their awareness and boost your success.
Attractants for bats are formulated from special compounds that bats are highly sensitive to. According to the Garden and Patio Home Guide, attractants are typically made from bat urine and guano and give the bats the impression that other bats have already populated the habitat. You can either buy an attractant spray, or make your own from guano you’ve collected from another person’s bat colony.
In Your Home (Pest)
If you’ve got a bat in your home, maybe a DIY bat house can attract them outside. Kidding aside, you’ll need to figure out a way to humanely extract them. Check out this piece from Porch.com to figure out how to deal with bats inside of your house.
Bat Houses For Sale
If constructing your own bat house is too big a challenge for your skills, but you still want to attract a bat colony to your property, then a smart option is to purchase a prebuilt habitat. Commercial bat houses are often cost-effective and easy to install, requiring only the use of a drill.
Habitats for Bats offer some excellent guidelines on how to choose a bat house to suit the properties of your region. With the proper housing, you can support between 100 and 200 bats, which will do wonders for your local mosquito population.