bat house

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Project by RickB posted 03-02-2010 04:12 AM 3141 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve seen a few bat houses posted here lately, so I thought I’d post my bat house, completed in July of last year. This bat house is described as a rocket box. It is designed to slide over a post. There are three concentric sleeves which form the roosting area. The inner two sleeves are made of cedar. The outer-most sleeve is made of poplar painted brown.

The innermost sleeve has horizontal saw kerfs cut a quarter of an inch deep to give the bats a surface to cling to. The rest of the vertical surfaces have plastic netting attached. The netting used is pet safe netting used to rescreen you screen doors and windows.

It was mounted by sinking an 8 foot 4×6 PT post into the ground 4 feet. A notch was cut in the 4×6 to receive a 4×4 post. The 4×4 is used to hold the bat house about 12 feet in the air.

While I am not an expert on bat houses (mine has remained unoccupied thus far), I have done quite a bit of reading. The plans I used were obtained from a publication called “The Bat House Builder’s Handbook”. This is available from Bat Conservation International (

Another good site with a wealth of information is the Bat House Forum (

Not all bat houses and bat house plans are created equal, nor are all finish choices good. The placement of your bathouse is also critical (I don’t think I have placed mine well…too much shade). The above two sites will provide a lot of info to steer the bat house builder in the right direction.


9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4187 days

#1 posted 03-02-2010 04:13 AM

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 03-02-2010 04:48 AM

I also have a bat house but never have gotten any residents…

-- Jim, Nebraska

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3686 days

#3 posted 03-02-2010 05:02 AM

Cool bat house Rick.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View dannymac's profile


144 posts in 3626 days

#4 posted 03-02-2010 05:30 AM

my sisters would hear bathouse and they would be all ewww! but once summertime came around and ya got those swarms of mesciqutos you’ll want those bats

-- dannymac

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3643 days

#5 posted 03-02-2010 08:19 AM

Hi Rick: is where I got the original plan for my Bat House, that you made a very valid comment on. The Plan is no longer there, you have to buy the book…LOL…I also had a look at a number of other sites to get all the info I could. One thing that most of them mentioned was to NOT use ANY kind of material that gives off any kind of an Odour that they will Detect. Certainly not anything that has been found to be Toxic in any way. They state that All interior surfaces of the Bat House should be coated in a SAFE, Dark, Water Based Paint as a Sealer.

It is NOT an easy procedure to get the Bats to occupy a Bat House. By their very nature they are VERY sensitive and will not come close to a Habitat that is not as Natural (Nature) as possibble.

I offer the following in a “Positive” way, NOT as a “Criticism” of your efforts. I took note of the products you have used to construct your Bat House.

I’m not sure about the United States, but in Canada the use of “Pressure Treated Lumber” and the Chemicals used in it, have come under a LOT of scrutiny and are VERY tightly Regulated!! The Government will no longer accept it for use IN, or Exposed to Water, i.e. Docks and other locations, or Inside any Habitabal Structure. It “Gases Off” and “Leaches” into the water and it DOES kill the Fish and other Aquatic Life.

Cedar is an “Aromatic Wood” whether it’s “Named” that or not. In fact I have Contractor Friend who Finally (2 YEARS??) found out why he was suffering a variety of “Not Nice” reactions and illness’es. YEP! He loved to build Cedar Decks on the Homes he built. Now he CAN’T even go near Cedar, it’s just gotten worse.

My Bat House was built from 1/2” Poplar Ply and White Pine. I didn’t want to take a chance exposing the Underlying layers Of Plywood by “Scoring” the surface and exposing whatever type of Glue/Chemicals, they use to Laminate it with. So the interior was well sealed, then as you could see I used 1/4” Screening Mesh for the interior and the “Landing Surface” just below the entrance.

I’m also pleased to report that the Bats seemed to Agree with the “Batty Experts”!! It is well Occupied, much to my “Other Neighbours” displeasure. “YEAH”!!! OOPS! Guess I shouldn’t have said that. Or NOT!

Once again this is meant in a TOTALLY Constructive way from a Fellow LJ to yourself and other LJ’ers who might find it of some value.

Rick (The other one) ;-}

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 3781 days

#6 posted 03-02-2010 06:16 PM

bat house—is that another term for mother-in-law suite???

neat project Rick

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 3723 days

#7 posted 03-03-2010 02:37 AM

I too have built a number of bat houses. Well really I helped my father do it for many years. To this day I think that there has never been a resident in any of his. One tip that I did pick up was to paint a “hole” in the front and install a little “perch” just below it. This makes the box look like a birdhouse which has accomplished two things.

1. The kids leave it alone because they would throw stones to see if any bats came out of a “bat house”.
2. The nosy neighbors would not ask questions about it which would lead to fears, and in one case, accusations that the family was responsible for the spread of rabies. (ignorant neighbor)

Side note for these HAM Radio operators in the group. The “fake birdhouse” trick would work to cover up electrical equipment, monitors, gadgets and on. This all but eliminated the neighbors complaining about the equipment “messing up” their TV reception. (Again, ignorance)

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4074 days

#8 posted 03-03-2010 05:34 PM

Thanks for the comments all. I have two houses I build several years ago and never put up. I used water based paint and screening too. I’ll have to take the time to put them up and see what happens. I was really surprised to see how much material each multiple layered house required. Thanks again for the reminder to pull out the houses. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View mustang958's profile


62 posts in 3757 days

#9 posted 05-10-2012 05:47 PM

Wow that’s cool. I’ve always wanted to build one of those. There are several bats that roost somewhere on my property and it’s neat watching them at dusk feeding. Bat Conservation International is a great site if you’re interested in anything bat related.

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