Video Explaining this innovative bat box.
Step 1: Bat Artificial Twisted Sanctuary (B.A.T.S.) a Bat Box.
We are the Twisted Toys, a FIRST Lego League team from Sylvania, OH. For our 2016 season, the theme is Animal Allies, where we had to identify an interaction between humans and animals then create an innovative solution to help improve that interaction.
Our team identified a problem with a rise in mosquito population, which leads to more diseases in humans. Our solution is to help improve habitats for bats, which eat mosquitoes. We developed a new, easy to make, weatherproof and easy to clean bat box.
Our bat box, the Bats Artificial Twisted Sanctuary (B.A.T.S.) uses a readily available, off the shelf plastic container, 3D printed shelves or wood/plywood shelves (plans available below) mesh fabric for the bats to cling to and some venting available at any home improvement/hardware store.
The advantages of this bat box over other downloadable plans available on the Internet are:
· We use readily available off the shelf parts.
· Ours is plastic—easy to clean and weather-tight.
· Cheap—our parts were under $20.
· Easy to make with our plans.
· 3D printed parts can be printed at a lot of local libraries or local maker spaces.
Step 2: Cut Slot in Top Lid
Cut a 2” slot into the top of your container. This will allow the bats to enter and exit the bat box.
Step 3: Cut Holes in the Side of the Box to Insert Vents for Cross Ventilation.
Cut holes in the side of the box to insert vents for cross ventilation. You will need to get some vented covers from a hardware store. Cut your holes in each end to fit these covers.
Step 4: Optional: Add Second Container for Insulation.
In colder climates, you can glue the primary container into another identical container to create an air gap for more insulation.
Step 5: Build the Partitions.
Create the partitions. You can either download our .STL or .STP file for 3D printing these parts, or you can use the attached Sketchup file to use as plans to cut your own out of ¼” plywood. 3D printers are becoming widely available in local libraries and maker spaces.
Step 6: Attach the Mesh to the Partitions.
Attach the mesh onto the shelves with hot glue.
Step 7: Insert the Partitions Into the Box.
Insert the partitions into the box. We used about 1" spacing because this is the spacing that brown bats like. Brown bats are the most common where we live, so that's what we used. You can check with bat experts (like www.batconservation.org) to get more info for your region and make your spaces according to what bats in your area like.
Step 8: Go Hang Your New Bat Box!
Some tips on where to put a bat box:
· Trees are usually not a good place to put a bat box, because predators can easily climb trees and attack the bats while they are sleeping.
· Be careful what’s underneath! Guano will accumulate under a bat box (but it’s GREAT for gardens)
· Be aware of how much sun the bat box will get. Bats need the warmth of the sun to heat the box.