Instructables
Picture of Garden Bat box
"Bats signify a healthy green garden" Help out with the preservation of bats with this bat box capable of housing 50 bats, that can be made in just over an hour.

Just before mothers day, I had a little spare time to cobble together a nice little bat box for my mother who had been pestering the whole family to get her one.

There are 18 bat species here in the UK all of them are endangered; they are no bigger than the size of your hand, the largest is about the same size as a Walnut.

So with a little spare time, some scrap wood recycled from an old desk (in my case), you can make yourself a nice professional bat box that looks just like an expensive store bought one.

Important Stuff
Law protects bats and their roosts, it is illegal to kill, injure or take a wild bat, or intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a bat roost.
This Instructable uses power tools that can seriously injure, maim and even kill if handled with stupidity.

Updates:
First I'd like to say thanks to those who commented, oh and the feature.
I'll be making a new bat box later next month, probably with a new design as I like to do stuff like that.
Other than that I'll try and upload my instructions for my DIY Telescope/Microscope compact camera holder.

-Grant
 
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Step 1: Things you will need

Tools and Machinery
Crosscut / Mitre Saw (Crosscut recommended)
Drill Press
Table or band saw
Hammer
Nail Punch
Set square
Plane
Pencil & rubber
Staple gun

Materials
If your shed is anything like my dad's you'll probably find everything there

Note: When I do measurements I usually do it in millimetres in the following format Length 1 x Length 2 x Depth
So 20 x 120 x 2cm would be 20cm by 120cm with a thickness of 2cm.

Untreated Wood: 20 x 120 x 2cm (No excuses! Has to be untreated! )
Nails (thin but long ones)
Clout Nails (Pictured)
Odourless Glue (No excuses! Has to be Odourless! )
Staples (optional)
Netting (optional)
richardsan3 years ago
i think there may be a flaw in this design. the roof should overhang the back, instead of that vertical joint, allowing possible water penetration at that joint. you can always drill a hole for a hanging screw inside the box...one could wrap that area with some galvanised sheet metal, if you've already made it with the above config. bat's probably won't like it if it leaks...; ^)
crudworks (author)  richardsan3 years ago
Thanks richardsan for pointing out the potential design flaw.
I've checked to see if it leaks by spraying it down with a hose, it seems to be water tight probably because of all that glue I used.
-Grant
that wood is gonna expand and contract quite a bit...especially over time. if the glue is stable and unmovable and the wood swells and shrinks...just saying'...
all you'd have to do is erase that vertical line, extend that one angle line and adjust the 'how to' script and you'd have a better design by 100%...; ^)
gromit19433 years ago
What is the finished size of the entrance slot (front to back, from the inside edge of the bottom of the door when closed, to the back board)?

What is the door for? My bird houses have none.

How do we interest bats in roosting in the box?

--Terry
crudworks (author)  gromit19433 years ago
Hi Terry the entrance slot on mine is 16mm or 5/8 of an inch, but it can range from 15mm to 20mm (2cm).

I don't know why, but most of the bat boxes I've seen have had doors.

Bats here eat insects, so as long as you've got a good amount of insects in your garden your ok.
If you have a pond like I do it will probably be full of larvae that will hatch into hundreds of mosquitoes.

Another good option is to add a small light source outside the bat box that will attract flying bugs.

But as Gordyh suggested, rubbing bat faeces on the box is one of the best ways to get them to move in.

-Grant
Gordyh3 years ago
To help the Bats find the house, find an existing bat roost and collect a handful of their droppings. Mix in some water and spread the mix thinly on the ladder. As mentioned in this instruct able bats have sensitive noses, they will smell the house and investigate. A friend tried this on one of the four roosts he built, and it was the first one the bats moved into.

Gordy
cnverted to inches 7.87 x 47.244 x .787
CODIY3 years ago
I love that more bat boxes are sprouting up in the DIY world. My wife and I had bats in the attic of our CO home. While we loved having the bats around, having them in the attic meant that they were leaving droppings inside a living space, and we began to see dead bat bugs in the room directly beneath where they had entered.
We consulted a bat expert in the area, who was also an exterminator. Once we clarified that we did not want the bats exterminated, just not living in our attic, he said that he could help us seal the space up and create a one way egress for them to leave but not be able to reenter. In order to keep the bats around, I built a bat box to sit at the peak of the eave and blend with the existing facia (our HOA has very strict rules about external appearance. I decided I'd make the box blend in and not tell anyone. Probably better to discuss it with your HOA first. In the end, it turned out ok once they found out about it, but YMMV), and had to paint it to acheive this. While bats may have sensitive noses, they also want a warm place to roost. If you feel the need to paint your bat box, take it from me, it will likely turn out to still be a welcoming place. Mind, though, it may take longer for them to decide to live there.
darrennie CODIY6 months ago

In some colder or warmer climates it is advised to paint the bat box darker for heat absorption or lighter for heat reflection, but it has to be a paint that will not interfere with the bats (obviously). But sometimes painting is needed.

i live in the Us in Mn any major changes i would have to make? we get mostly "little brown bats", pretty sure we are dealing with the same genus.
where can one purchase bats from? there are no bats where i live in the city.
crudworks (author)  captain Jack3 years ago
You can buy a bat from
Here or Here

I don't know much about laws in the US.
But if you really want a pet bat, my advise would be to have a look around Google and The Internet, and happy hunting!
GailC3 years ago
Kudos to your mom for wanting to help bats. This instructable is awesome :) I couldn't build something to save my life, but think it is great.
ghannon3 years ago
If you are itching to decorate the bat box, you could do wood-burning. :)
crudworks (author)  ghannon3 years ago
Wood burning does sound like an interesting idea, but apparently you can use paints such as black to regulate the temperature.
Another idea I would like to try is carving, sticking bark on to the box to make it blend into a tree sounds good but may prove harder for them to find.
-Grant
The guide is adamant about keeping it paint-free, though, which is why I suggested it. I wish we got bats in California (well, we do, just not where I live).
cammers3 years ago
Nice work. I've always loved bats. They really are amazing creatures.
Have you got any moved in to your box yet? I guess you might need to wait a long time before any bats realise the box is there and ready for them?
crudworks (author)  cammers3 years ago
I don't think any have moved in yet, but there was one flying around my head near to where we put the box, the other night whilst I was using my telescope.
-Grant
matrax20113 years ago
What's to stop bees or wasps from making a home out of this before the bats can?

I like the idea of having a bat roost around, but not as much as a I dislike the idea of having to deal with wasps.
AnnaZed3 years ago
I have always wanted to have a bat house in my garden. I wonder if the bats can find it though. The idea of finding another bat roost and securing some guano sounds good, but I have no idea how to find such a thing. I am in Southern California and I see bats at night sometimes. Will do some research and check back. Thanks for the Instructable. I do think that the design of the top might not be watertight though.
pponsonby3 years ago
The house should be on a tall pole and in the open.
dcbain3 years ago
I'm not one to spoil anyone's fun, but I read somewhere that despite determined efforts over a number of years here in the UK, there was no evidence that bats had ever used an urban bat box.

In the true spirit of instructables, get out there and prove them wrong!!
swizzle3 years ago
Could you convert the measurements to english as well? Thanx,
I've been told it needs to be on a south-facing wall to keep them warm in the winter.
ChrysN3 years ago
Looks great!