How to Make a Bat-House and Their Benefits

By Jonas Ward 

In this video, I make a white pine wood bat house from scratch. Bats are extremely important to our local environment. Bats can help moderate the mosquito population, which could carry infectious diseases like malaria and the Zika virus. Building or purchasing premade bat houses helps bring more bats into our area. 

Photo: Jonas Ward 

Bat houses benefit the bat population because they offer shelter during the winter months and also during warmer weather. The article titled “7 Benefits of Your New Bat House,” written by Louis Reiff, goes into detail about some of the benefits a bat house can provide. For example, bats can help pollinate plants in the springtime, and they offer fantastic insect control. Bats’ natural ecosystems are always in constant jeopardy due to mass logging and land development. By providing more shelter for them, their population has a better chance of staying healthy in our area. 

Placement of your bat house, the color and also how it is made are all determining factors whether bats will roost in your house or not. “Bat Conservation International” is a fantastic resource for anything that involves bats. Their segment about bat houses goes into amazing detail about options for building or buying them, where to mount them outside, their color, and their materials. They offer installation tips for the houses and also building tips. For example, they state to stay away from oil-based stains and paint. In my video, I used water-based latex paint and primer. 

20 Frequently Asked Questions About Bat Houses,” written by Robert Vinson, is a fantastic article covering questions about maintaining a bat house on top of other things. This article talks about whether or not to clean your bat house, rabies and what to do with bat guano. This article also answers the question about if there are laws mandating bat houses. There are no laws or regulations for putting up a bat house on your property.

Photo: Jonas Ward

“Bat World Sanctuary-Behind the Scenes” is a Facebook group I joined while making this bat house. Rudy Starr is a member of this group, and she gave me some helpful pointers regarding my bat house. 

“Please do not put bat houses in trees,” Starr said. “Predators use trees as a highway straight into the bat house. They do need to be a minimum of 16 feet in the air and face south-southeast on top of being dark-colored. They do the best on the side of a building or on a pole.” 

If you decide to build a bat house, there are many templates online to help you in your project. Many high-quality bat houses are online for sale if you wish to go that route. They are both excellent options if you want to help these animals with their living conditions, their population numbers and give them a place to hibernate during the winter. If you have bats in your actual house, a bat house may help lure them out.  

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