Blanco County News
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How to Build a Bat House
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 • Posted February 10, 2012 10:13 AM

Many people think of bats as scary and dangerous creatures. The truth is that bats are very beneficial to our environment. Bats can consume large numbers of insects in a short period of time. So, let’s build some bat houses.

Bat houses should be made of exterior plywood or cedar (rough on the inside). The inside should have grooves. The house should be at least 24 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and about 3 inches deep. There should be an opening at the bottom of the house. Your house needs to be placed at least 12-15 feet up, the higher the better, and should face a south to southeasterly direction getting 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

Building a backyard bat house is fun, easy, and ecological. Bats eat mosquitoes, moths, and other insects and pollinate some flowers. Encourage them to populate your yard by building a bat house out of materials you have at hand, then watch them fly out at dusk to hunt for food.

Here are some simple instructions (keep in mind, there are many plans to building a bat house available; this is only one):

1) Screw together scrap wood pieces to make two walls 24 inches high and 13 inches wide. Screw together two side walls 24 inches high and 3 inches wide.

2) Hammer holes in the large walls about 6 inches from the bottom of the house using the large nail. These allow air to circulate within the house.

3) Staple pantyhose material to the wider walls, reinforcing about every 2 inches up the sides of the house. The material provides a perch from which bats can hang in the house.

4) Assemble the four sides by screwing them together, then caulking. Next, lay the walls aside while you build the roof. Assemble two roof pieces 8 inches by 15 inches. Screw together at a 30-degree angle, then screw and caulk to walls.

5) You can paint the outside of the house a dark color or just leave it natural. Nail the house 15 to 20 feet from the ground on a tree, pole or house (a pole is the best). The opening in the bottom is the door for bats that fly in to sleep during the day.

Miscellaneous tips:

a) Do not hang bat house in tree or shady area. Make sure it receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.

b) Mount box at least 12 feet above the ground.

c) Hanging the bat house near a pond or stream may increase your chances of attracting bats to use it.

d) Bats usually will not use a bat house during the winter.

e) Be sure to clean and do maintenance on your bat house each winter.

There are many free plans on the internet, or you can buy a book that shows you step-by-step. The main thing, have fun building these and enjoy watching the bats.

Information for this article was taken from several internet sites.

For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658, or send an email to debbie@vallone realestate.net.

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