Why Build A Bat House?
A bat house or a "bat box" is a human-made structure designed to provide bats with a warm, dry and safe roosting site. Similar to a birdhouse, they are often wooden “boxes” that can be installed on the side of buildings. Bat houses help mitigate the effects of excluding bats from unwanted indoor roosting areas in homes and businesses, provided they are installed well in advance of the exclusion.
Although bat houses can be an effective addition to conservation plans, and provide a focal point for education and outreach, there is currently no evidence that bat houses provide the same high-quality roosting conditions that natural environments provide. Consider location, colour, and incidence of the sun when planning a bat house project.
Bats typically use roosting areas over many years or decades. Therefore, bat house projects are most suited to situations where bat houses will be maintained and made available to bats for several years. Not all commercially available bat houses are suitable for bats in Canada. Before you purchase a bat house, or build your own, ensure it meets minimum design requirements.
Multi-Chambered Bat Houses
Multiple chambered bat houses offer a greater range of environmental conditions compared to a single chamber designs, and are a good option for supporting maternity colonies. These bat houses should be at least 24” high x 16” wide and should be located near a water source. Smaller bat houses do not offer adequate thermal stability.
Bats find it very difficult to fly away in a stationary position so the bottom of bat houses should be located 12 to 20 feet off the ground, allowing the bats to drop down and glide away safely. Tree mounts should also be avoided as they are vulnerable to predators like owls and hawks. A bat house should also not contain any fabric and be painted with only external-grade water-based paint.
Building A Simple Bat House
Bats may seem a little scary to the average person, especially how they are portrayed in some movies. But bats are actually very cool creatures. They are flying mammals, eat LOTS of bugs, live in colonies, and use echolocation. They also have decent eye sight, which is a commonly misunderstood fact. So for this project, Specific Love Creations decided to build a bat house to hopefully give the bats in their area another location to stay. Video courtesy of Specific Love Creations.