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Bat House Tutorial

We enjoy outdoor activities, but the mosquitoes also enjoy our yard. So we decided to build bat houses, also known as bat boxes, to attract mosquito-eating bats as a natural way to control our mosquito problem. Bats are perfect for managing all night-flying insects in your yard.

Bat House on a pole in the yard. It was build from cypress lumber

Bat House

How to Build a Bat House 

We wanted our bat house to coordinate with the other structures in our yard (trellises, obelisk, lanterns, birdhouses, etc.), so we designed a pagoda-inspired bat house.

So we used the same black mesh that we used to build our compost bins and the same lumber as our other garden structures. 

Since the trellises have trim with a pagoda shape, I decided the trim at the top of the bat house would have that same shape. 

Supplies to build a bat house sitting on the grass outside

Bat house supplies

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase from one of these links, I will make a small commission, but rest assured, you will not pay more for any products.

Bat House Supplies 

I choose to use local cypress to build my bat house. However, you can use many wood types (I do not recommend using pressure-treated lumber).

➡️ I recommend watching the how-to video before you begin.

Wood Cuts

I measured and marked my wood according to the cuts listed below to begin the project. 

Cypress lumber cut for the front and back, and chamber divider sitting on the ground

Lumber cuts

  •  Four 1x12x16 cypress front and back panels
  •  One 3/8x16x 22.5 plywood chamber divider
  • Three ¼ mesh 16×26 
  •  Two 7/8×7/8×21 cypress chamber spacers
  •  Two cuts at 7/8×7/8×15 cypress chamber spacers
  • Cut two at 7/8×7/8×14.25 cypress chamber ceiling
  •  Two cuts at 3/8×4 ¼ x21 cypress side panels
  •  Two 3/8×4 ¼ x 9 roof panels
  •  Three 1/4×1 ½x21 cypress trim 
  •  One 1.5x2x23.5 beam cut out of the 2×4 cypress 

Assembling the Bat House

Back panel glued and clamped together on a folding table outside

Clamped back panel

Back Panel

To assemble the bat house, I joined two 1x12x16 boards using glue to make a 16 X24 back panel.

Then I clamped the chamber divider, back panel, and the front upper board together to cut the peak for the roof.

Next, I marked the center of the top edge for my reference to cut the 6-degree angle for the roof pitch.

Mesh

Attach wire mesh starting at the bottom nail a ¼x7/8×16 inch strip of cypress to the bottom edge.

Stapling the wire mesh onto the inside of the back panel

Back panel mesh

 

Smooth the mesh over the panel and staple and place.

Trim the mesh as needed.

Attach the mesh to both sides of the chamber divider with staples.  

Note: If you prefer, you can omit the mesh and instead cut shallow horizontal grooves about ¾ inches apart on the inside surfaces of the chambers.

Build the Chambers

To attach the chamber spacers along the sides and the top, I glued and nailed them in place. 

Chamber dividers attached to the inside of the front panel on a worktable outside

Chamber spacers

Note: I do not recommend building a single chamber bat house if you want to attract enough bats for insect control.

Each bat eats more than one thousand mosquitos a night. 

Lay the front panel pieces face down and attach the chamber spacers along the left and right edge and one at the top with glue and nails. Make sure to leave an air gap.

Glue and nail the chamber divider to the front panel assembly.

Nailing the mesh covered chamber divider panel to the front panel assembly

Nail divider panel

Add the next layer of spacers along the left and right edge and one at the top edge with glue and nail. I added a 3 1/8 inch screw at this point to reinforce the joint connections—four down each side.

I attached the back panel with glue and nails and added six more screws along each edge.

Nailing the back panel to the front assembly with a nail gun on a folding work table outside

Nail back panel

Prepare the side panels to cover the exposed edge. Glue and nail in place.

Attaching the side panels to the house with a nailer

Side panels

Install the top beam (pagoda trim board) with glue and screws from the back. Position the beam and predrill for the screws. Be careful not to drill through the beam.

Cutting the pagoda shape trim board (beam) using a miter saw

Cut pagoda trim board

Prepare the roof panels and glue and nail them in place.

Attaching the right roof panel to the top of the house

Roof panel

 

Attaching the other roof panel to the top

Finished roof

Add the trim to the front with glue and nails.

Attaching the trim pieces to the front of the house on the sides and top using glue and nails

Front trim

 

If you do not have time to make a bat house you could purchase a bat house (this one is a bargain).

 

How to Install a Bat House

Bat houses need to be installed at least 12 to 15 feet above the ground and about 15 feet away from tree limbs. 

Installation Supplies

Use a U clamp to attach the bat house to a 1.5-inch pole.

Back view of the installed bat house attached to pipe with u clamp

Back of house

View of the installed house from the bottom side upward

Bottom of the bat house

Hang the house and wait for the bats to move in.  

 

Man holding a bat house standing outside

Batman holding house

 

 

 

 

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SL

Thursday 24th of February 2022

What a fantastic project. Your instructions are very clear and I really enjoy how the bat house looks. Thanks for this!

Rachelle

Thursday 17th of February 2022

This intrigues me, Kippi. They say we have a lot of bats in Idaho, but I've yet to see one. What I do see are bugs! I need to consider building one of these. Thanks for adding it to the FWF party. Hugs, Rachelle

Sheryl

Friday 11th of February 2022

How far away from the house should this be placed? Thanks so much!

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