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.
How to Build a 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.
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.
- 1X12X8 cypress
- 2X4 cypress
- ⅜ plywood
- 1/4 inch wire mesh (25″ by 48″)
- Screws (exterior 14 at 3/8″ and 14 at 1/4″)
- Glue (exterior wood glue)
- Staples (stainless steel 7/16″)
- Table saw
- Miter saw
- Nail gun
- Staple gun
- Measuring tape
- Tin snips
- Combination square
I measured and marked my wood according to the cuts listed below to begin the project.
- 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
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.
Attach wire mesh starting at the bottom nail a ¼x7/8×16 inch strip of cypress to the bottom edge.
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.
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.
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.
Prepare the side panels to cover the exposed edge. Glue and nail in place.
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.
Prepare the roof panels and glue and nail them in place.
Add the trim to the front with glue and nails.
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.
- 10′ galvanized pipe
- Pressure-treated wood 4 x 4
- 1.5″ U clamp
Use a U clamp to attach the bat house to a 1.5-inch pole.
Hang the house and wait for the bats to move in.