Introduction

building a bat house
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
»
Age Range: 7 and up

Bats are underrated. Besides being the only mammal that flies, most North American bats are nocturnal insectivores, which means they feed on night-flying insects—especially mosquitoes. In fact, a small bat can devour more than 600 mosquitoes in a single hour. They also eat beetles, wasps, and moths. So encouraging bats to nest near your house is a natural way to keep your yard bug-free.

This bat house is easy to make in an afternoon. Its shallow construction is designed specifically to attract bats, which like cramped, dark spaces for nesting. Kids can do lots of the work involved in making this bat house, including measuring, driving screws, and painting. Parents need to help out with the sawing. Once you’ve finished it, hang your bat house high in a sunny corner of your backyard, and the bats will soon find a stylish new home.

• Learn about common North American Bats
• Download templates for this project
Share a project you’ve built
Ask TOH users about Yard & Garden

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • hand clamps
      Spring clamps
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • French curve and circle templates
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with ¼-inch drill bit
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun
    • paintbrush
      Paintbrush (2-inch)
    • paintroller
      Foam roller (4-inch)
    • scissors
      Scissors
    • staple gun
      Staple gun

    Shopping List

    1. 2-by-4-foot section of ½-inch exterior-grade plywood

    2. One 6-foot 1x2

    3. ½-inch deer netting

    4. Exterior latex paint (black and another dark color)5. Low-VOC adhesive caulk

    6. 1-inch deck screws

    7. -inch staples

    8. 3½-inch deck screws