Scott’s Bat House Page -- Bat House Plans

 

This site is designed mainly to provide bat house plans.  The latest research data from BCI suggests that 2 or 3 or more large bat houses in one location with different characteristics (color, sun exposure, size etc.) could be most attractive to bats, although one well built bat house should have good success rates as well.  Building a bat house can be a big job, so I also have BCI approved bat houses for sale. 

 

 

My Latest Bat House Plans

 

Follow the red links below to see the two newest (Updated for 2010) bat house plans I have. 

 

Big Bat House PlanBig Bat House Plan

A 5-chamber bat house from one sheet of plywood and a 2x6x8 with very little waste.  This is my new and improved big bat house.  If you only build one bat house this is the one I suggest.  Improvements in this bat house plan over the original ‘big bat house’ include taller chambers, much simpler plywood cuts, slightly less overall weight, and slightly easier assembly.
Chamber dimensions: 22.5” wide x 27” tall

 

 

 

Medium Bat House PlansMedium Bat House Plans2 Medium Bat Houses Plan

Two 3-chamber bat houses from one sheet of plywood and two 2x4x8’s with very little waste.  Choose this plan if you want multiple bat houses, but don’t want to spend too much on supplies.  Each bat house is much lighter than the big bat house, which is an advantage when mounting. Perfect for lower cost experimentation.  Try venting one and not the other or painting them different colors. Improvements in this plan over the original ‘medium bat house’ include taller chambers, much simpler plywood cuts, and slightly easier assembly. 
Chamber dimensions:  14” wide x 30.5” tall each

 

Experiments are still needed to see which factors affect bat house success.  For experiments to be most helpful build several bat houses and keep all factors, except one, the same to test the effect of that single factor.

 

If you are interested in buying a bat house that is already constructed click here:

Info on purchasing a BCI approved Bat House

 

To inquire about commercial use of my plans, send payment by check (US$ only), or to ask any other questions email me: bathabitat@gmail.com 

 

 

Bat House installedBlack Bat HouseBrown Bat HouseBat House from bottom

 

Bat conservation international (BCI) has a very helpful Bat House Specifications page that everyone who puts up a bat house should read.  BCI has the latest research and is where I got most of my information. BCI’s The Bat House Researcher free online magazine also has great research results from 2001 (latest available online) showing which factors contribute to bat house success.  Bats Magazine also has helpful articles (volume 11 NO 1 ) that have much the same information you get if you buy The Bat House Builder's Handbook.  

 

 

Bat and Bat House Books from Amazon.com:

 

Buy from Amazon.comThe Bat House Builder's Handbooknew second edition by BCI -Very helpful!

America’s Neighborhood Bats

Bats in Question: The Smithsonian Answer...

The Bats of Europe and North America:...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathouse and Bat Box Plans from other sites

 

Here are a few free bat house plans.  I strongly recommend my plans, but these different styles of bat houses might be fun to try in addition to mine.   Rocket boxes must be installed on a pole.  This design has worked well in some places and might be worth a try especially in combination with my other bat house plans (see Bat house researcher v.9 and ):

 

Rocket box from BCI

Two chamber Rocket box from BCI

BCI's Small Economy Bat House  - I don’t recommend these plans because research has found that bigger bat houses, like my bat house plans, work better.  The bat house is small and easy to build however so it may be better than no bat house at all.

 

General Interest Bat House Web Sites:

 

Bats in your state or province – bat photos and information from BCIGreat!

Bat house Tenants – info on bats that might use bat houses- from BCI

BCI Bat house FAQ – Bat links from Bat Conservation International

The Bat House Researcher – from BCI – lots of bat house research results and info

 

Evicting unwanted batsBats in Buildings, Evict bats, These links should help you if you want to remove bats from a building. You shouldn’t evict bats when babies are young.  This can vary by species, but to be safe wait until at least August or before the babies are born in early spring.  Put up alternate housing (i.e. bat houses) a few weeks before you begin bat exclusion. I am not really a bat removal expert so please see those webpages for more info.

 

Wooden bat houses not big enough for ya?  Try building a Bat Cave! Also see this *follow -up story*

 

Experiments to Try:

 

Research about bats’ bat house preferences is still ongoing so experiments are needed.  Make two or more bat houses of the same starting bat house design and alter only one factor about each bat house.  This allows you to conclude that the single factor that you changed on the one bat house is what caused the difference in bat house occupancy at your location and is part of a good scientific experimental design.  If you make only one bat house go with the standard bat house model first (with the correct bat house color and venting for your region).  Some bat house factors to experiment with on your second or third bat house are (in the order of my interest in trying): 

 

Heat Sinks –(e.g. concrete, bricks, soil, bottled water, etc) should help prevent bat house overheating during the day by absorbing the suns heat and over-cooling at night by releasing the heat stored in the bat house from the day.  Try filling the bat house attic and/or possibly all or part of the center chamber of my bat house models with concrete or whatever you have that might work.  Keep in mind that it will make the bat house considerably heavier and that you will need to take measures to keep the material in the center chamber of the bat house(if you decide to put it there) from falling out and hitting you in the head.  Also in colder regions or in bat houses that don’t get enough sun the heat sink might prevent the bat house from warming enough, which would be a problem.

Insulation -  (e.g. spray foam or Styrofoam) Unlike heat sinks, which store heat in the bat house, insulation limits the amount of heat (or cold) entering and leaving a bat house.  There is a subtle difference in the mechanics but the end result is similar: moderating bat house temperature.  Try insulating the bat house attic and maybe also the top 10” or so of a few (non adjacent) bat house chambers.  Just as with a bat hosue heat sink too much of it can keep your bat house too cool, which is bad. 

Venting – Vary the amount of venting on your second bat house.  Either add more vents to the bat house or take them away as you see fit depending on your climate.  NOTE: Bat houses in warmer climates should include venting on most bat house models.

Color – paint one bat house darker or lighter than what is recommended.  NOTE: Make sure the majority of your bat houses are the recommended color for your region.

 

 

Canadian Provinces and Territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon, North America

 

 

Any questions/comments/suggestions? Send me an email: bathabitat@gmail.com

Don’t worry I won’t add you to any mailing lists

 

Advertisers:  If you are interested in placing a tasteful relevant add on this page please contact me.

 

 

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Last update 4/19/2010, SMH