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How to Build a Bat House

Bats are a very important component of an ecosystem. They eat hundreds of insects every evening, thereby protecting our crops and gardens. If you would like to attract bats to your backyard.

  • Use 2 cm unplaned wood. Do not use pressure-treated lumber as it emits toxic fumes.

  • Cut one roof panel, two side panels, one back panel, one front panel, and five or six divider panels. The number of dividers may vary, but the openings between them should be 2 to 2.5 cm wide. With a saw or chisel, make deep horizontal grooves in the dividers and inner side panels - about 1 cm apart - to provide a rough surface for climbing and roosting inside the box.

  • Assemble the pieces. Use screws instead of nails to make it easier to correct mistakes. 4 cm coated flathead screws are best.

  • Caulk any loose-fitting external seams and joints.

  • Canadian bats prefer their boxes stained or painted a dark colour to help absorb heat. An alternative is to cover the box with tar paper, stapling it in place.

  • Bats prefer houses located half a kilometre or less from streams or rivers. Among the best places are wood lots, forest edges, meadows, valleys, marshlands, rivers, and ponds. Situate your bat house where there are plenty of insects.

  • Secure the box to the side of a building or tree, 4 to 5 m above the ground, facing southeast or southwest to receive the warmth of the sun at least four or five hours a day.

  • Bats don't like houses with trees or branches closer than 1.5 m away. The nearest major obstacle should be at least 6 m from the structure.

  • Give the bat house two seasons. If it remains unoccupied, try moving it to another spot.

  • Put up a cluster of houses in the same area to increase your chances of attracting occupants.


Once occupied, bat houses needn't be cleaned or opened for maintenance.
Do check them regularly for signs of damage.


Your connection to more Wildlife information:

Canadian Wildlife Federation


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