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HOW TO BUILD A BAT HOUSE

A bat house designed by Bat Conservation International ( Figure 2) combines relative ease of construction with the varied crevice sizes most often used by American bats and temperature buffering features. Western red cedar is recommended for its ability to withstand outdoor exposure, though many other woods are suitable. Six feet of 1 x 12-inch board and 10 feet of 1 x 10-inch board are sufficient for construction. (Actual board sizes normally are about 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches.) Overall dimensions may be varied to allow for slight differences in board widths or personal preferences, but spacing between partitions should remain approximately the same. Use rough lumber and turn the rough sides of the roof, front, back and sides inward. The rough side of the ceiling should face down. Cut 1/16-inch horizontal grooves at 1/2 inch intervals on the smooth sides of all partitions. This will enable bats to climb and roost. Apply a bead of silicon caulk along each exterior joint to prevent heat loss. The estimated cost of materials is less than $20, and a single house may be occupied by a hundred or more bats.

Note:
Use wood with rough surfaces.
The space between inner partitions should not exceed 1 inch.
When complete, hang the house 12-15 feet above the ground on a tree trunk or side of a building facing south or southeast so it catches the morning sun, but is in the shade during mid-day.
Provide a watering station or locate your bat house near a natural water source to increase your chance of attracting bats.

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