Instructions: Make and hang the bat box

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bat box

Among the tree bats there is a great housing shortage. Their ancestral hibernation and rearing homes fall victim to merciless deforestation. It is explicitly the old, hollowed-out trees that offer endangered bat species a roof over their heads. If you would like to contribute to the preservation of these unique mammals, you will find here the construction manual for a bat box with tips for correct hanging. The presented model is designed so that different species of bats can settle here. A placement on the wall or in stable buildings is also possible.
List of components
The type of wood recommended is primarily rough-sawn pine, fir and spruce wood, which in no case may be treated with preparations for impregnation. Even biological agents are completely unsuitable, because only on a rough surface as possible find the small bat claws sufficient support. Ideally you use wood components with a thickness of 20 to 25 millimeters. These components are required: (dimensions in length x width x thickness)
  • 1 suspension bar with 700 x 40 x 20 mm
  • 1 roof panel with 130 x 310 x 20 mm
  • 1 base plate with 210 x 30 x 20 mm
  • 1 board as a back wall with 450 x 250 x 20 mm
  • 1 board as a front wall with 350 x 250 x 20 mm
  • 2 side walls, tapering from 300 x 40 to 20 x 20 mm
In order for the wood in the interior of the box to be really rough enough, it is additionally scratched with a sharp device, such as a screwdriver, across the grain. Optionally, use a saw to create small grooves. Since the rear wall also acts as an approach board, this is provided from top to bottom with grooves for clinging on arrival.
Make a bat box
The bat box of this construction manual has a sloping front wall. This attribute gives the animals of different species the possibility to freely choose their favorite place. Bats love a cramped hanging place, where they get in touch with the wood, both with the belly and with the back. In these steps, you assemble the house:
  • Screw the rear panel from the inside with the suspension bar so that no metal parts protrude into the interior
  • Glue the side walls to the back wall
  • Now screw the floor to the front wall or nail it to it
  • Then gluing the front wall to the side walls
  • Finally, install the roof
  • All but the access slit glue all cracks for a drafts-free box
If the body is finally wrapped with tar paper, this measure prevents the dreaded Spechtschlag effectively. The approach bar is excluded. About this opening, the bat house cleans itself at the same time, as the droppings fall through.
Alternative approach
Since the front wall of the bat box is set at an angle, you can keep the gap between the roof and the body extra small if you follow these instructions:
  • First screw or nail the floor to the front wall
  • Then glue the sidewalls to the front wall
  • Now connect these parts to the back wall
The basic box in hands, cut it with the circular saw at the top so that the roof can fit there exactly. Then wrap the box in tar paper and attach it to the suspension bar.
Tip: The slip gap between the floor and the rear wall must not be smaller than 20 mm and larger than 25 mm. In this way, pregnant females pass through, while birds do not gain access.
Hang up properly


The bats spare room for bats is ideally hung in groups of 5 to 7 boxes in groups of trees or at the house. Choose a height of 3 to 5 meters. In order for the bats to fly home freely, there should be no branches and foliage in the immediate vicinity. Conifers are rather unsuitable for hanging up a bat box because of the high amount of resin. Too large is the risk that the wings come into contact with the resin and stick together. Free-hanging boxes that sway back and forth are shunned by bats.
An orientation in south-west direction is optimal, as it is quickly too hot under direct sunlight in the wooden box for exclusively nocturnal mammals. However, the day sleepers have no objection to one or the other warming ray of sunshine. A street lamp or a bright neon sign nearby, however, is perceived as extremely disturbing.
Of vital importance for the hangar is a quiet location. The nocturnal animals are urgently dependent on adequate rest periods. The less the bats are disturbed, the better they feel in their new home and keep coming back. This also applies to the weather conditions on site. A bat box in the windy place will hardly attract a resident.If, on the other hand, you choose a place in the slipstream, the construction will enjoy great popularity among the fluttering inhabitants.
Tip: Weeks and months can go into the country until a bat box is settled, so that paternal patience is needed.
Insulation with insulating material is contraindicated
It is well-meant by bat-friendly home-made doers who want to winterize the bat box with double walls and styrofoam. However, field trials by animal welfare organizations have shown that such hibernation boxes are associated with significant disadvantages. Initially, these boxes are too small, as bats preferably hibernate in very large groups. In addition, there is a risk that ants are attracted. The industrious insects lay corridors in the insulating material and carry it outside. As a result, the position of the bat-apartment is visible because of the snow-white material, which many robbers know how to use.
Since this construction manual a bottom gap is provided as a slip, cleaning should not be required as a rule, since the animal droppings fall through. In case of doubt, it is nevertheless possible to sweep the box with a branch. This cleaning is of course only possible if the residents are currently not at home, which may well be the case outside the hibernation from June to September.
Bat protection is active conservation
The bat is one of the most endangered species in Europe. The destruction of their natural habitat, the exorbitant use of insecticides and pesticides are just a few examples of the causes of extinction. Bats are an indispensable component of the ecological balance as insectivores. They hunt at night for pests that would otherwise quickly outgrow. Mosquitoes, gnats and nocturnal butterflies are on their menu. Each of our native 30 bat species has its preferred prey and hunts in a very individual way, so that competition for food does not arise. By making a bat box or several copies, you make a valuable contribution to the conservation of these important insectivores. In addition, the following measures also contribute significantly to the protection of evening sailors and colleagues:
  • Plant mixed hedges
  • Build camlock walls and let them be planted by nature
  • Keep hollow tree trunks in the garden and do not dispose of them
  • Create a pond, ideally complemented by a stream
  • Do not use insecticides for bats to find enough food
  • Attach a small board to open rain barrels as an exit option
In addition, various plants have proven to be particularly insect friendly, which in turn benefits the bats. These include, among others:
  • Common Snowball (Viburnum opulus)
  • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis citrina)
  • Meadow sage (Salvia pratensis)
In addition, blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) and raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and the apple tree (Malus domestica) are considered ideal candidates for the bat-friendly natural garden.
Every home and garden owner can make a valuable contribution to saving the bat from extinction. The alleviation of the housing shortage can be accomplished with simple means. As the natural retreats decline more and more, provide the ingenious insectivores a replacement shelter. According to this construction manual, you can make a bat box yourself in no time. The tips for professional hanging up indicate where the new home is most quickly accepted by the fluttering residents. In addition, make the garden insect-friendly, the table is richly covered for the endangered mammals.

Video Board: Find the best bat house & where NOT to place it.

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