How to Build a Bat Box. Building your own bat box rather than buying one ready-made attracts more bats to your backyard. Usually commercial bat boxes look like bird houses, but their designs don't satisfy a bat's need for tight, dark spaces and heat retention. Proper design and construction in combination with proper placement turns your backyard into a bat-friendly environment where these nocturnal creatures can comfortably shelter and raise their young.
Download a free bat box construction plan from Bat Conservation International.
Mark the plywood or cement board for cutting according to the building plan. Clamp the wood down to keep your hands free. Put on the safety glasses and make the measured cuts.
Lay out the pieces and identify each according to the building plan.
Paint all interior walls of the bat box with a dark colored paint.
Staple the plastic mesh to the largest piece of wood or board. The mesh needs to cover the entire piece of wood. This is the back wall of the bat box. The mesh gives the bats traction for crawling.
Pre-drill holes in the narrow side pieces. Add a line of caulk along the sides that will connect with the back wall of the bat box. Attach the sides to the back wall with the Phillips head screws.
Caulk the larger of the two front pieces and attach it to the sides with the drill and screws.
Attach the smaller front piece and the sides with caulk. Use a tape measure to ensure a 1/2 inch ventilation gap between the smaller piece and the larger front piece from Step 7. Caulk all outside joints.
Turn the bat box so the open end is points down. The opposite end is the top of the bat box (remember that bats like to hang).
Secure the 1-by-3-by-28-inch board to the top to form a roof. Shingle it if you so desire.
Prime and paint the outside of the box to weatherproof it.
Mount the bat box to the side of your house that gets the most sun.