Why is it necessary to breed bats? Quite simply because they eat all kinds of insects that can affect human comfort, such as mosquitoes, flies, etc. However, to attract these nocturnal animals, it is recommended that you build a nesting box for them. Here are the various steps to follow to make one.
Things to consider before building a bat box
For bats to settle easily in their future nesting box, it must meet the following criteria:
- Sufficient space to accommodate a small colony;
- A fairly wide opening;
- A rough surface for bats to hang on;
- An airtight enclosure that will regulate the heat;
- A minimum height of 5 m above the ground;
- A sunny location.
Gather the materials and tools needed for the birdhouse
To build a bat box, you need to plan for different carpenter’s tools and various types of materials, including:
- An electric saw;
- A pencil ;
- A hammer ;
- Some screws and a screwdriver ;
- About twenty nails or 5 cm wood screws;
- Putty for joints;
- A black roof;
- A drill-driver (one for making holes and the other for fixing screws);
- A retractable tape measure;
- One 2.5 x 20 cm untreated cedar plank of 3.50 m;
- One 28cm untreated 2.5 x 25cm cedar plank;
- A plank of untreated natural wood at least 27 cm x 87 cm and 20 mm thick;
- A 30 mm square section cleat.
Cut the pieces needed to make the nest box
Once the necessary materials and tools are available, construction of the bat box can begin. To do this, you have to saw a 1 x 8 board of 3.7 m as follows:
- 3 pieces 56 cm long (for the sides and back of the nest box);
- 1 piece 44 cm long (for the front of the shelter);
- 2 pieces 33 cm long (for two partitions);
- 1 piece 30 cm long (for the third partition).
Erect the sides of the nest box
To continue construction:
- Measure 44cm on one side of the two 60cm pieces;
- Cut diagonally from the 44 cm mark to the closest point on the other side of the board;
- Repeat the process with the 56 cm board.
Thus, the birdhouse will have sides.
Saw the board and the pieces
The next step is to:
- Position the saw so that it cuts at 33 ° ;
- Cut the upper ends of the boards at an angle:
- The piece of 44 cm;
- The 56 cm board.
- Measure, then trace the two side pieces identically to their long side as follows:
- 5 cm;
- 7 cm;
- 9 cm;
- The last row should end 4 cm from the opposite edge.
Assemble and screw the pieces of the front, back, and sides.
Ensure that all the pieces are perfectly cut and that they fit together well before jointing, drilling, and screwing. Once this verification is done:
- Assemble the front and rear sides with the ends angled upwards;
- Screw or nail together the front, back, and sides.
In general, at the edges, the side pieces should overlap the front and back sections.
Place, position, and screw the partitions of the nest box
To continue manufacturing the nest box, you must:
- Lay the nest box on its side, then insert the partitions into it;
- Place all partitions in the center of the nest box;
- Nail or screw the partitions;
- Position all partitions so that their ends and angles are aligned with the roof;
- Cut a small lane through the partitions.
Generally, the space between the two partitions should be 1.90 cm and 3.80 cm for the large rear chamber. For shorter partitions, they should be placed at the front of the nest box. On the other hand, those which are 33 cm long will be positioned at the back.
The steps to take before finishing the construction of the nest box
Before completing the construction of the nest box:
- Place a 28cm 1×10 plank over the corner section;
- Screw or nail the roof;
- Join all exterior seams;
- Add some putty along the seams when assembling the various parts of the roof.
For the nest box finishes
To complete the construction of the bat box:
- Secure a black roof to the nest box using staples to maintain heat;
- Drill two ventilation holes on the front of the shelter;
- Install the nest box on a sunny facade of the house, at the height of 3 to 5 m above the ground;
- For more efficiency, place a solar lamp under the shelter to attract nocturnal insects that the bats will eat in the evening.
Once the nesting box is installed, the house occupants can surround it with plants popular with bats to attract them more.
Some useful information for installing a bat nest box
Here is some useful information for those who wish to make a bat shelter:
- Cedar is more efficient than natural wood because it does not deteriorate quickly. Also, it allows bats to grip and crawl easily.
- For small budgets, nails prove to be the best solution. However, they are sensitive to bad weather and tend to split wood.
- Thanks to their weather resistance, the screws allow the nest box to last more than one season.
- To refresh the interior of the shelter, it is advisable to paint its exterior part is clear. On the other hand, a dark shade makes it possible to warm it up.
- If the outside of the birdhouse is colored black, this will help retain heat.
- It is not advisable to paint or varnish the shelter’s interior, as this will scare away bats due to the toxicity of the coatings.
- Once the nest box is installed, it is recommended not to disturb the bats that are installed there.