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8 Bat Box Homemade Ideas You Can Try

  • Animal
Bat Box Homemade Ideas You Can Try

If there’s one thing we know about bats — aside from their ability to fly more than 40 miles per hour while carrying half a million insects each night — they’re very good at building things.

Bats are masters when it comes to creating homes out of all kinds of materials. They use mud, leaves, tree branches, even human hair, bones and fur scraps. And if the weather is nice? Forget about it. Bats will gather debris around them to keep warm. Even though many people consider these creatures creepy, they also have some pretty incredible abilities. For example, they eat more mosquitoes than 200 gallons of bug spray could kill…in three days.

In fact, bats consume up to 1 billion bugs every single minute! That means no insect repellent needed. Bats’ keen sense of hearing allows them to find prey underground where most hunting predators cannot follow. They also possess super sensitive whiskers that allow them to smell like radar. Plus, bats produce echolocation sounds that help them navigate through dark caves and avoid obstacles. Oh yeah, did I mention bats have wings? Yep. We’ll get to those later.

Of course, you don’t need to be a master builder to attract bats to your backyard. Here are 8 bat box ideas that require little skill and money:

1. Build a Bat House With Cardboard

Build a bat house with cardboard

You may not think that cardboard has much value. After all, who wants something flimsy sitting outside? But what do you really need when making plans to draw bats to your property? A strong structure that’s big enough to hold several dozen bats, plus room to grow.

You’ve got just the right material, thanks to its light weight and strength. Cardboard is actually stronger than wood because it doesn’t contain any knots or weak areas. It also won’t rot or warp over time. The best part? All you need to make this plan work is a pencil and some scissors. Just cut rectangular pieces of cardboard until you reach the size and shape of your dream bat house.

Then stack the sheets together to form walls and attach them with tape. Once everything is secured, paint your new creation white. Voilà — instant attraction. If you want, add decorative details such as small holes punched along the edges of the roof and side panels to give your bat house character.

2. Make a Bat House From Scratch

Make a bat house from scratch

Building a bat house from scratch requires a lot more skills than simply cutting and stacking cardboard. However, you might be surprised how easy it is once you figure out what kind of design you’d like. If you’re looking for a simple but sturdy solution, check out this DIY project by expert horticulturist Mike Ladd. He used plywood frames covered with chicken wire fencing to create his own bat houses. While it may take weeks to complete, the end product isn’t too shabby either. To learn more about the process, watch the video below.

3. Add Bats to Your Garden Using Hanging Baskets or Plants

Add bats to your garden using hanging baskets or plants

Another way to bring life back to your lawn is adding wildlife. One popular method is planting native flowers that provide food sources for local species. Another option is installing hanging basket gardens filled with nectar-producing blooms. These types of gardening projects often include colorful butterfly bushes, roses and other flower varieties that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Since bats feed primarily on insects, it makes perfect sense to plant flowers near trees and shrubs that offer lots of fruit and blossoms. This type of landscaping attracts not only bats, but birds, bees and beneficial insects as well. What better way to beautify your outdoor space?

4. Hang A Free-Flying Bat Cage in The Yard for Year-Round Entertainment

Hang a free-flying bat cage in the yard for year-round entertainment

A great way to catch winged visitors is by attaching a free-flying bat cage above ground level. There are plenty of cages available online and at pet stores, but if you’re interested in doing it yourself, you should start planning now. Don’t worry, putting up this bat house takes less effort than you would expect. First, decide which area inside your house works best for keeping the cage suspended.

Next, measure the distance from the ceiling joists to the wall studs. Now calculate the width of the cage bars based on the height of the ceiling joists. Finally, subtract 2 inches from both sides of the measurements to account for swinging movement. Based on these calculations, choose the appropriate location and frame length for your bat house. Also, remember that the cage must hang within 4 feet of the nearest window or opening in order to prevent damage.

5. Use Recycled Materials and Build a Bat Shelter

Use recycled materials and build a bat shelter

In addition to constructing a bat house, you can also recycle household items to turn them into shelters. For instance, old wooden pallets can become excellent bases for tiny birdhouses. Or you can construct cozy hideaways from scrap lumber.

Many people already collect heaps of discarded wood and metal parts lying around their yards. So why not put them to good use instead of throwing away perfectly usable stuff? Get creative and transform junk piles into structures suitable for housing bats. If you’ve never built anything before, consider taking a class on basic carpentry skills. Online tutorials are also helpful resources.

6. Create an indoor habitat for bats by turning empty toilet paper rolls into perches, lids as entryways and tubes as tunnels

Create an indoor habitat for bats by turning empty toilet paper rolls into perches

To capture bats, experts recommend placing traps under roofs, behind vents or chimneys and inside attics. Unfortunately, bats aren’t fond of enclosed spaces. Because of this challenge, researchers have devised ways to let them move freely throughout buildings. Using empty toilet tissue rolls, they created hollow tubes, doors, perches and lids that mimic natural features found in caves and forests.

Although these objects look strange at first glance, bats love to nestle inside them. When necessary, they can squeeze through narrow openings. As long as their flight path remains unobstructed, bats shouldn’t harm anyone inside a trap. Of course, traps don’t always guarantee success. Some animals prefer to hunt indoors rather than outdoors. Fortunately, you can still lure bats closer to you by filling homemade “nests” with water, sugar syrup, molasses or honey. Additionally, you can install ultraviolet lights in rooms containing traps to stimulate feeding activity.

7. Attachment a Funnel Between Two Boxes So That Flying Foxes can land on it without hurting themselves (and humans)

funnel between two boxes so that flying foxes can land on it

When traveling thousands of miles across oceans, flying foxes face extreme challenges. Their large bodies lack aerodynamic qualities, so they rely heavily on instincts to stay aloft. Flying foxes have developed special powers called prehensile tails. With these appendages, they grasp slippery fruits and pull them close to their mouths.

If you live in urban environments, however, it’s difficult to accommodate this behavior. Enter funnels. By connecting two containers — say, two tall glass jars — you can place a funnel between them. This piece of equipment resembles the mouth of the animal and helps flying foxes grab airborne fruit without crashing into nearby windowsills.

8. Storm Shutters Made of Clear Plastic Mesh

Storm shutters made of clear plastic mesh

During hurricanes, bats seek protection in brick towers, concrete blocks and abandoned homes. Storm shutters protect against high winds and rainwater, providing shelter and warmth. Plastic mesh screens usually serve as makeshift storm shutters. Experts suggest covering your door frames with multiple layers of mesh.

If possible, secure the screen to the top third of the frame. Remember to leave a gap wide enough to fit bats inside. Before closing the gaps with adhesive strips, cover the mesh with heavy gauze fabric to ensure proper ventilation. During severe thunderstorms, run bath towels horizontally underneath the mesh to absorb heat generated by lightning strikes.

Whether you want to attract bats, squirrels, bunnies or owls, nature lovers can craft unique habitats that promote healthy living. Building a bat house or another type of wildlife habitat is rewarding experience that results in real benefits. Not only does attracting bats benefit the environment, but it also improves air quality, reduces noise levels, encourages biodiversity and provides opportunities to engage community members. Most importantly, fostering relationships with wildlife leads to greater appreciation of our planet.

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