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For more information on the Living With Wildlife series, contact the WDFW Wildlife Program

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Economy Bat Houses

For placement and other information, see http://www.batcon.org

 
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Small Economy Bat House
(Front and Side Views)

Lumber Detail

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Small Economy Bat House
(Interior View)

Lumber Detail

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Small Economy Bat House

Materials (makes one)

  • 1/4 sheet of 1/2" exterior plywood
  • 1 - 1 x 2 x 8' fir board (furring strip)
  • 1 - 1 x 4 x 8' cedar board (mounting board)
  • 25 - 1 1/4" outdoor wood screws
  • 1 pint of latex paint

Construction Procedure

  1. Cut plywood into two pieces: 26 1/2" x 24" and 21 1/2" x 24"
  2. Cut furring strip into one 24" and two 20 1/4" pieces
  3. Cut cedar board into one 17" and two 30" pieces
  4. Screw back to furring. Start with the 24" piece on top
  5. Roughen all sides of plywood, including the back but not the front exterior, with a claw hammer or other tool. Remove any splintered wood
  6. Screw front to furring, top piece first
  7. Attach cedar mounting boards to back with screws entering through plywood and furring
  8. Paint with dark exterior latex paint at least twice. If necessary, roughen landing area below front sheet again.
  9. Caulk all seems that aren't tight with paintable silicone caulk
Large Economy Bat House

Materials (makes one)

  • 1/2 sheet (2' x 8') of 1/2" exterior plywood
  • 1 - 1 x 2 x 8' fir board (furring strip)
  • 1 - 1 x 4 x 8' cedar board (mounting board)
  • 40 - 1 1/4" outdoor wood screws
  • 1 pint of latex paint

Construction Procedure

  1. Cut plywood into two pieces: 51" x 24" and 45" x 24"
  2. Cut furring strip into one 17" and two 43 3/4" pieces
  3. Cut cedar board into one 24" and two 58" pieces
  4. Follow steps 4-9 for the Small Economy Bat House
Optional Modifications to Economy Bat Houses
  • In hot climates, drill 8 to 10, 1/2" holes in the front of the box approximately 5" up from the bottom. Vent holes may not be necessary in cooler climates.
  • Attach a 1 x 4 board to the top as a roof (recommended).
  • Attach a 1 x 4 board in back of the box at the top in between the two furring strips to create a chamber.
  • Two bat boxes can be placed back-to-back and mounted on a pole. Build two houses the same size. Drill 4 - 3/4" holes on the back of each to permit movement of bats between the houses. The holes should be about 10" from the bottom edge of the back piece.