Bat house

I made a rocket bat house to put up in my vegetable garden this spring when the ground thaws. It will slide onto a 4x4 post as tall as I can get (16’?) . A little ugly, but the wood was scraps from work so it’ll do.

Hopefully they will eat some bugs and leave some fertilizer!


I see no opening. How will they get in? What is inside?

Yeah, not a great picture now that I think about it! The bottom is open and they crawl up into it. There are 2 chambers around 3/4" deep. At the bottom is the tallest shell which goes over the 4x4 post, then there are some 3/4" spacers and a shorter shell, then more spacers and the outer shell. Hope that makes sense.

Hope you have better success with yours than I’ve had with mine. Mine’s 16 ft high, faces the right direction and not far from a water source. Not the first bat in 3 years.


We have at least 4 bats hopping around the neighborhood every year. I may make something like this, both for them and Chimney Swifts in the daytime! I have no shortage of free pallets available…


I have a bat house. Its called my barn. I have a huge colony, probably 200 bats that live in the space between the steel roof and the rafters. They do a number on the insect population. I wish they would inhabit the actual bat house, but they prefer the barn, and I would rather have them around than not! So I sweep the floor of the loft and put the guano in the garden!


According to the internet most bat houses fail. It’s recommended to move them if none arrive. Common cause of failure is they are too small.


Maybe mine is too small. I’ve had it for 5 yrs and no bats.

One bat association says they should be a minimum of 16" wide and 24" tall for the flat kind. The one I made is 4’ tall and about a foot wide, but that’s 4 sides that are a foot each.

Mine’s large enough to house a breeding colony.
Just no takers.


Very cool @ampersand! I did not realize they could come in that form factor. I made one last summer but no bats yet. I might add this to my list of projects this summer!

What instructions did you follow?


Nice. I made one as well back in November 2020 per a blue print I found on line, I added a piece of tile to the roof so it doesn’t rot. I’m thinking about drilling a couple holes just under the top for ventilation, just seems to me it has to get pretty hot in the upper portion since there’s no holes.

I didn’t think I had any bats this summer since I didn’t see any bat crap so I shook the pole and 12 bats fell to the ground, so don’t shake the pole! I put them in a shoe box for the day and they all flew off when it got dark.


I looked at a few diagrams and went to work with the materials I had on hand. I didn’t really follow a blueprint.

They like heat, and they spend the day grouped together for it. As long as there is enough space to move around, they will adjust to where they like. I had about 40 living in my house at one point, up in the soffit sometimes behind shutters. We got the roof redone and i think they are now only at the neighbors house. I am not sure they moved into the bathouse i attached to the chimney next to where they had been living before.


Just like pollinators, the world needs more bats for bad bug control! The last I heard, some of the local population here has begun to rebound from the catastrophic losses due to white nose syndrome.


Most expert sources also recommend painting them black or dark brown or dark green depending on how far north you are, to increase heat absorption. They truly like it really, really hot in their houses.

Alas, we have no takers on ours, either, a colony size accommodation mounted on a nearly ideal location, at least twenty feet up on the southern face of an unused chimney, with a totally unobstructed flight path. We bought it with great excitement five years ago, but I have since learned that bat houses almost never get a colony farther than a quarter mile from open water.

I keep meaning to find out if the local park would take ours as a donation, so it could be placed close to the pond.


Interestingly, I have read the opposite. One bat group I saw said black tends to overheat the houses in most climates. I am leaving mine unpainted or painted light brown.

1 Like

Bat conservation international says:
Average high temperatures in July should be used when determining the color needed on your bat box:

85 or less: Black
85-95: Dark or medium colors like brown, gray, and green
95-100: Medium/light colors
100 and higher: Light colors or white

They have a really great extensive guide to bat houses here: Bat Houses - Bat Conservation International


Try painting it camo to look like an actual tree. I called a bat sanctuary just to get some opinions and they did recommend a light brown to medium brown for me here in Florida so I would think that temperature guide is correct.

Got this bad boy up today.