So you’re keen to build your own bat box….
It’s not that difficult but you will need some woodworking skills such as using a power saw. The idea is to go to your local Bunnings store and purchase some 16mm plywood. The length of the rear panel is 525mm. The front panel is 255mm. Width is 195mm. I have a roof slope of 15deg to channel the water away. The side walls are 100mm wide. The entrance gap at the 45 degree sloping bottom must be between 15mm to 20mm. This is absolutely critical.
The roof is hinged to allow inspection of the box. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want. Sometimes it may be advisible to apply talcum powder to dissuade the ants sometimes. On the inside walls you have to staple some galvanised steel mesh. This is for the bats to hang onto. It’s available from Bunnings again sold as fireproof gutter mesh 190mm x 10m. Don’t use plastic gutter mesh as it warps and twists in the heat.
The beauty about the bat box is it doesn’t attract rats, feral bees or other large animals that don’t belong there. Sometimes you might see a Huntsman spider co-habituating with the bats. But that’s okay. He’s there to help keep the box clean. Just don’t fall off the ladder with shock when you see them….
Paint the box with a couple of coats of good quality exterior paint. I use gun-metal grey because it blends in with the trees and buildings.
Site orientation is critical. Facing the wrong way will reduce you chances of success. Face them between NW to East in Western Australia.
It will bring joy to your heart knowing that you provided a home for our unseen heros of the night.
While we sleep they work…….