Build your own bat house

With this easy home­made box you can at­tract quite a few bats to your yard to give the mos­qui­tos a hard time. A nice warm, dark house is all they ask for.


This is how

A Cut the wood Mea­sure and cut from one of the wide planks (22mm x 96mm) three lengths of 400mm each. From the other one, cut three lengths of 300mm each. 1 Keep aside the re­main­ing two pieces – you’ll use them later on.

From the thin plank (22mm x 44mm), cut the fol­low­ing lengths: two of 320mm each, one of 288mm and one of 244mm. Cut the ends of the two 320mm planks di­ag­o­nally at a 45° an­gle. 2

B Make the back panel Glue the long­est nar­row side of one of the thin 320mm planks and clamp and screw it onto the flat side of one of the 400mm lengths of the wide planks. Make sure that the left-hand edges align and that the un­der­side of the di­ag­o­nal edge aligns with the top edge of the wide plank – the di­ag­o­nal end should thus pro­trude from the edge. 34 Now do the same with the other thin plank of 320mm, but this time make sure the right-hand sides align. 6 The two 400mm lengths with the sides at­tached to them will form the two sides of the back panel. Glue the two nar­row sides of the re­main­ing 400mm plank and place it in be­tween the other two planks to which the thin planks >

have been screwed. 7 The three wide 400mm planks should fit snugly side by side. (Use one or two pieces of thin plank to sup­port the wide plank in the cen­tre.) From one of the re­main­ing wide planks (22mm x 96mm), cut two lengths of 288mm each. Glue and screw them cross­wise to the back­side of all three 400mm pieces so that you have one solid back­side for your bat box – the one must align with the top edge 8 and the other one at the bot­tom with the point where the sides end. 9

C Make the front Glue the flat side of the thin 288mm plank and screw the three 300mm pieces onto it, side by side 10 – dou­ble-check that the bot­tom edges align. This will form the front panel of the bat box (with the flat thin plank form­ing a lip on the op­po­site side at the en­trance to the box).

Turn these three planks around to work on the op­po­site side. Glue and screw the nar­row side of the 244mm plank onto the three planks, on the end op­po­site from where the other thin plank has been screwed down. Place the plank so that it aligns with the top edge of the three planks and that it is 22mm away from the sides on ei­ther side. 11 Again, use a guid­ing block to get this up­right plank ex­actly in the cen­tre. 12

The front and back pan­els 13 of your bat box are now com­plete and should fit to­gether like two 3D puz­zle pieces. 14

Paint the inside of these pieces black and al­low them to dry thor­oughly. 15

D Build a lad­der to the top Place the back of the bat house (the piece with the two sides) on top of the plas­tic net­ting and cut the net­ting ac­cord­ingly. 16 Start­ing at the back­side, along the bot­tom, and sta­ple the net­ting to the wood. 17

Fold the net­ting around the bot­tom 18 to cover what will be­come the inside of the box.

Cut the net­ting smaller so that it fits in be­tween the two sides 19 20 and sta­ple it in place 21 up to about 30mm from the top. 22

E Put it all to­gether Ap­ply glue along the nar­row sides of the side pan­els of the back panel as well as the nar­row side of the top plank of the front panel 23 and join the pieces. 24 Screw them in place. Take the re­main­ing 22mm x 96mm plank and cut an­other 300mm piece from it. Screw it onto the di­ag­o­nal ends of the side pan­els to form an af­dakkie 25 – it will pre­vent wa­ter from get­ting into the bat box when it rains. (Re­mem­ber, light and mois­ture de­ter bats.) Fi­nally, paint the ex­te­rior of the box black all over 26 and in­stall it in a suit­able spot. (For tips on choos­ing the best po­si­tion to at­tract new­com­ers, see page 105.)







11 12

















Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.