Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We’re Going Batty!!! 8.5.14

At least we are trying to.

We’ve had 3 bats get aboard our boats. Two on the Albin Trawler, Slow Motion, and one on Meander, the boat we have now. I was able to catch one with a towel on the trawler and let it out and we guided one out. The one on Meander just kept flying back and forth in the boat until it found the open door and left on it’s own.

Little Brown Bats can eat  500 – 1000 mosquitos in an hour…imagine if they ate all night….and believe me….we have tons of mosquitos here.

The Big Brown Bat can eat hundreds of beetles a night. Hope they like hive beetles. They also eat wasps, flies, stinkbugs, dragonflies and flying ants.

I think both bats like moths…and wax moths can be a problem for a weak bee hive.

We went to the local hardware store and bought a bat house. Once home I did some research and that little house just wasn’t what they suggested for a good house…so we returned it.

I found some plans for a “Rocket” bat house. It will have less windage during hurricanes…and I liked the look.

Jim figured out what he needed for materials and got started.

Since we were using finished lumber instead of rough cut…he had to score all the boards that the bats would be using. This will fit over a 4x4. All the groves will give the bats something to cling to. The spacers are 3/4 of an inch. Small Brown Bats should fit in here comfortably.


Jim had to do every one of those scores with his skill saw. Table saw just wasn’t doing the job. Very time consuming.



The bats will be in that narrow space.


One box is longer than the other….that gives them a landing board. The next spacers were 7/8 of an inch so Big Brown Bats could fit. Not sure which we have flying overhead at night so trying to accommodate either.

Both sides of this had to be scored. He also put 4 cross over holes…2 (opposite sides) up high and 2 lower. (He forgot to take pictures so I drew them in)


The outer box is on. The bats have 2 landing boards.


I was afraid the flat roof would be a good place for hawks to sit so Jim put some styrofoam on and made a peaked roof.038cs

I put a couple coats of water based stain on it…a medium color since we are in Florida and it should be in full sun all day. Jim put the black spots on so it would look like a bird house. When we got done I thought we should have put a clock on it instead…and had our own clock tower.


We sank 2 4x4s about 3’ in the ground and filled with concrete. There are 2 bolts in them. The top one will be for the pivot and the bottom to lock it in place. This will allow us to lower it in the future should it need work.


Guess it’s time to get it in the air.

The pole is made of 2 2x4’s screwed and bolted together. We did it that way because untreated was needed inside the house. Bats like temperatures up to 100*and treated can cause vapors.

The rope is so we can pull on it to raise the bat house.


The bat house is about 4’ long and weighs about 50 lbs. We set the pole on a short step ladder and put the house in place.


Jim pulled on the rope so I could put the taller ladder in place.


It was a struggle but we got it done. The loops in the rope are for me to stand in and Jim will go up the ladder and push it up as high as he can.


Once my weight brought the top loop to the ground Jim came over and together we got it raised. It had a bit of a “fishing pole” effect with even a light  breeze so Jim went back to Lowe’s and got 2 treated 16’ 2x4s …stained them and screwed them to the opposite sides. It really beefed it up.


I like the look. It can still be lowered if necessary.

Now I check it each morning to see if there is any bat poop on the landing board or pole.

We may have gotten carried away a bit….but I sure do like it. Because we are surrounded by so many trees it really needed to be fairly tall.

I hope the bats move in and like it as much as we do. I sure hope I will be posting pictures of bats flying out before long. They do say that spring is the best time for them to find a home…but maybe somewhere nearby it’s getting crowded and a few need a new home.

Bats, Bees, Birds, Bob Cats, Butterflies….looks like we have all the vowels covered in the “B”s. Of course, we don’t see the Bob Cats as often as the others.

If you ever consider putting up a bat house…go to  and learn all you can. It is a great site. They can help with building plans or suggest where to buy one. Your bat house doesn’t have to be as big as ours but they can definitely help you get one that has a chance of being occupied.

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