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The Bat House Builder's Handbook

The Bat House Builder's Handbook
Second Edition

The classic text on building bat homes, now revised and updated.

Bat Conservation International
January 2005
This book is out of print and no longer available.
32 pages | 8.5 x 11 | b&w illus. |

Since 1994, The Bat House Builder's Handbook has been the definitive source for bat house information. This new edition has been completely revised to incorporate the latest research on improving the success rates for bat houses. It updates the original bat house plans and includes a new "rocket box" design, along with mounting suggestions, tips for experimentation, frequently asked bat house questions, and information about bats most likely to use bat houses.

  • Why Build a Bat House?
  • Participate in the Bat House Project
  • Building Your Bat House
  • Single-chamber Bat House Plans
  • Four-chamber Nursery House Plans
  • Two-chamber Rocket Box Plans
  • Pointers for Bat House Experimenters
  • BCI Research Boosts Bat House Success
  • What We're Learning from Experimentation
  • Ideas for the Future
  • Troubleshooting Your Bat House
  • Payoffs of Bat Conservation
  • Frequently Asked Bat House Questions
  • Bats Most Likely to Occupy Bat Houses
  • Bats Need Your Help!

America's bats are an essential part of a healthy environment. Nevertheless, many bat species are in alarming decline, largely because of unwarranted human fear and persecution and the loss of natural roosts. You can help by putting up a bat house. You'll benefit directly from having fewer yard pests and will enjoy learning about bats and sharing your knowledge with friends and neighbors. Few efforts on behalf of wildlife are more fun or rewarding than helping bats.


As primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature. By consuming vast numbers of pests, they rank among humanity's most valuable allies. Just one little brown myotis can catch a thousand or more mosquito-sized insects in an hour, and a colony of 150 big brown bats can catch enough cucumber beetles each summer to prevent egg laying that otherwise could infest local gardens with 33 million rootworms. Cucumber and June beetles, stinkbugs, leafhoppers, and cutworm and corn earworm moths—all well-known pests—are just a few of the many insects consumed by these frequent users of bat houses. In addition, many pests flee areas where they hear bat echolocation sounds.


Our immediate goal is to preserve America's most widespread species in sufficient numbers to maintain nature's balance and reduce demands for chemical pesticides. Thanks to a decade of BCI-sponsored bat house research we are now able to accommodate 14 species of North American bats in the bat houses described in this handbook, including threatened and endangered species such as the Indiana myotis and Wagner's bonneted bat. Bat houses are being used from Mexico and the Caribbean to British Columbia and Newfoundland.


Best of all, if you carefully follow instructions, your odds of success exceed 80 percent. Isn't it about time to extend a helping hand in exchange for a healthier neighborhood?