The vast majority of the mail that is sent to me deals with the questions:
"How do I build my own bat house?"
"How do I purchase a bat house?"
Well, I have compiled a short list of web sites that can help you in your search. Some of the sites claim to give out free plans (blue-prints of sorts) for building your own bat house. Other sites let you know how to order one that is pre-made. I also include a link to the ordering information for the Bat Conservation International's book that helps you build your own (probably the best way to go if you want to build your own bat house) and their excellent suggestions for success. I hope this answers your questions! Thanks for wanting to help out our under-appreciated friends -- the bats.
The habitats that bats use are continually being depleated by man. Only one species of bats (out of around 1000 species) is increasing in number - most other species of bats are either endangered or close to it. So, someone has to do something about it, and having your own bat house is one way to do it... Not only does it give a potential place for them to live, but when less-informed people ask you what "that thing in your backyard is," you can tell them how good bats truly are and that they are worth trying to help.
Despite all of this, bats are extremely picky about where they live, and your bat house may never get used. Even the UF Bat House went unused for four years! So, let's try to maximize the probability that bats will move in, shall we?
Bat Conservation International's Criteria for
Successful Bat Houses:
Almost all of my links to free bat house plans have gone bad... Try this one:
Scott's Bat House Page
This link claims to be an ftp site for bat house building:
This link is for the Bat Conservation International which includes Bat Houses for Sale, A Do-It-Yourself Kit, AND The Bat House Builder's Handbook:
http://habitat.ms11.net//bat/bighouse2.htm http://habitat.ms11.net//bat/medhouse.htm http://www.dccl.org/information/houses/bat_house_plans.htm http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/tools/ndblinds/johnbat.htm http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/tools/ndblinds/smallbat.htm http://www.batcon.org/bhra/economyhouse.html http://www.batconservation.org/content/buildyourown.htm http://www.agfc.com/pdf/bat_houseplans_standard.pdf http://www.thamesriver.org/Projects/bat_house_plans.htm http://memphis.wreg.com/election/bathouse1.pdf - Page 1 http://memphis.wreg.com/election/bathouse2.pdf - Page2
Post Bat Boxes
This site shows that larger bat house have a better probability of
someone moving in:
There are many other links to organizations that offer bat houses for sale so you probably should shop around -- I have no official suggestion since I have never purchased one. You probably should do a search for bat houses for sale -- but keep in mind the BCI suggestions from above! Here's a great search engine you might try:
If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me -- if I do not know the answer, I will find it somehow. Good luck! Bats sure need the helping hand!