Building and Installing a Bat House
Many designs are available for building a bat house. In general, bat houses with more chambers offer a greater range of environmental conditions for bats to choose among, and should have a greater chance of being used. Rocket boxes offer the greatest range of microclimates needed by bats, and are an ideal design for bat houses. Rocket boxes and other multi-chambered bat houses are better designed to allow bats to escape extreme daytime heat, which may lower the risk of pups dying while in the roost.
Beware that many commercial bat houses are not optimally designed for bats in Alberta. These houses are often too small, lack multiple chambers, and are painted a colour other than black. This may result in roost conditions that are unlikely to support maternity colonies. See Building Homes for Bats for more information on suitable bat house designs.
Please read the Bat Houses in Alberta guide for recommendations on how to build and install bat houses appropriate for the Alberta climate
Also see Building Homes for Bats: A Guide for Bat Houses in British Columbia for comprehensive information on how to build and install a bat house in BC. Most information is also relevant for Alberta.
Bat Condo Designs
Bat condos come the closest to replicating the high quality roosting conditions of buildings, and may be an ideal option if eviction of a large colony is planned. These designs can be quite costly, but may be an excellent project for conservation groups or companies with a keen interest in bat conservation.
We can help provide designs for different sized bat condos. Please Contact us if you are considering a bat condo project.
(Photo is of a bat condo in Creston, BC. Courtesy of the Community Bat Programs of BC)
Rocket Box Bat House Designs
Offers multiple chambers and a wide range of roosting conditions needed to survive intense heat or cold. Bats can crawl to any side of the bat house, making it easy to find the right conditions for raising pups. Rocket boxes are mounted on a pole or post, and are not designed for mounting on the side of a building.
Plans for the Bat Conservation International Two-Chamber Rocket Box (.pdf)
Multi-Chambered Bat House Designs
Multiple chambers offer a greater range of environmental conditions than single chamber designs, and are a good option for supporting maternity colonies. This is an ideal design for mounting on the side of a building, but are also suitable for pole/post mount options. Two houses can be mounted back-to-back on a single pole/post, which will allow bats to choose warmer or cooler aspects depending on weather conditions.
Plans for the Bat Conservation International Four-Chamber Nursery House (.pdf)
Single-Chamber Bat House Designs
The easiest design, but having only a single chamber prevents bats from finding more optimal conditions during intense heat or cold. This design is suitable for mounting on either a building or pole/post. However, because there is only a single chamber, mounting on the side of a building will likely be more effective – this option effectively reduces the number of exterior walls, and helps buffer the internal roost temperature.
Plans for the Bat Conservation International Single-Chamber Bat House (.pdf)