We’re three weeks into novel coronavirus-related lockdown, and on top of it, it’s Easter. So plenty of time to get stuck into all kinds of fun DIY and craft projects. Today’s Easter Monday project is building a bat box.
Shelter for cute microbats
We noticed for a while now that a gang of microbats are using our parasol for shelter during the day. They’re usually all bunched up together and look super cute. However, we always feel bad for disturbing them when deploying the umbrella. So we decided that it’s time to build them a more permanent resting place.
Why would you want microbats around?
Having microbats around is very beneficial, especially if you have a garden. Microbats are a great natural pest control because they eat many common garden pests like moths, beetles, aphids or crickets. On top of that, mosquitos are one of their most favourite food, so it’s well worth keeping them around.
Building a bat box
Building a bat hotel is really easy. We got some great inspiration from Pinterest and there are also lots of building plans on the www. On top of this, the box didn’t cost us anything because we built it from scrapwood and materials we already had at home. Of course, there’s also the option to buy a bat box and there’s nothing wrong with that, but since we got all this time on our hands, we might as well build it ourselves.
There are a lot of sophisticated designs out there but we kept it simple and easy. Our bat box is around 50m high and 30cm wide with slanted side pieces and a roof made from cedar off-cuts. To ensure that our tiny friends get a good grip, we stapled a rubber mat in the inside of the box. Alternatively, cutting small grooves in the back wall of the box does the trick. The bottom of the box remains open with a 2cm gap as this is the entrance to the ‘hotel’. It sounds pretty small, but it’s big enough for microbats.
This whole projects took us probably 2 hours. It was quick, easy and didn’t cost us anything. We had fun building the bat box, it made us feel productive and, hopefully, our tiny friends will benefit from it.