How to Make a Bat House Pup Catcher
Maternity colonies that occupy bat houses sometimes encounter problems during the summer months, including overheating and overcrowding. To combat this issue, Bat World Sanctuary developed a bat house “pup catcher”. These nets save countless lives each year. As well as being used for bat houses, they can be used under large roosts such as inside barns. (Note that some copy-cat designs can be found on Amazon for $30 to $40, they are simple to make, requiring less than $10 or so.)
Materials Needed to build a pup-catcher:
- 24″ length of nylon window screen
- Two short-lengths of scrap wood
- Staple gun and staples
- Zip ties
The pup catcher must extend at least 24 inches below the opening of the bat house in order to prevent interference with bats exiting and entering the bat house. Cut the net so that it is the same width of your bat house and at least 24″ long. Cut two sections of wood the same width as your bat house. Staple one end of the length of screen to one of wood pieces (#1).
Create a “pouch” in the opposite end of the net by folding up a four inch section and using the using zip ties to hold the sides in place. The net should form a “J” from the side view, as pictured. Staple the back of the pouch to the second wood piece (#2).
Use screws to mount both sections of wood to the pole or other surface on which the bat house is mounted.
Note: Guano may collect in the pouch requiring it to be periodically hosed or cleaned out.
This video shows a modified version of our pup catcher. Clothes pins will work temporarily but should be replaced by zip ties at some point.
The video below shows a large pup catcher net placed inside our wild sanctuary building. During the summer months. temperatures would reach 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, both pups and adults would move from the rafters to the net below in order to feel the breeze of fans placed there for their comfort.