See something black and furry flying around your living room? Notice droppings that produce terrible smells.?
You may have bats in your house, and you need to get rid of them!
Bats can be found in the attic, chimney, basement, or any part of the house that is not exposed to light. Getting inside the house is incredibly easy for the only flying mammal known to man.
Bats have small supple bodies, which allow them to squeeze into those small spaces you may not even see. In general, bats are not evil. They are perfect for the ecosystem.
However, when they start to roost in your house, leave droppings (or guano), and generally do all the things that make us think of them as pests, then it is time to get them out of your house.
So how do you get rid of bats?
It can be quite tricky, but that’s why we are here with a complete article on how to get rid of bats you’ll ever find. You’ll learn everything there is to know about bats and the best bat control methods you can use to fight them.
What are bats?
Bats are one of the most misunderstood creatures in the world.
A lot of people only know what they see in movies. There are more than 1,300 species of bats in the world, according to National Geographic. That is only second to rodents in terms of species diversity for one type of mammal! No wonder some people call them “flying rats”.
Bats are the only mammals that can fly. There are majorly two kinds of bats. Megabats and Microbats. Most bats belong to the latter category. They feed on insects and only come out at night. Bats found inside the home are microbats.
Bats have good vision but rely on sound waves to move in the dark. This echolocation system involves bouncing the sound waves off objects, which gives them an accurate picture of the object’s size and distance.
Bats can be found almost everywhere globally except in places with extreme temperatures like polar regions and deserts. Many people think these creatures can be found only in the wilderness and caves, but these animals have adapted well to living inside human homes.
A bat makes a roost wherever it calls home. The roost is always hidden and well protected. A colony of bats can have a population ranging from hundreds to millions.
Bat mothers feeding their young can be territorial. Bats are not usually aggressive, but they will attack with their teeth and claws if they feel threatened. Trust us; you do not want to risk getting bitten by a bat.
These flying animals are vital to the environment. They consume millions of bugs every year, stabilizing the ecosystem. They also help to pollinate plants when they feed on their nectar. Finally, they are agents of dispersion that spread seeds that help rainforests grow.
Bats can mostly be found living in the attic or the walls. This depends on the species of bats that are on your property. Little Brown Bats migrate between attics during the warm months and caves where they hibernate during winter.
Big Brown Bats, on the other hand, love to live in the house year-round. They don’t migrate to caves. Most of the bat problems reported usually involve Big Brown Bats.
Why should you get rid of bats from your house?
There are more than a few reasons why you should want those bats out of your house. Some of which we will talk about here.
Bat droppings or bat guano is a severe problem when it comes to dealing with these creatures. The droppings have a powerful and unpleasant odor, which is not something you want to be breathing in every day.
There is also the added risk of getting an infection from breathing in the smell of bat guano. This infection called histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus found in bat guano. This is why professional bat dropping cleaners use respirators.
Bat urine has a very sharp and pungent smell-very much like ammonia. Their urine may also lead to brittleness in wooden floors. This is especially true if you are dealing with huge amounts of urine coming from an infestation.
Even though it is not a common occurrence, a small percentage of bats carry rabies. Getting bitten by a bat means that there is a chance that you can get infected with the disease.
What attracts bats to your house?
Many people don’t usually know they have a bat infestation until they see one fly past them repeatedly in their living room or other home areas.
Most times, bats have already made a home in your attic or walls long before you start to see them flying around.
If you want to get rid of bats living inside or around your home, you need to understand why they came and continue to go there in the first place.
So, what attracts them to your house?
Let’s find out.
If you have a high population of insects on your property, be warned. It could be in your garden or around bright lights in your home. Nothing draws bats to your property like a thriving insect population.
2 Stillwater Sources
Bats usually seek out any area where there is Stillwater. Apart from needing water, these water sources tend to attract insects like mosquitoes, which are food for bats. Standing or Stillwater sources can be gutters, trash cans, buckets, and anything that can hold water over a while.
Fragrant flowers, plants, and herbs usually attract insects. Well, these insects can also lure bats to your property. If you have flowers like dahlia, raspberry, French marigold, there is a perfect chance that you should be expecting a visit from a nearby bat colony.
Bats love to eat insects. We all know that. Some species also love to eat fruits. If you have fruits like mangoes on your property, it may be a good time to start preparing for bat control.
5 Open windows
Though not typical, it is not unlikely that bats fly through an open window, particularly when hunting insects. This does not mean you have a bat hiding somewhere in your home. However, it could mean that there is one somewhere in the area, which means that your home is still vulnerable to a bat infestation.
6 Bat babies
Bats breed early in the summer. Baby bats are born very small and without much fur. As a baby bat starts to mature, it becomes more mobile and tries to move around. Most of the time, it ends up becoming lost and falls through some gaps that usually lead to the house’s living areas where you finally realize you have a bat problem.
7 Safe place
Bats can also be attracted to your home because it offers protection and a warm area for them to stay. They are quite sensitive to temperature and temperature changes, and this makes human homes an attractive prospect.
The reality is that as long as you live in a house, especially one close enough to a bat colony, there is always the potential for bat entry. There are too many gaps on cracks on your property, which serve as entry points for you to ignore this possibility.
How do you keep bats away from your house?
First of all, it is essential to note that killing bats are illegal in many countries.
This is because these mammals are quite useful, just as we mentioned earlier. This does not mean there are no ways to get rid of them.
Here are the best bat control and removal methods you can use.
1 Seal off Entry Points
The first thing you should do once you succeed in removing bats from your house is to prevent them from coming back. These animals tend to return to an area they have roosted in the past.
Sealing any entry point through which bats enter your home is the best way to do this. You can use exclusion devices, plaster, and mortar to close any gap or crack you find.
2 Install Exclusion Devices
A one-way exclusion device is designed with a one-way valve, tube, or netting, allowing bats to leave but denies them re-entry.
All you have to do is install one at an entry point, and you are one step closer to getting rid of your bat problem. Bat exclusion is one of the pest control methods for bats.
3 Use Phenol
Phenol is a very effective method if you want to get those bats out of your home. It repels them quickly due to its strong and foul odor. Bats are clean creatures, and the smell of phenol makes the area unpleasant for them. White phenol is especially recommended for this. Take some phenol and pour it into a spray bottle. Apply it over any area you suspect the creatures are hiding.
4 Eliminate Food Sources
Bats are drawn to a lot of places because of the availability of food there. This may be in the form of huge concentrations of insects like moths, wasps, and mosquitoes in certain areas. If you want to get rid of bats, you can start by eliminating their food sources.
If you have huge populations of these insects flying around your property you need to take action. Please find a way to eliminate them. It will be like killing two birds with one stone. Get rid of both the insect and a potential bat problem.
The same also applies to having fruits or plants in your yard or garden that attracts these animals. You may not want to take down a tree because it is your favorite but consider the alternative.
Having to deal with an infestation will leave little time for you to enjoy your beautiful garden. Remove these attractions until you have completely gotten rid of the bats.
5 Get rid of Still Water Sources
Check around your yard. If you have empty trash cans or buckets lying around, remove them. Clean out gutters, too, if you have them. These places hold water, which attracts both insects and bats to your property.
An aerosol is a bat repellent that works wonderfully if you want to chase that bat out of your home. You can find it at any pest control store near you. Do not spray on the bats directly if you see them there but just around the area. Soon you will see them all fly away and look for some other house to invade
7 Get Some Mylar balloons
Mylar balloons are an exciting but also good pest control technique if you want to chase away bats from your home. The balloons are filled with helium, and you can hang them when the bats are not there. You can also hang the balloons close to their roosts. The motion of these balloons should scare away any bat living there. It would help if you refilled the balloons with helium regularly.
8 Use Aluminum Foil.
This is an efficient bat removal method. It is also the cheapest you will ever find. Take some aluminum foils and hang them around the areas where the bats live. It will reflect light and irritate them terribly. You can even place the foils close to each other, and the noise they make when they clash together will chase the animals away.
Even though it can be quite expensive, the logic works. By combining mirror and light, you can repel bats from your home. You can light the room up during the day and have the mirror reflect the light. This will not only disturb and irritate the bats; it will eventually chase them away.
10 Make Some Noise
A bat roosts inside your attic or roof because it is quiet and dark. Change those conditions, and it will chase the animal away. By making noise with music, radios, or even wind chimes, you make sure that your home is inhabitable for any bat.
11 Install a Bat House
This is another way you can get bats out of your house. It is one of the best. A bat house is an artificial roosting site that is designed to attract bats. As a removal or control technique, you can build one outside your house to lure the animals there. Once they are inside the bat house, you can safely remove them from your property.
12 Use Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus may be best known to many people as an insect repellent, but it is also an excellent bat repellent. The odor of this oil irritates bats. Spread the oil or gel in the areas where you know bats are roosting on your property, and it will chase them away in no time.
13 Call a Professional
If you feel like you can’t handle your bat problem or it just becomes overwhelming, calling in a professional bat exterminator is a good idea. It is even advisable to do so if you do not want to run the risk of contracting a disease from inhaling or touching bat guano.
You have to call the right professional too, and not just a regular pest control company. The Bat Conservation International has a list of bat control companies you can use for this.
Due to its status and function in the environment, even if it is a pest, removing a bat is a form of wildlife removal which requires expert help.
Do bats come back to the same place?
Yes. Bats usually come back to the same place.
Most bats are seasonal. This means they leave their roosts to hibernate in caves for winter, but they spend the rest of the year wherever they have taken residence.
Some of them never leave at all. But for the ones that go, they always find a way to come back. These mammals come inside your home to roost because it is convenient for them, and as long as that remains the case, they will keep coming back.
The only way to ensure they don’t return for good is to make your home bat-proof so they can’t get inside when they get back.
Do mothballs repel bats?
Yes, they do.
Mothballs are used in a lot of homes as a pest repellent. This is mostly because of the presence of naphthalene in mothballs. The odor repels almost any pest; even the ever-elusive bat runs from it.
Naphthalene is one of the most effective bat control methods you can try. It is not without its issues, however. Using mothballs as a bat removal strategy is not easy. The smell of naphthalene may not last long, which means you have to replace the mothballs regularly to repel the bats.
Also, to effectively get the job done, the number of mothballs you need to use is large, which means that the odor will spread to other parts of the house, making life uncomfortable for you. Prolonged exposure to this odor can even lead to health complications for you.
Are bats attracted to light?
Bats have an accurate vision and can see very well; some even see better than some humans. They are, however, sensitive to light, particularly at night when they are hunting.
Some species of bats are drawn to artificial light mostly because of the insects that hover around it. In general, most bats tend to avoid both natural and artificial light sources.
This is not peculiar to only bats. Most nocturnal animals avoid light as much as they can. A bright light has been tried as a bat control method in many places. This will chase them away, but sometimes it may just make them retreat deeper inside the building.
Bright lights may also attract a lot of insects. This will lure bats who will surely brave the light to catch some food.
They are one of the major players in the ecosystem. Bats help us keep the balance by getting rid of pesky insects, and they also help to grow our rainforests through pollination and dispersion.
However, they can be the most irritating and annoying of pests, and inside your attic or roof is no place for them to live.
You might not be Buffy the vampire slayer, but we are sure that this article has provided you with more than one way to get rid of bats in your home.
If you need more information on various pest control techniques and methods, make sure you check out our other blog posts.
Good luck with getting rid of those bats!