Having bats in your home can be a nightmare. While they are typically harmless to humans, they can be very annoying to share your space with. Not only will they make you jump out of your skin and take you by surprise, but being nocturnal, they make a ton of noise at night.
Unless you’re a fan of not sleeping at night and having your floors covered in bat poo, then you’re going to need to get them out. Throughout this article, I’ll talk you through everything on why and how to eliminate your bat problem. It’s time to take back your home!
Identify the Bats
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to figure out what bats you’re dealing with. The reason for this is that six species of bats are protected in the US. Disturbing these species could get you into a lot of legal trouble.
The way to identify them is to do an online search for the species of bats commonly found in your area or call up a pest control service that can help you identify them. It should be relatively easy to figure out what bats you have since each species tends to live in very specific locations.
If you get a chance to see the bat or even take a photo, this will make your life easier.
The protected species you need to look out for are;
- The Florida Bonneted Bat
- The Northern Long-Eared Bat
- The Ozark Big-Eared Bat
- The Indiana Bat
- The Grey Bat
- The Virginia Big-Eared Bat
If you identify your bat as any of the above species, you’ll need to talk to a professional service who will help you explore your options and remove them with you. If you’re dealing with any other species, then you’re clear to remove them yourself.
Avoid Manually Removing the Bats
The top tip that you need to remember before I get into how to remove your bats is to remind yourself not to touch them. Let’s say you go upstairs, and you find a hibernating bat on your wall space. You might think to just pick it up and move it outside or to another place.
The problem with this is that bats are known for carrying infectious diseases like rabies and lime disease. It’s even debated they played a part in the origin of COVID-19, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Create a Disturbance
It’s common knowledge that bats love to hole up in quiet and secluded places. They sleep in the day and are rather shy creatures that will try their hardest to stay clear of chaos. If you create a big disturbance, they’re simply not going to enjoy living in your home.
This could be something as simple as leaving a light on throughout the day. This means there are fewer dark spaces for the bats to hide. Another fantastic non-lethal approach is to invest in a white noise machine, like the Homedics White Noise Sound Machine.
If you leave a machine like this running overnight, then you’re drastically increasing your chances of driving them out.
Another good thing to do is to figure out where the bats are coming in. They will generally live in your roof or attic space, so there’s probably a hole or gap around a tile, roof panel, or window. If you can find this hole at night, you can block it up to stop bats from coming in.
You can also hang up reflective tin foil strips throughout your roof space. This will hinder the bats as they fly in and out, making them want to live elsewhere.
Use a Bat Box
Bat boxes are very similar to bird boxes. You can fix them to trees and the outside of your house, which provides a much more friendly, dedicated bat space where they can live in peace. This approach works because you’ll be tempting the bats out of your home and into somewhere new.
You can make your own bat box if you have the resources and time or buy a premade one. I personally enjoy using the KIBAGA Handcrafted Wood Bat Home, but there are lots out there to explore.
All you need to do is make sure you position the box near your house, so the bats can easily find it. Also, choose a partly shaded space, perhaps under or within a treeline around your property.
Install a One-Way Exit
Known as an exclusion device, this approach involves installing a pipe into your roof that lets the bats out of your roof space but doesn’t let them back in. This is known as being one of the best ways to get rid of bats in your home once and for all.
Using the Batcone II Reusable Bat Exclusion, you can easily create a one-way exit at any part of your home where bats are living. Once they leave, they won’t be able to get back in, forcing them to go elsewhere.
Using a Professional Service
Whether you’re dealing with a protected species or can’t get rid of the bats yourself, you may want to call a professional service. You’ll need to do an online search to see which services will deal with bats and what is involved in the process.
Professional pest services like this can also vary a lot in how much they’re going to cost, so make sure you’re asking around and doing your research so that you can find the best price. Also, make sure you’re looking at reviews for each company so you don’t get ripped off!
However, this is definitely the most expensive method and could end up costing thousands of dollars in extreme cases. Always do your research!
If you’re dealing with a protected species, you may actually be able to get the bats removed for free since special environmental experts can come in to remove the bats for you. However, you’ll need to get in touch with the services to find out if you’re legible.
Bat-Proof Your Home
Once the bats are out of your house, you’ll need to do a couple of things to make sure they’re not coming back. This includes searching around your home to plug up and block any gaps that the bats could use to get in. If you have cracks or wall damage, they can also get in here.
Remember, bats are actually surprisingly small and only look big because of their wingspan. This means they can into even the most surprisingly little places, so look hard! Once you’ve done this, just make sure you frequently check back into your roof space to see if the bats return and whether you need to do any extra repair work.
Signs that bats have come back may be obvious, and the same as before, or they make be new. Look for signs like bat droppings on the floor and look for new holes. In some materials, bats may actually chew through your property to get inside.
If you don’t see any bats after a few months, then the chances are you’ve got rid of them for good!