The enigmatic nature of bats has given rise to numerous myths and phobias. Bats, which have more than 1,400 species worldwide, are actually quite helpful for maintaining a healthy ecosystem, but they occasionally can lead to pest problems inside buildings. It can be challenging to determine whether the pest activity you’re observing is a result of bat activity. How can you tell whether there are bats in your home? What if you can’t get rid of the bats even though you can definitely see them inside?
Included in the order Chiroptera bats aren’t necessarily destructive, but their excrement is corrosive due to the high uric acid content. It also stinks horribly, especially when it collects on absorbent interior insulation. Large accumulations of corrosive bat waste over time can compromise a variety of building materials.
What Do Bats Look Like?
Bats have very distinctive flight patterns with wings that are obviously scalloped, if you can catch a glance of them. Due of their dark hue and peak activity hours at dusk, they might be challenging to spot outside. They are most easily heard outside thanks to their sounds.
There are more than 1,400 different kinds of bats in the world, and the United States is home to more than 40 different bat species. If you reside in the United States, your bat is probably one of the following three culprits when it comes to bats living inside structures:
- The big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
- The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus)
- The Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)
Best Ways to Get Rid of Bats
The environment is an important place for bats. They are very effective at managing difficult exterior insect problems. Recent research indicates that bats swallow much more mosquitoes than previously believed. It is recommended that householders find ways to coexist peacefully with bats whenever possible. Get the bats out of your home if they are there, and learn how to keep them outside where they belong if they are near your home.
Point: Make sure you are dealing with bats before beginning any bat control measures. Also, do some local law study. Bats are protected in many places, so it’s crucial to abide by local and state laws regarding protected species.
Install a One-Way Door
A one-way door is a device that lets the bat go out but prevents it from coming back in. These can be quite beneficial in preventing a particularly unpleasant circumstance. A bat or other animal that has entered through a sealed entry point and is unable to leave will likely die inside, creating a significant odor problem. The smell should go away on its own in one to two weeks, but a one-way door can help avoid this problem.
Point: Want to cut costs on tools and expert assistance? Make a one-way door on your own. Find the bat’s point of entry, then wait till it leaves to go hunting at night. Cover the entranceway with a substantial, black waste bag after the bat has left. The bat will try to use its sonar to enter its roosting area in your attic when it comes back, but it won’t be able to because the hole is no longer visible. This will make it have to find shelter somewhere else.
Seal Entry Points
Start by identifying the entry point and sealing it off if bats are entering your attic or other spaces. Before sealing the hole, try to let the bats out to prevent them from dying inside.
It is best to check both the interior and exterior of the roof when looking for bat entry points to see if there are any holes that need to be sealed up or roost locations that need to be addressed. Ensure that all of your chimney’s vents, flashing, and surrounding surfaces are sealed. If you believe you have located an entry point, search for grease trails—greasy buildup and discoloration—around the hole’s opening. Make sure to conduct a thorough inspection to identify what you’re dealing with because this could be an indication that bats or rodents are entering.
Reduce Exterior Food and Water Sources
Eaters of insects include bats. By ensuring sure your external lights are turned off at night, you can lessen bat activity and the insect population in the area. Bats are drawn to bird feeders with nectar as well as areas with standing water that they can use to get a drink. You can lower the likelihood that a bat will establish a colony on your property by removing these attractants.
Hang a Bat Box
It is undeniable how helpful bats can be, particularly when it comes to lowering insects like mosquitoes. Consider building or buying a bat box (or five! ), for your bat friends, after you seal the bats out of your attic space, even though it may seem counterproductive to your goal of getting rid of bats. A smaller population of bothersome insects will benefit you, and since the area is so inviting to bats, they will be less likely to try to get into your house.
Use Bat Repellents
Numerous bat deterrents, such as essential oil sachets and ultrasonic gadgets, are available on the market. Repellent remedies can work or fail. Be aware that these solutions might be time- and money-consuming, with inconsistent outcomes. It is advised to leave the bats alone whenever possible and concentrate on sealing them out of interior spaces rather than using repellents.
Causes Bats in a House
Let us consider Conducive conditions
Water sources: Are they receiving water from a fountain, pond, or regularly timed irrigation system?
Food sources: Bats adore bugs. Are there any attractants near your home that are luring insects in, such as standing water or nighttime outdoor lighting?
Harborage areas: Where are they looking for protection? Where do they spend the daytime?
- Bat Droppings and Urine. 2021 Bat Conservation Trust.
- Histoplasmosis: A Common Fungal Lung Infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Human Rabies Prevention Program. Oregon State University.
- Coming in contact with bats. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Wray, Amy K. Incidence and taxonomic richness of mosquitoes in the diets of little brown and big brown bats. Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 99, no. 3, pp. 668–674, 2018. doi:/10.1093/jmammal/gyy044
- Acceptable Management Practices for Bat Control Activities in Structures A Guide for Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.