How to Get Rid of Bats: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your House

upside down bat
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If you want to know how to get rid of bats in attic or near the house, you’ve come to the right place. Non-stop fighting with pests is not only my job, it has also been my hobby for many years. I receive numerous calls from clients who are desperate to get rid of bats but don’t know how to do that.

Product
Bright Light Is 100% Working Bat Repellent
150 Watt LED Light Bulb, Super...
Direct Air Flow Has Proven to Repel Bats
Lasko 30" Oscillating...
Best Bat House
Kenley Bat House - Outdoor Bat...
Best Mesh Protect
Stuff-fit Copper Mesh for...
Prime
Pros
Powerful.
Three speeds.
Humane way to get rid of bats.
Does not hurt bats.
Bright Light Is 100% Working Bat Repellent
Product
150 Watt LED Light Bulb, Super...
Price
Prime
Pros
Powerful.
My preview
Direct Air Flow Has Proven to Repel Bats
Product
Lasko 30" Oscillating...
Price
Prime
Pros
Three speeds.
My preview
Best Bat House
Product
Kenley Bat House - Outdoor Bat...
Price
Prime
Pros
Humane way to get rid of bats.
My preview
Best Mesh Protect
Product
Stuff-fit Copper Mesh for...
Price
Prime
Pros
Does not hurt bats.
My preview

These flying mammals are dangerous neighbors, and once you notice their presence in your yard or under your roof, you have to take care of this problem immediately. Now, let’s discuss who they are and how to get rid of bats outside your house and inside it.

Detailed Guide on Bats

Nobody, except Batman probably, thinks that living in a house full of bats is cool. So, if this happens to you, there are several options to remove bats from attic, including DIY measures and calling the pest control service. The most dangerous thing about bats is that they can bite you and spread various health hazards through it.

Bats’ Characteristics

Bats are mammals, just like us. They belong to the Chiroptera class and are unique by their ability to fly, which makes them the only one representative of mammals who can do that. Not all bats are similar: there are over 900 types of them.

They dwell in different parts of the world, have different sizes, colors, and even diets. The biggest bats can reach 3.28 feet of wingspan, and the average size bat has 0,49 feet. They all have pointed ears, and mouths similar to a rat’s mouth. The color of fur can be different, depending on the type of the bat.

bat hanging on a tree

Bats have arms, which are long, and fingers. There are membranes that connect these fingers and wings with their legs. Usually, bats do not live in cold climates.

They prefer to fly during the night and hide from sunlight somewhere in dark places, including attics and caves. So, you’re most likely to find bats in a barn.
Bats are a valuable part of nature, and they are useful for humans as well. Their main advantages:

  • These creatures may look scary for many people, but they feed on various insects and take part in pollination procedures. Some of the species, like Mexican free-tailed bat, for example, that lives in Texas, consumes up to 10000 tons of insects during the year;
  • Some bats feed on nectar. They carry it across large territories pollinating the wide number of plants. Many bats prefer fruits to insects and flowers. They disperse seeds around the country;
  • Bats that feed on insects produce useful for agricultural and medical needs droppings or guano. For years people use guano as nitrogen and phosphorus sources. Guano is known for its preserving qualities. Archeologists have found numerous artifacts saved this way.

But not all the bats are equally valuable. There are also vampire bats that belong to the Phyllostomidae family. Bats of this type are considered pests.

They bite animals and may bite human beings, transmitting various diseases. They can transmit trypanosomiasis and rabies to the cattle.

Lifecycle

Before you exterminate bats, let’s find out whether you need to do that at all or simply can wait ’till they die. Unfortunately for you, bats live a minimum of 10 years. Some of them can survive for 30 years or so. In this case, it is pointless to wait that long, as they will breed and never leave your house.

sleeping bat

Bats start mating somewhere between the late summer and early fall. They usually live in big groups. Only in spring fertilization occurs, and females begin to search for a safe place for their children.

They can usually be seen in the trees, garages, attics, and even basements. And if you want to get bats out of attic, this probably is a good time to act. Bats usually have up to 4 children at the same time during the year. Adults take care of youngsters altogether. Five weeks old can start hunting insects on their own.

Bat Species in the US

There are over 40 species of bats living in the USA. Several of them are endangered, like a gray bat, Indiana bat, Hawaiian hoary bat, long-nosed bat, Virginian, and Ozark big-eared bats. Three states in the US have an official bat specie:

  • Oklahoma and Texas have a Mexican free-tailed bat;
  • Virginia has a Virginia big-eared bat.

The most famous bat types in the USA:

  • California leaf-nosed bat. This bat eats insects, does not hibernate, and usually lives in California, Arizona, Nevada, Mexico, and Colorado River valley;
  • Pallid bat. Eats crickets, scorpions, grasshoppers, and beetles. Lives in Mexico, Oregon, and Washington;
  • The red bat is common for North America. It is known as a tree bat. So, if you want to deter bats from roosting on the trees you may probably have to deal with this species. They live across the USA, on the East of Rocky Mountains and to central Florida;
  • Spotted bat. The largest bat in the USA. It lives on the territory from the south through the western states and up to the northern parts of Mexico.

Spotted bat

Things That Attract Bats in the House

If you are here to attract bats in your roof, it is possible to do this in a few simple steps. While bloodsucking bats can harm the cattle and are unwanted pests on your farm, almost all American native bats feed on insects and can exterminate mosquitoes for you.

You don’t have to invite them to live in your attic, but you can use a bat house for this. I will tell you more about them in the products list I recommend. If you don’t want to attract bats in your household, you have to do the opposite:

  • Give bats access to the water. These animals may have 50 percent of their weight filled with water. Like all living creatures, they require the source of water to drink. So, if you don’t want bats to live in your yard, make sure there is no way these mammals will find the water;
  • Plant herbs and flowers with a strong fragrance. They will attract insects that will attract bats. The most beneficial flowers are evening primrose, French marigold, dahlia, raspberry, nicotiana, thyme;
  • The access to the food is extremely important for bats;
  • Small gaps and cracks in the roof or inside the walls;
  • Open doors and windows. If you want to open windows at night without offering a bat to come by, you have to make sure there are nets on the window.

Bats Dangers

Bats can host viruses dangerous for humans. This is why many people prefer bat eradication to their transfer to safer and less exposed to other places. Not all bats are that dangerous. Only a few species can be contagious for people. They spread disease not only through the biting or scratching. The virus can be found in their saliva, urine, or feces.

  • Bats can host:
  • Hepatitis;
  • Histoplasmosis;
  • Salmonella;
  • Rabies, which is the most dangerous and deadly. Only 5 percent of all tested bats are positive on rabies. Yet, you can’t possibly know which bat is contagious and which is not.

If you have been bitten or scratched by a bat, you need to contact your local health department immediately. Even if you feel fine, you have to report about that case to the doctor. Don’t touch the bat with your bare hands, no matter what. Bat’s natural reaction will be biting you.

Bat Signs in Your House and Yard

Bat House

There are obvious signs of bats living at your house or near it you can’t possibly miss. Before you start laying around naphthalene for bats, you have to make sure that these creatures were the ones that occupied your house. There are numerous pests that can be intruders. Without further ado, let’s check your house on the following signs of bats’ presence:

  • The bats are flying around you in the house;
  • There is a bat’s guano on the attic;
  • You hear chirping sounds, but don’t see feathers;
  • Scratches appear on the walls. If it happened, don’t hurry up with assumptions. Your house may not be haunted by ghosts, that’s just good old bats. Well, it can be both, so just in case call ghost hunters;
  • Black and brown stains around doorways or windows;
  • Dead bats can be found in your house or near it;
  • The unpleasant smell of Ammonia. If you notice the similar smell, you have to search for the next clues;
  • Bats are flying from the attic after the sunset.

These signs are obvious and look rather like cut scenes from a Dracula movie, but you will notice them in no time. Bats do not hide as ants or bed bugs. They prefer staying far from people, but they will not cover their traces.

Getting Rid of Bats: Step by Step Guide

Stuff-fit Copper Mesh

There are numerous ways to get rid of bats without killing them or even touching them. You may choose which measures to take. Before you start spraying essential oils to get rid of bats, here is your guidance:

Step 1: Inspect the Place for Signs of Bat’s Intrusion

I have commented on the most obvious signs, but if you see a bat signal somewhere near your house, that may be a good sign to take measures as well.

Step 2: Get Rid of Bats

Find the most appropriate measures to kick these pests out and use them:

Ultrasound Signals

Getting rid of bats with sound is easy by using ultrasound signals to scare away bats. Although the night creatures do not like loud sounds, this means may get ineffective if the bats become immune to these signals. You can try switching loud music alongside ultrasound signals for a better effect.

Batcones

Batcones are cylindrical shaped plastic tubes. They are invented for cases when bats live indoors. Batcones or bat doors are designed to let bats out of the house, and never let them back inside. You have to place them near windows or walls, where bats can use them. It is one of the most humane ways to get rid of these animals: simply put such a tube anywhere inside where bats reside and make sure that it faces the street with its smaller opening. When there’s a severe infestation, cones are less effective than repellents.

Bright Lights

Bright lights will scare bats away by blinding them. There’s no need to buy a special repelling device, just turn on the lights at the attic. This measure is effective as bats will not live near the bright illumination. If you see the nest in your attic, light it up with several bulbs. Some bat fighters consider this way extremely helpful. Yet, be ready to pay increased bills for electricity.

Fans

Fans will mess with bats’ flying trajectories, as small creatures are unable to withstand against their power. You need to use a powerful fan. This tool has a limited radius of action, so if you need to keep the bats away from the spacious attic or any other place they frequent, make sure there are several fans and keep them turned on during the whole night.

Repellents

Chemical repellents are considered to be less powerful tools against bats than fans and lights. If you want to use naphthalene, be careful with it as it is a chemical that in certain amounts may get poisonous. And not just for bats, but also for you and your home dwellers. Besides, you may have a need to refill your naphthalene arsenal too often, so I’d advise you focus on light and fan means first.

Bat Houses

Bat houses were created to help humans reposition bats in the most convenient place. This way, bats remain unharmed, and people do not suffer from their presence either. It is recommended to place bat houses on the nearby trees early in the summer, so bats can find them while looking for a place to live.

Homemade Treatments

There are also homemade recipes against bats, like mothballs, mirrors, aluminum foil, bright Christmas decorations which you can place around the house and yard. There are certain smells bats don’t like, like mint or eucalyptus. Even though some of these measures may help in particular cases, I still recommend you to use professional remedies as they are more reliable and effective!

Step 3: Seal Your Property

After you get rid of these creatures in your house, make sure they will not come back through the same entrance. You may start by shutting all windows and doors and hanging specific nets on them and getting rid of all the holes in the walls. I also recommend ordering special nests for bats and hanging them far from your house. This way you will be separated from each other without getting hurt.

Step 4: Clean After Getting Rid of Bats

Don’t forget to clean after them, as the smell may attract other bats.

Preventive Measures

I strongly recommend you not to kill bats or touch them with your hands. The main reason is they can be endangered species that are illegal to kill, and what’s more important, they can bite you. It is always easier to prevent something from happening than to get to deal with the consequences. This is why you have to clean your house often, paying attention to the attic as well.

If you are cleaning after your removed bats, always use protective gloves. Their saliva, urine, and feces may be as contagious as their bite. And if you want to scare bats away from your yard, remember to plant mint. Bats also don’t like the smell of menthol and mothballs.

Top-5 Remedies to Control Bats

150 Watt LED Light Bulb – Highly-Effective Natural Bat Repellent

The 150 Watt LED Light Bulb by Energetic Smarter Lighting is a great way to scare away the whole bats’ colony if it dwells in your house. All you need to do is turn it on to illuminate the place. The bulb offers 2300 lumens, has 150 watts, and is non-dimmable.

The bulb does not cause any eye fatigue as there is no flickering light. It provides 5000K daylight. Besides, the bulb is eco-friendly and does not contain harmful chemicals.

Pros:Cons:
  • eco-friendly;
  • powerful;
  • non-flickering light;
  • easy to use;
  • affordable price.
  • outside it may attract more insects.

Lasko 30” Oscillating Industrial Fan – Perfect Way to Scare Bats Away Without Touching or Killing Them

The 30” Oscillating Industrial Fan by Lasko developers is 30 inches long black fan from steel that will definitely prevent bats from getting inside your house.

It provides the large scale circulation of air. Each blade of the fan is 30 inches long, and there are 3 speeds you can switch between. Adjust the fan up to the height you need and pick the speed. Use it during the evening and night to scare the pests.

Pros:Cons:
  • three speeds;
  • does not kill bats;
  • good quality;
  • simple in use.
  • it costs more than similar items.

Kenley Bat House – The Most Humane Way of Getting Rid of a Bat in the House

This Bat House by Kenley company is the perfect and easy way to depart from each other with any hard feelings left. You are saved from bats in your house, and they are saved from annoying humans. As a gratitude for your help, bats will hunt your insects outside.

This is a tiny house specially designed for bats. There are two chambers for them. The box is waterproof and is simple to install on the tree or on the wall.

Pros:Cons:
  • eco-Friendly;
  • humane way to get rid of bats;
  • easy to install;
  • two rooms inside.
  • you have to wait till the bats arrive there.

Stuff-fit Copper Mesh – Original Solution for How to Keep Bats Away

Copper Mesh by Stuff-fit company saves you from having to deal with bats in the first place. This mesh can be used as a preventive measure. If you don’t want to fight bats in your house, you may use the mesh on the entrance. It has a copper mesh wool material and is stain and rust-proof.

Pros:Cons:
  • affordable prices;
  • reusable;
  • eco-friendly;
  • does not hurt bats.
  • you have to install it yourself.

Batcone II Reusable Bat Exclusion – the Best Way to Get Rid of Bats One-by-One

Batcone II Reusable Bat Exclusion by Wildlife Control Supplies is a professional trap to catch the bat. After the bat gets there, the trap closes. You can seal the hole. The tool is 6 inches long with 4 tabs that are flexible. The trap is reusable and can serve you for years.

Pros:Cons:
  • can be used anywhere;
  • reusable;
  • humane trap;
  • durable for years.
  • more expensive than similar batcones.

Preventive Measures

I strongly recommend you not to kill bats or touch them with your hands. The main reason is they can be endangered species that are illegal to kill, and what’s more important, they can bite you.

It is always easier to prevent something from happening than to get to deal with the consequences. This is why you have to clean your house often, paying attention to the attic as well.

If you are cleaning after your removed bats, always use protective gloves. Their saliva, urine, and feces may be as contagious as their bite. And if you want to scare bats away from your yard, remember to plant mint. Bats also don’t like the smell of menthol and mothballs.

FAQ

What Do Bats Not Like?

The first thing that comes to mind is the bright light. Bats are nocturnal animals, and they prefer to hide in shadows until the sunset. Bats are highly sensitive to various smells, and they prefer to avoid the smell of mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon.

Don’t jump to conclusions, but bats also don’t like mirrors. And this is not because they are vampires, bats simply do not like light reflection and any shiny objects.

Where Do Bats Go in the Winter?

Bats fly to the dark and usually secluded places in the isolated areas, like caves. When the autumn starts, bats start looking for the place to hibernate. They can hibernate close to people only when they are used to the place and know that people will not disturb them.

These creatures may pick barns and empty buildings to survive the winter. Depending on the temperature outside, bats can hibernate in hollow trees.

Related Post: Best Bat Repellents Reviewed

What Time Do Bats Come Out?

Bats prefer to hide during the day in the dark. They become active right after the sunset. If bats live in the cave, they start flying around it. After that, they will be searching for water and food.

They spend up to a few hours searching for food and eating, and after that, they will go to rest. During the night they repeat the procedure several times before going to sleep. When the sun comes out, bats hide.

What Do Bats Eat?

There are over 900 types of bats who live around the world. They have different diets. Most bats in the US prefer to eat insects. Their favorite dishes are mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. But that does not mean that they will not eat other kinds of insects.

One bat eats up to 500 insects the size of a mosquito in an hour. So if you are looking to get rid of mosquitoes, you may try to co-exist peacefully with bats, organizing the separate house for them. Some bats prefer fruits. And there are rare bats that feed on cattle.

Who to Call to Get Rid of Bats?

You may try to get rid of them on your own. I have recommended you several ways of doing this. Below I will discuss the helpful tools you can use for this. However, if you feel that you can’t handle bats on your own, worried about viruses they can spread, or simply afraid of them, just call local pest control. It is ok to use professional help.

Your house may already be occupied by a colony of bats, and in this case, you have to call pest control as well. Besides, you never know whether the bat belongs to endangered species or not. You can’t kill bats protected by officials.

Do All Bats Hibernate?

Here is one of the awesome facts about bats. Not all of them hibernate during the cold season. Many of these flying mammals live in warm countries where winters are warm enough to stay awake all year long.

Others prefer to migrate to warmer countries and spend cold winters on the beach. Well… not directly on the beach, but enjoying the warm climate for sure. They come back occasionally full of energy.

Are there Treats for Bats?

Except for humans, there are lots of threats to these small creatures. Snakes, hawks, and owls find them delicious. So, if you need to scare away bats, you can turn on the sounds of these predators. Millions of bats also are dying from so-called White Nose Syndrome.

This is a white fungus that can be seen on the wings and nose of bats. This disease was noticed in 33 states across the country. This syndrome has already killed over 6 million bats.

Best Way to Control Bats

Is there a way to get rid of the bats for good? Apparently, no. The bats are part of our ecosystem and are incredibly useful for human beings. Like many wild animals, they can pose a threat, and do not like to be imprisoned or held in hands.

I strongly believe we don’t have to kill bats at all, and this is why I concentrated on the remedies that are harmless to bats. If you have tried some of them, please share your story in the comments below. Do you have bats? Are you afraid of them? Do you prefer to scare them away or to build a house for them on the tree?

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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