The fact that bats are entering your house usually indicates that there is a bat colony in your attic or under the roof of your home. In order to understand a bat’s ability to enter your house, it is important to mention that bats have a very delicate sonar-like system in their head that enables them to find their way in complete dark. However, despite the fact that they can perfectly navigate in pitch dark, they can get lost in a building. It is easy for them to enter any building, because they need very little space to get inside. They are so small (usually weighing less than a few ounces) that they need less than a 1 square inch opening to enter inside.
Besides intentional entering, bats will sometimes fly through an open window when they are hunting for food (insects). They don't like lots of lights, so if a bat gets inside your living room while you are hanging out with family and watching TV, you can be sure that the bat was just on a hunt for dinner. This doesn't mean that bats are living inside your home, but it is definitely an indicator that there is a bat colony nearby.
Bats can get inside the chimney if there is no chimney cap on and start living there. From the chimney there is just one step to your living room or a bedroom. In order to keep them away from a chimney, make sure that there is a cap on and a protective net – after you exclude the bats first.
If bats are living in the attic, a few of them can fall down the space between the inside and outside walls and down to the basement, where they might get stuck unless there is a basement window open.
In the majority of cases, bats will not get into the house unless by accident. In this case, it is important to help them get out without any incidents if possible. The idea is to open a safe (and large) passage for the bat to get outside. Then turn off the lights so that the path toward outside is in darkness. Close other rooms that are along the way so that the bat doesn't take any wrong turns toward outside. This will encourage the bat to go down that chosen path toward the terrace and outside.
Once the bat is outside, turn on the lights and close the windows.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Bats page or email us if you have any other questions about What areas can bats enter a house through?
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.