There are plenty of misconceptions related to bats, but even so, you don't want to have them in your home. Bats typically live in colonies, meaning you are unlikely to have a single bat inside your house and in most cases, they will be
found in the attic since it mimic's their natural habitat of a cave. To get rid of bats, follow this advice.
1. Always make sure your home is thoroughly sealed to prevent bats from entering; do this after ensuring all bats are gone.
2. Never kill bats as they are beneficial to the environment and can be protected in many areas; there is never a reason to kill them anyway.
3. Exclusion is the simplest method to get rid of bats and the most effective.
4. Recognize what attracts the bats to your property so you can remove those attractants and prevent future bats.
5. Bat repellents will not be effective in any situation.
6. Strongly consider hiring a professional to deal with the bats and make sure they have experience with bats in particular; methods that work for other wildlife won't always work on bats.
Why You Shouldn't Kill Bats
There are numerous reasons to kill bats, starting with the fact that it simply isn't necessary. The vast majority of bat species are illegal to kill due to the beneficial role these animals play in our environment. Bats reproduce slowly, making it challenging to make up for any drop in numbers, such as those from killing them, and help control the insect population, making them very helpful. Never hire a professional that says they kill bats; opt for one who uses humane methods to get the bats out and keep them alive.
What Happens If There Are Baby Bats
Unfortunately, the typical bat roosting in your attic will be a mother that is nursing or about to give birth. In this situation, the best advice is to wait a few weeks to a month so the baby bats are old enough to leave the attic on their own. Then, you can use exclusion on all of the bats present with ease. Waiting shouldn't pose too much of an issue as bats aren't destructive; their waste products are the only concern.
Exclusion Is The Best Option
Even though bats are relatively safe, you still don't want to come into contact with them if you don't have to as they are wild animals. Because of this, the best method of getting them out of your attic or a similar space is exclusion. This method involves sealing most of the potential entrances into the space but leaving the main one open. You then place an exclusion device or one-way door over this entrance, allowing the bats to leave but not get back inside. Over the course of a few days, there should no longer be any bats left. Once you are positive there aren't any more bats inside, remove the exclusion device and seal up the final entrance.
Finding And Sealing Entry Points
While the basic idea of exclusion is simple, putting it into action can get more complicated. The best method of spotting the entry points is watching your home at dusk to see where the bats leave from. You may want to enlist some friends to help you or set up video cameras so you can watch your home from all angles; the bats are likely to have multiple entrances. Then, either during the day or at night, you should take a closer look at all of these spots the bats flew out of. Other signs of bat activity include odors and brown grease by the walls. Once you have found the entrances, you can seal them off, using caulk or something equally sturdy. Remember to leave one entrance open for exclusion; you don't want to trap the bats inside.
Clean Up The Area
One of the least fun parts of getting rid of bats is cleaning up the attic or other area they were. While bats themselves are relatively harmless, their guano can spread disease and lead to mold problems. Because of this, you should wear a HEPA filter mask, gloves, and long sleeves at an absolute minimum, but preferably a biohazard suit. Start by shoveling our or vacuuming up the larger droppings and bagging them carefully.
Once everything is physically gone, you should use an enzymatic cleaner to fog the attic as this will get rid of the smell and kill any pathogens. Fogging is essential as this method of application ensures the cleaner reaches every nook and cranny that may be contaminated. If you don't want to clean the attic yourself, you should be able to find someone to do so. Some wildlife removal experts will offer this service and if yours doesn't, he should at least know someone who will.
Though bats may be a misunderstood creature and the victim of misplaced phobias they are not something that you want to have in your house. Keeping them close to your house however is not a bad idea especially if you have a bug infestation because bats will combat those bugs. The problem is when there are too many bats or they make a home in your attic or barn and that is when you start considering the benefits of having the bats around against the negatives which can be a lot if they are in your house. You have to first understand what brought the bats to your house and then what to do to make it so that they leave of their own accord. So take a few minutes to understand these misunderstood flying mammals.
Why Your House: Bats are like every other creature in the planet. They will want to be close to the place that makes their survival easier, and when your property offers what a bat needs to survive it will gladly become the uninvited guest that never leaves. In order to get rid of your hospitality you have to know what bats like in their habitat. Bats will choose a place that keeps them away from nasty weather and that is quiet and dark enough for them to feel safe. If they are in a place where they are not reached by predators they will make a home there. They also like places with lots of vegetation, preferably fruits. Unlike the urban legend, only a few bats will feed on blood, most of them will prefer fruit any day. They will also choose protected areas where they can breed. This makes lofts of barns and garages, attics and other lofty, dry places ideal.
Capturing Bats: Usually if a bat makes its way into your house there is no need to catch it. All you will have to do is seal the room where the bat is and open a window. Give it a few hours and it is very likely that the bat will already be out of the house. If the bat is still there you may want to consider professional wildlife removal as the safest alternative. Bats are known to carry rabies and other infectious diseases and if a bat isn't finding a way out there's a good chance it could be sick. If you still decide to do the job yourself it is possible but all precautions must be taken. Never try to capture the bat with your bare hands as that is just asking for trouble. Instead use heavy gloves to grab and quickly release outside of the house. If you prefer you can use a box or container to trap the bat, but always use protection on your hands.
A Couple Of Tips: Bats are useful creatures so you may not want to get rid of them completely, but you will want them out of your house and living area. They will leave behind large amounts of scat where they decide to live and this can be very harmful in many ways. To remove them, find the entry point that the bats are using to get into your house. It is also a good idea to consider when to remove the bats. Remember that these are creatures that hibernate and they do so for a reason, there is not enough food for them in the winter. To get them out in the winter means that they will probably die unless a new location is found. A catch and release wildlife service will best accomplish this if you need to get rid of the bats in wintery conditions so you should keep their number handy. Also keep away from bat droppings, because inhaling the fumes can make you sick.
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.