How to get rid of Bats

bats chiroptera how to get rid of

Due to the damage caused to their habitat, bats tend to find shelter inside houses, more exactly in attics, near roof beams, skylights, arches, porches or even in the cellars. They are normally not dangerous in their natural habitat, as they fulfil important ecological roles, by pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds, as well as consuming pests. However, they do carry disease, so if you have a family of bats dwelling near your residence, the safest thing will be to deal with this infestation as soon as possible.

bats chiroptera how to get rid of

Bats can create quite a mess where they live. Whether the colony is located in an attic or wall void, the droppings can damage materials and can also have an unacceptable pungent odour. Bat droppings can also contain microbes which can lead to respiratory disease. Anyone who comes in contact with bats should wear respiratory protection to avoid breathing potentially harmful microbes.

Fight infestation through prevention

The best action against bat infection is always prevention. So always try to ensure that the pest has no way of entering your home, in the first place. Bats can fit through holes the size of a dime, with the most common points of entry being: missing or loose tiles or boards, places where pipes and wires enter the house, or any type of crack or crevice, around windows, doors or chimneys.
Therefore, ensuring that all of the above are covered, fixed, and in perfect working condition is essential. What also helps, is making sure you remove insects and dead wood from around the house, cover any standing water on your property and place mothballs in places where bats could build nests. Through these steps, you are making sure the bats will not be drawn to your house, as they will not have a food source or a proper place where to nest.

Optical repellents for Bats control:

Repellents rely heavily on creating unpleasant sensations strictly for which animals or insect they are addressed to. However, it can be difficult to design a repellent method that drives away only undesirable animals, while having no effect on people or other creatures. Bats are mostly affected by optical and mechanical repellents:

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Keep in mind that bats tend not to use alternative openings, so you will have to do this with all cracks and crevices; this may be time-consuming, but you will eventually be rid of all the bats. An easier way would be to use one-way devices, which you can purchase or build by yourself, using netting, PVC pipes, or empty caulk containers. For example, you can build such a device by covering the opening with plastic or lightweight, flexible netting; secure it along the top and halfway down the side, ensuring that it extends about 45 – 60cm below the bottom edge of the opening. Keep it in place for at least 5 – 7 days; this will ensure that all the bats have exited, and, if you want, you can permanently seal the openings afterwards.
By using nets, sealants and exclusion meshes to cover the entry points, you can easily block openings and keep bats out of your residence. As there are no many effective traps on the market, and harming bats is also illegal in most places, the best thing to do is use exclusion devices to help you remove the bat colony, and then prevention methods, to keep them from coming back.

Mechanical repellents for Bats control:

Do not try to catch the bats. Not only is this difficult and largely ineffective, seeing as they have very good hiding spots, but it can also be dangerous, seeing as they can become aggressive and bite you.
Should an infestation already occur, the best way to get rid of bats is to trap them outside the house. The most efficient time of dealing with an infestation is at night when bats usually leave their nest to feed. By blocking possible entries, and trapping them outside, you can clear your residence of these invaders in a humane manner. Bear in mind that there might be individuals that remain behind, or even females with pups, so you must be careful when choosing the season when you want to action against them.
Keep in mind that a successful removal depends very much on its timing. If you remove the adult bats while the younglings are still too small to fly or defend themselves, they will die; not only is this inhumane, but it will cause you even more problems, as bat carcasses are very hard to find and, thus, remove. With this in mind, you should avoid trying to remove the bats roughly during the time period of May – August; this depends on the climate in which you live, so you might want to check beforehand, too. It is also advisable that you avoid trying to remove bats during the winter months. Because they hibernate during the cold season, they will not be a nuisance to you, but if you throw them out, they will die of starvation.

The bat colonies are usually composed entirely of female bats, being called maternity colonies. The females usually give birth to one baby bat each summer, so the colony size doubles at birth.  As bats live a very long time, they stay in the same place year-round, if the conditions are reliable, or they migrate and return each summer. Thus, with time, bat colonies can grow to enormous sizes.  A fully infested bat attic is one of the biggest and most challenging problems in the field of pest removal.
Locating the colony in advance helps, before starting to perform any action of blocking entrances to your house. Also performing the blocking actions in several nights in a row is suggested, as it is possible that not all bats leave to feed in the same night. Use screens or hardware cloths, and nail or staple them to the openings, but ensure that you remove them by the second night, allowing the rest of the bats a way out. Once you have done that, you can safely find a more permanent way of blocking the entry points.

In case a bat entered a room, the best way to guide it out is by dimming all the light, closing any other windows or doors, and leaving just one exit and turning off all electronics, fans or air conditioning, allowing the bat to experience silence so that it can guide itself using echolocation. This will usually be enough, and the bat will exit by itself, however, in its own time.
If the bat doesn’t manage to get out, you can try trapping it in Tupperware or a jar, bowl or bucket. Wait for it to land, exhausted, and then carefully place the Tupperware over the bat against a wall or floor, and then slide a piece of paper between the wall and Tupperware and trap the bat. Then, carefully release it outside.

Alternative methods of repelling bats

Bats can be repelled by using mothballs, as they do not like their scent. While the bats are gone feeding, you can wrap mothballs in a square of cheesecloth, tie it to create a sack, and then place this in the area where the bats are nesting, as the unpleasant odour will discourage them from returning. You might need to use this method more than once, as bats usually tend to return to their old nesting sites every once in a while.
Another repellent that can be used is aerosol dog or cat repellent, as well as ammonia, once again ensuring to spray it in the places where the bats nest while they are gone. Because they do not like the smell, they will again avoid returning to the place you sprayed, however, this method needs to be repeated as well.

It is said that using tin foil strips or balloons that move in the wind will scare bats away and also using machines that produce high-frequency noises. However, the efficiency of such methods is debatable, and should it work, it would just keep bats away, but it wouldn’t sort your issue, if you are already dealing with bat infestation.

Because used in a high quantity mothballs become dangerous even to humans, alternative ways of scaring the bats away are recommended. As they are very fond of darkness, you can add lights in their nesting areas, as a well illuminated place will not be as appealing to them. Fiberglass can also do the trick as it irritates the bats when they come in contact with it. A full isolation of the house is not needed, just using a few layers in the places where bats would have access to enter your house.
Should you discover the nesting area is near your house and you want to prevent them from moving closer and entering your home, you can use water and spray the area, as this will also disturb the bats without hurting them. Again, ensure that you repeat the action at regular intervals, until the bats grasp that they are not welcome in that spot.

Co-existing with bats

As mentioned before, bats can be quite useful around the house, especially around a farm and around crops. If you find their presence helpful, as they keep away unwanted insects or other pests, you can set up a bat house. Thus, as you apply the above mentioned methods to discard of the bats dwelling inside your residence, they will have an alternative place where to take cover and still stay around the house. By establishing new nests, they will allow you to enjoy the benefits that they bring, by eating all the annoying insects that bother you, without having to worry that they will ever have the need to find refuge in your own house.
Before you take any one of these measures, make sure you look up the local legislation concerning bats. In the U.K., as well as in other countries, bats are protected by law, and it is thus illegal to disrupt them in any way. If this turns out to be the case, we recommend that you contact a professional exterminating company, which will be able to explain the best course of action.

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