Around 1,100 species of bats exist globally, with approximately 40 residing in the United States. Although these creatures are small in size, they make up for it with a large population – comprising 20% of all mammals worldwide. They are also the only flying mammal in the world.
Given their significant numbers, it’s not surprising that homeowners may find themselves dealing with a bat infestation at some point.
While having bats on your property may sound alarming, it’s important to remember that these creatures can benefit the environment. Bats consume large quantities of insects – including disease-carrying mosquitoes – every night, which helps to keep local populations in check.
However, even though they may perform a valuable service, most people don’t want bats living in their homes. Bats can carry diseases like rabies, and their droppings can contaminate food and water sources. In addition, a long-term infestation can cause significant structural damage to your property.
If you think you have a bat problem, it’s essential to act quickly. These creatures reproduce rapidly, so a small infestation can quickly become big. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to get rid of bats on your property without resorting to harmful pesticides or extermination methods.
Reasons for Bat Removal
Why do homeowners get rid of the bats on their property? Here are some of the most common reasons:
A bat-infested home can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, including asthma and congestion.
Bats urinate and defecate where they roost, leaving an unpleasant smell in your home. To remove the bats from your home, clean up their droppings or bat guano. This can be difficult and dangerous if you are not adequately equipped.
Risk of rabies
When homeowners come in contact with bats, there is a risk of contracting rabies. This disease is fatal if left untreated.
Damage to your home
Bat droppings can cause considerable damage to the house. It is corrosive and can eat away at wood and other building materials. And when this happens, you’ll need to spend more on house maintenance to repair the damage.
To avoid all these issues, get rid of bats in your home. A small colony of brown bats can grow and produce a considerable amount of droppings per year. That’s why taking care of the problem as soon as possible is important.
Why are Bats Drawn to Your Home?
Bats are naturally drawn to roost in areas that provide them with protection from predators and stable temperatures. This is why they are often found roosting in caves, hollow trees, and other natural structures. However, when these natural roosts are unavailable or in decline, bats will turn to man-made structures like buildings and bridges.
There are a few reasons your home may draw bats:
- Your home provides a safe space for bats to raise their young.
- The temperature inside your home is stable and ideal for roosting bats.
- Your home is located in an area with a lot of insects, which bats feed on.
If you have bats in your home, remove them as soon as possible. Bats can carry several diseases that can be harmful to humans, such as rabies. In addition, their droppings can contaminate your home and pose a health hazard.
How to Get Rid of Bats
If you have a bat problem, the best course of action is to call a professional. These experts have the knowledge and experience to safely and effectively remove bats from your property. But if hiring a professional isn’t an option, you can also get rid of a small bat infestation on your own.
Professional Bat Removal
Professional bat removal specialists do not use pesticides to get rid of bats. Instead, they use a bat exclusion process. This is one of the most humane methods of wildlife control in the home. It involves installing devices that allow the bats to leave but not return.
- Scheduling Bat Exclusion. The time of year when bat exclusion can be performed depends on the bat species. Exclusion must not occur when pups or baby bats are on the roost. Otherwise, the young bats will be trapped inside.
- Identifying and Sealing Entry Point. Bats can enter your home through tiny openings. To find out where the bats are entering, professionals perform a thorough inspection of your home at dusk when the bats are leaving to feed. Once they have found the entry point, they will seal it with caulk or another appropriate material.
- Installing One-Way Doors. After identifying and sealing the entry points, the pros install devices that allow the bats to leave but not return. The devices are placed over all potential exit points, including gaps and cracks around doors, windows, vents, and soffits.
- Clean Affected Areas. After removing bats from the home, the pest control company cleans up any affected areas. This includes removing any droppings, stains, or other signs of the bats. The company may also need to replace insulation in the affected area.
- Close Holes in the House. The bat removal specialist will also close any holes in the house that the bats may have used. This includes sealing cracks and holes on the house’s exterior.
- Monitor the House. Once all the bats have been removed from the house, you will need to monitor the home to ensure that no new bats are entering. The best way to do this is to hire a pest control company to do regular inspections.
- Set Up a Bat House. Pest control companies can also set up a bat house on the property. Bat houses provide a place for the bats to roost so they will not be tempted to enter your home. The bat house will be effective if it’s set up at least 15 feet off the ground.
Do-It-Yourself Bat Removal
For homeowners who want to remove bats from their property, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Know the Law. Homeowners need to know whether bats are a protected species in their area before taking any action. In some states, it is illegal to kill or remove bats from your property without a permit. Consult your state’s wildlife department or local wildlife control for more information about this protected species.
- Know the Bat Species. There are many different species of bats, and each has different behaviors and preferences. Knowing what kind of bat you’re dealing with is important before trying to remove it.
- Use the Right Equipment. Bats can be tricky to remove because they often roost in hard-to-reach places. You will need a ladder, a headlamp, and a pair of leather gloves to remove bats.
- Determine and Seal the Entry Points. As with a bat removal specialist, it’s crucial to identify and seal all potential entry points into your home. This will prevent new bats from coming in while you’re trying to remove the existing bats. Once you have sealed all the entry points, install a one-way door over the main exit point. This will allow the bats to leave but not return.
- Clean the Affected Area. After removing the bats, you will need to clean up any affected areas. This includes removing any droppings, stains, or other signs of the bats. The company may also need to replace insulation in the affected area. If necessary, consider renovating your home to prevent the bats from returning.
If you notice a large colony of bats or a considerable amount of bat guano in the home, you should consider hiring a professional to bat-proofing your home.
Tips for Preventing Bat Infestation
Prevention is always the best cure for dealing with pests, and bats are no different. The best way to keep bats from taking up residence in your home is to bat-proof the structure. This is most easily done in the autumn after the bats have left for their winter hibernation. Attempting to be bat-proof at any other time of year runs the risk of trapping baby bats inside, who will then try to escape through other parts of the house.
To begin bat-proofing your home, inspect the exterior at dusk when bats are most active. Look for holes or cracks where they may be entering and exiting. Common access points include attic louvers and under facia boards.
Once you have located the potential entry points, seal them up with caulk and steel wool. Be sure to pay special attention to holes at least half an inch wide, as these are big enough for bats to get through. Bat exclusion is the best long-term solution for preventing bats from roosting in your home.
You can also take steps to make your home less attractive to bats by reducing the insect population. This can be done by eliminating sources of standing water, such as ponds and birdbaths, and trimming back vegetation near the house. In addition, keep your outside lights off as much as possible as bats are attracted to light.
By taking these simple steps, you can help prevent a bat infestation in your home.