Most bats avoid human contact but, sometimes, they may move into your attic. Getting rid of a bat colony can be very difficult, especially if they have been living in the same place for a long time. Fortunately, wildlife experts can safely and humanely get rid of bats for you, and there are several measures you can implement to stop them from coming back!
6 Signs you Have a Bat Problem
Strange noises and smells are often the first indication of an infestation, but how can you tell if you have bats? Fortunately, bats leave behind clues that other pests don’t, making them relatively easy to identify.
You see bats flying around your property
Seeing bats outside at dusk is perfectly normal, but you may start to worry if you notice them flying to and from your house. If you think there are an unusual number of bats congregating on your property, this could indicate a bat colony on the premises.
You find bat droppings (guano) on your property
Piles of bat guano (i.e., bat poop) are a telltale sign of bat activity. Bat droppings look like small, dark pellets, have a strong, musky smell, and will appear anywhere that bats have been.
You notice a pungent ammonia odor in a certain area (for example, in an attic or cabin)
Bat urine isn’t visible but, like bat guano, it has a strong odor. Bat urine has an overpowering ammonia smell that will be particularly strong in areas where bats have been roosting.
You see oily streaks on the walls and ceilings
As bats enter or exit a roost, they leave dark, oily streaks behind them. These dark smears may appear on the walls or ceilings of bat-infested spaces.
You hear sounds in the attic
Noises in the attic could be a sign of squirrels, rats, mice – or bats! Although bats are silent flyers, you may hear scuffling or scratching noises as they enter or exit the roost.
Live or dead bats in your house
If you find a bat flying around your living room, it probably came from somewhere inside the house (though it may have just blundered in through an open window). If you see dead bats on your property, or if your pets bring home dead bats, this is a sure sign that there is a colony nearby.
How to get rid of bats (Step-by-step guide)
How to get rid of bats outside
Bats are not usually a problem until they invade buildings, and most people find they can tolerate outdoor bats. Bats eat insects, and may even help to reduce mosquito populations.
For this reason, they are usually considered a beneficial species to have around.
However, if you’d rather not have bats in your backyard, there are some things you can do to keep them away.
Install bright lights
Bats are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are active at night and sleep during the day. Installing bright lights around your house can, therefore, repel bats at night and stop them from hunting or roosting on your property.
Put up a decoy bat house
Bats like to roost in enclosed spaces, and many people install bat houses in their gardens in order to attract them. If you want your backyard bat-free, however, a bat house can also be used to your advantage – simply install one at a location away from your own house to keep bats at a distance.
Make your backyard less bat-friendly
Different species of bats eat different types of food, but most are insectivorous (meaning they eat insects). If your garden has a large insect population, you may be attracting bats closer to your house. Bats are especially drawn to moths so, if you have a moth problem, you are at risk of attracting bats.
How to get rid of bats in a cabin
The best way to remove bats from a cabin (or any other type of structure) is with the help of a professional wildlife removal service. Bats are protected species and must be carefully and humanely removed.
Bat exclusion is an effective and humane way to get bats out of cabins without harming them or putting yourself at risk of being bitten. This method usually involves covering bat entry points with netting or tubes, which allows the bats to leave but makes it hard for them to get back in. When all the bats have left, you can get to work blocking off their entry points.
Block off entry points
Bat entry points are usually marked by dark, oily smears, and are easy to find and seal. However, bats can fit through very small bats so, if you want to bat proof your cabin, you’ll need to block every gap and crack you can find.
How to get rid of bats in the attic
Bats in the attic can be a health hazard, as this puts them in close contact with humans. Bats are generally harmless and will avoid people as much as possible. However, chronic contact with bat poo (called guano) can have serious health implications.
If you find bats in your attic, contact a wildlife pest removal service straight away for advice and assistance. They will usually be able to get rid of your current bat colony, and bat proof your attic against further invasions.
As with cabins, bat exclusion techniques are usually the best way to rid your attic space of bats. Exclusion devices can be bought online, or you can call a wildlife removal service to get the job done safely and efficiently.
Block potential entry points
Once your attic is free from bats, it’s time to find and block all possible entry points. Once you’ve barred their main entry point, get to work sealing up cracks and gaps in your attic roof. This will help to stop more bats – or any other unwanted guests – from making their home up there.
Chemical vs. Natural remedies for bat control
Bats are protected species in most countries, so chemical methods of bat control are usually widely discouraged. Repellent chemical sprays are available for online purchase but are rarely more effective than natural control methods. They can also cause physical harm to bats, which are vital predators of insects.
Natural remedies for bat control typically involve the use of exclusion devices for bat removal and sealing of entry points to prevent reinfestation. If you want to keep bats out of your backyard, install bright lights to deter them from hunting there at night.
Reasons to get rid of bats
Bats living outside are not usually considered a problem, even if they’re in your own back garden. Bats are only active at night and rarely seen by humans, but they are skilled insect hunters and can help to reduce your backyard bug population.
However, bats in the attic are a different matter. Once bats are housed in close contact with humans, their presence (and especially their droppings) can be a health hazard.
Their urine also has a strong, ammonia smell that can pervade your whole house, making bats unpleasant housemates. If you have bats in your attic, call a wildlife expert to discuss your options for bat removal.
What attracts bats to your house?
Old houses are especially susceptible to infestation by bats, as they are more likely to have gaps through which bats can enter. You are also more likely to have a bat problem if your house is in a wooded area, or in another environment where bats are common.
Generally, bats will choose to nest in your house if your attic provides a suitable shelter for them, and there is plenty of available food (i.e., insects) nearby. You can make your house less attractive to bats by making sure that all possible entry points are sealed, and by tackling any insect infestations in your backyard.
Are bats dangerous to humans or the environment?
Bats have a bad reputation and, given their popularity in some of history’s most notorious works of horror fiction, it’s not hard to see why.
The truth is that bats actually pose very little threat to humans, and are widely regarded as being beneficial for the environment. Bats consume a lot of insects (including pest species, like mosquitoes), but don’t target pollinators (like bees and butterflies). For this reason, bats are very environmentally-friendly creatures.
As far as humans go, bats are almost completely harmless. They don’t get tangled in hair, they don’t attack people, and they don’t drink blood (with the exception of the vampire bat).
However, there are two potential health risks posed to humans by bats; rabies, and histoplasmosis.
Do bats have rabies?
Rabies is one of the most serious health concerns people have regarding bats, but your chances of catching rabies from a bat are very low. As little as 1% of bats have been found to carry the rabies virus, and bats will very rarely bite humans unless they feel threatened.
You can easily protect yourself from rabies by taking the following precautions:
- Never attempt to handle a bat (or any other wild animal)
- If you see a bat behaving erratically, acting confused, or struggling to fly, call a wildlife expert
- If you see a bat out during the daytime, call a wildlife control
- If your pet brings home a dead bat, take both the bat and your pet to a veterinarian for testing
Is bat guano dangerous?
Bat droppings (AKA guano) can also pose a potential health risk to humans. This is because guano can contain fungal spores that cause histoplasmosis, a serious respiratory illness. If these spores are inhaled, they can cause fever, coughing, and fatigue. In people with autoimmune conditions, this can develop into a much more serious infection.
Dried droppings can be especially hazardous, as these can cause guano dust and spores to rise into the air. Therefore, it’s important to always wear eye protection and some sort of mask over the mouth and nose when clearing up bat poop.
Frequently asked questions
Are bats hard to get rid of?
Bats can be very difficult to get rid of, especially if you are dealing with a large, well-established colony. This is why it is usually recommended to hire a wildlife control expert to deal with bats, rather than attempting to tackle the problem alone.
How long will it take to remove bat infestation?
If you enlist the help of a professional wildlife removal company, bats in the attic can be dealt with in a matter of days. Once bat exclusion devices have been installed, it will usually take 2 – 4 days for all bats to leave the premises. Once the bats are gone, you can work on cleaning up after them and taking precautions against future re-infestations.
What scent will keep bats away?
Some essential oils are thought to repel bats and may help to keep them out of your attic. Peppermint, cinnamon, and eucalyptus are thought to be the most effective bat repellent scents.
In most parts of the world, bats are protected species and must be handled humanely. Many people consider bats to be beneficial species to have around, and it’s not uncommon for people to install a bat house in their garden.
If you want to get rid of bats in or around your property, however, the safest and most efficient way is with the help of a wildlife pest control company. They will be able to quickly remove the bats using humane exclusion methods and can help you to bat proof your home for the future.