Bat Noises: What do They Sound Like?

Bats produce a wide variety of noises using their vocal cords and larynx, their tongues, and even their nostrils. These sounds are ultrasonic, meaning they have a high frequency that is outside of the range of human hearing. But if you could hear bats, what exactly would they sound like?

Can humans hear bat noises?

Bats produce ultrasonic sounds, meaning they exist at frequencies that are impossible for the human ear to detect. To listen in on the chatter of bats, we must use bat detectors. These devices pick up bat noises using an ultrasonic microphone before converting their calls to a frequency that is audible for humans.

What sound do bats make?

By using bat detectors to listen in on bats, we know that their noises sound like a series of ‘clicks.’

When these noises are slowed down, however, they sound more like the chirps of a bird, and have a range of different tones. Bat calls vary significantly between species.

Most bats use their larynx and vocal cords to produce sounds, but some species use their tongues or nostrils to make clicks. A few species of fruit bats don’t use any of these methods, and instead, produce clicks by flapping their wings.

Why do bats make noises?

Bats use their ultrasonic clicks to navigate their night-time world, and to hunt down insect prey. The sound waves produced by bats bounce off objects in their surroundings, before returning to the bat’s ears. The bats then use this information to locate their prey.

This process is called echolocation, and it is how bats ‘see’ their environment. They also use echolocation to navigate in the dark, and can judge the size, shape, distance, and location of objects around them. Each bat has a unique ‘voice,’ and they also use their high-frequency clicks to communicate with one another.

What do bats in the attic sound like?

Humans can’t hear bat clicks without the help of bat detectors, but that doesn’t mean bats are completely silent. If you have bats roosting in your attic, you may still e able to hear them scuffling around up there. Bats are usually heard when they become trapped somewhere, as they’ll make noises as they try to escape.

If you have a large bat population in your roof, you may even hear faint scratching or squeaking noises as they wake up for the evening.

Other signs of bats in your attic

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If you think you have bats in your attic, be on the lookout for the following clues.

Bat poop

Bat poop (AKA guano) is a sure sign of nearby bats. If you have bats roosting in your attic, you may see a build up of guano in one corner of your attic, usually near the entry point. You may also see guano on your attic insulation. Bat guano is dark in color, and looks a little like mouse droppings.

Oily streaks

Bats are oily critters, and they will deposit streaks on surfaces they come into contact with. These usually accumulate near entry and exit points, as bats often squeeze in through small gaps to gain access to your attic.

Live or dead bats

Seeing bats around your home is a dead giveaway that they are roosting nearby. If you see a bat in your home, don’t panic or attempt to capture it – just open a window and wait for it to find its own way out. A bat in your home doesn’t always mean you have a colony in your attic, but you should conduct an inspection anyway to make sure.

Bat smell

Bats give off a distinctive, pungent odor. Their guano and urine have a strong, ammonia-like smell that is hard to miss. If you start to notice a strange stink at home that intensifies in the attic, you almost certainly have bats (or some other type of wildlife) hanging out up there.

What should you do if you find bats in your attic?

Bats are beneficial creatures to have around, but a colony of bats in your attic can cause serious problems. Their droppings harbor a fungus that can cause histoplasmosis (a type of fungal pneumonia), a build-up of guano can cause structural damage in your attic, and they stink.

Getting rid of bats is a little tricker than the average pest control job. This is mainly because bats are a protected species, and it is illegal to kill or injure a bat. It is also a crime to damage their habitats. So, what can you do if you find bats in your attic?

Keep in mind!

The best way to deal with bats in your attic is to call a wildlife removal expert. They will be able to safely and humanely remove the bats, identify their exit and entry points, and seal these off.

They may also install exclusion doors, which are basically one-way exits. Any remaining bats will use these to leave your attic, but won’t be able to return once they’re outside.


Bats emit a series of clicks using their vocal cords, larynx, tongues, nostrils and, in some cases, their wings. They use these noises to locate prey, objects, and other bats in their environment, a process known as echolocation. Although bat noises have a high frequency that is beyond the range of human hearing, we can listen in on their conversations using devices called bat detectors.

Most of the noises made by bats are impossible to hear, but you may still hear bat noises in your attic. This most often happens when bats become trapped in vents or walls, as they’ll make scuffling sounds as they try to escape.

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