How to Get Rid of Bats How to Get Rid of Bats

Bats get a bad rap. In mythology they're considered monsters. Maybe that's because over time bats can destroy your home. Bat urine and droppings destroy wood and ruin other types of building materials, so they can create noticeable damage. They will also eat your garden's fruits, and some bat droppings contain microbes that can create respiratory problems in people. Don't let your bat problem go that far, and start getting rid of them now.

Think Humane

In many places, bats are a protected species. This means killing them is breaking the law. There are plenty of non-lethal ways to get rid of bats without offing them entirely.

When to Act

A bat flying in the air.

Don't just leap into a bat-removal project. Wait until night time before you take action. This is when bats are out hunting, which means you're less likely to seal bats inside your home. That's a problem you don't want to deal with later. You also need to act before maternity season begins, or after it is over. If you don't, you could cut baby bats off from their mothers. This means the babies will be left inside your home, where they will certainly die and stink.

Most bats have their maternity season in spring and summer, typically April to August. If you can identify the type of bat that's pestering you, great. Look up the maternity season for that particular bat. Chances are, you're not a bat expert. So start in March or wait until September to take care of the problem, and you'll be in the clear.

Observe

Don't know where bats are getting into your home? Wait until dusk, and then sit outside and very quietly observe. Look to see where bats are flying in and out of your house, and you’ll be able to pinpoint the epicenter of your bat activity.

Hang Mothballs

Bats hanging upside down.

Mothballs are despised by bats. Place mothballs inside where bats have taken up residence. Not only will the bats leave, but they won't ever come back. Bats truly hate mothballs and avoid them, even if that means moving away permanently. You can hang them up inside or outside the house wherever bats are a problem. Tie a few into some hardware cloth and hang them up anywhere you've noticed bat activity. Don't use too many at a time because it's bad for you, and make sure the balls are in a well-ventilated spot. Mothballs aren't effective forever, so you will need to swap them out every few weeks.

Caulk It

Search the exterior of your home to find where bats are getting in. Be particularly aware of areas where the roof hangs over the house. Bats can get into the smallest nooks and crannies, so seal up every little hole you find with caulk or some other sealant to keep bats out. Even a 1-inch space can be enough for a bat to get inside, so leave no crack uncaulked.

Hang a Bat Box

A bat flying at night.

Make your own bat box, or pick one up from a home store, and hang it somewhere close to where you've seen bat activity on your property. Bats will be happy to move into the bat box, even if you have a bat-friendly attic they enjoy, because they just can't resist these perfect little homes. Once the bats are inside, you can relocate them far away from your home. Just don't put the bat box in your neighbor's yard. Choose a wooded area where they will be happy to reside. Place the box in a shady spot, and they can live out their days happily.

Clean Up

Be sure to get rid of any bat excrement that remains. Put on gloves and eye protection, because bat droppings are very dangerous. You may even want to wear a respirator before you attempt this, and many recommend calling a pest-removal service to clean bat poop because it's so toxic.

Once you’ve driven bats away and removed any leavings, your home will be safe again. And now that you know how to get rid of bats, you can keep them away for good.

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