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How to remove bats from your home

Here's How to Remove Bats from Your Home.

While bats are intriguing and beneficial creatures, if they get into your home, they can become really annoying. Starting in mid-August (for most of the USA) you will have a window of opportunity to rid your house of bats relatively easily. Here's how.

First, you will need to provide alternative housing for the bats before you start excluding them from your home.

Information on locating and mounting your bat house can be found on this site here. (scroll to the bottom of the page.)

The next step is to determine where the bats are coming/going from your house. There may be one - or many - ways bats are getting into your home. You may be able to find these entry/exit points by going into your darkened attic in daylight and look for light leaks. Or, you may be able to observe the bats coming and going.

If there are multiple points of entry, you will need to seal permanently all but the most obvious point of entry (you need to leave one entry point to allow the bats to leave.)

Once you have eliminated all but one entry point, you will need to devise a way of allowing the bats to leave, but not reenter. There are two basic ways of doing this.

  1. Each night after the bats leave, temporarily plug the entry hole, so they cannot return in the morning. If any bats remain, the next day, open the entry hole to allow the remaining bats to leave. You may need to repeat the process for several nights. (Note, depending upon your situation, this method may require climbing ladders at night. In which case we cannot recommend this procedure. Use your own judgment.)

  2. You can construct a "check valve" device that allows bats leave, but not return. They can be made from wire mesh or from PVC pipe. Here is a link that describes the wire mesh bat check valve. Here is a link to a commercial tube bat check valve. The idea behind the tube is that the bat leaves, but the material is too smooth to allow the bat back in. As you can see from these links, you can easily fabricate either typle of check valve yourself.

The timing of when you do your bat removal is very important. Your bat removal must be done between mid-August and mid-May. This is the time when the young bats have been weaned and can fly, but the bats are not yet breeding again. This time frame is appropriate for North America. Bat removal at any other time is inhumane, and will trap bats in your home, creating other problems. (You might check with a local extension agent as to when bats occupy roost in your area.)

Once you have eliminated all the bats from your attic, you will probably be left with smelly and dangerous bat guano. The removal of bat droppings should be left to professionals. Disturbing bat guano causes guano dust to float through the air. When inhaled by humans, it causes histoplasmosis.

These procedures should work, but every situation is different. By providing an alternative roost, you not only get the bats out of your house, but retain the benefits of having bats around.