Friendly flying friends who eat bugs? Nightmare demons who haunt your dreams? People are generally fairly split on their opinions of bats. Whichever stance you take we can all agree that we don’t want them in our homes. Getting rid of bats in the home is a challenge since they can hide almost anywhere and of course because they can fly.
There’s quite a bit to cover when talking about getting rid of bats so let’s get started. First we’ll talk a little bat safety and then move on to removal and prevention.
Safely Getting Rid of Bats
Bats are fairly harmless when it comes down to it. They’re tiny and unless you live in the deepest, darkest jungles they’re not going suck your blood. The real safety issue with getting rid of bats is the possibility of rabies. Now only a small fraction of bats actually have the disease but they are the highest cause of rabies in humans. This is usually from mishandling of bats when trying to remove them from the home.
Always wear thick leather gloves when handling a bat! No exceptions. A single bat bite is all it takes to snag a case of rabies. Even if it seems to be dead wear the gloves when getting rid of a bat. Bats are pretty heavy sleepers in the daytime and could be mistaken for deceased.
If you are bitten or scratched by a bat or you suspect you have been bitten or scratched then get checked out immediately. Rabies is only effectively treated by a vaccine that must be administered before the virus takes hold in your system. Don’t get rid of the bat just to end up with rabies!
Oh! One more thing. Bats are protected so killing them is discouraged. An exterminator won’t be able to help you but there are some bat specialists out that can help you with the removal process.
Best Ways to Get Rid of A Single Bat
If you have a bat in your house, it will commonly sneak into your home looking for a cool place to sleep and get trapped. Then you have a flapping nightmare in the room doing endless laps around the ceiling. Hopefully you’ve never had to experience it. (It’s terrifying!) Anyway. A single bat isn’t that big of an issue since they are desperately trying to get out too and all you have to do is help them.
Turn Off Fans: Bats love cool places and many times are attracted to air conditioning and fans in the house. They think it’s an inviting cave entrance then freak out when it’s not. Immediately turn off all cool air sources so the bat calms down trying to find this nonexistent escape route.
Open A Window: A bat will get rid of itself if it thinks there is a way out. Open a window and remove the screen and the bat should recognize the exit and book it. Pick a window that will have a breeze blowing in it from the outside for best results.
Open The Door If it’s easier, open a door to get rid of the bat. The idea is the same. You want a breeze from the outside to attract the bat and make it realize there’s a better place for it. Give the bat some space and it should fly right out. If you’re too close to the door the bat will avoid it since it thinks you’re going to attack it. (Bats are really scared of us.)
Get A net If the bat has gotten trapped in a room with no windows or the bat is too scared to leave you might have to trap it. A fishing net can be used to get rid of a bat by trapping it or snagging it out of the air. Then you can rush it outside and let it go free. Just make sure you’re wearing your gloves since you might have to untangle it.
Wet Towel: A scared bat will sometimes get tired or slam into a wall causing it to finally land on the floor. If this happens then toss a wet or damp towel over the top of it. The heavy towel will prevent it from crawling out and getting free. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, wear the gloves when you do this. When you’re getting rid of the bat it can bite through the towel and into your hand.
Getting Rid of Nesting Bats
If you are getting bats in the attic then they are probably looking to make it their new home. If you suspect you have bats in the attic then do the following:
Go outside right at dusk and walk around your house. Keep an eye on attic vents and under the roof overhang for bats escaping. It might take a few nights to pinpoint the location as they are fast and tiny. You can also try at first light when bats are returning.
When you have spotted the location they are coming out from then get a ladder and look for the hole the bats are escaping from. It can be small…really small. Bats can come out of a hole the size of a nickel so look closely. A recently damaged vent or soffit is the most likely culprit.
Once you’ve found the hole cover the area with a heavy flap of canvas, leather or rubber. The idea is that the bats will push their way out the next evening to go eat but be unable to get back inside because of the flap. After a few nights the bats will give up and look for a new home. Then you can seal the hole and hopefully pat yourself on the back for getting rid of your bats.
You may also have some success with a can of dog/cat repellant and apply to areas where the bat is getting into the house. It’ll help with that little bit of extra deterrent. We’d recommend Keep Off sold at Amazon.
Professional Bat Control Management
If you’re not up for getting rid of your own bats than you can call a professional. It’s not cheap and they’re not going to show up and gas out the little devils. Professionals have to go about removing the bats in a way that won’t harm them since they are protected. They will have an eye for where bats are getting inside and how much damage they have done to your home. If bats have been a constant problem in your house then their expertise is worth it to help you to finally get rid of bats once and for all.
Alternative Bat Control
Bat Houses are a good idea if you want to keep the bats around, just not nesting in your house. They eat a ton of insects! You can either build them yourself, or order them from Amazon, like the Looker Products Triple Chamber Bat House.