Wildlife Control 101: How to Protect Your Home From Bats

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • February 27, 2019
A bat is one of the most misunderstood animals in the pest community. Bats are often thought of as scary, blind “rats with wings”. People usually assume bats have rabies, and want to drink their blood.

All of the misconceptions surrounding bats could not be more wrong! While bats might seem scary to some, they play a very important role in our evening ecosystem. Bats are not blind, and they are actually relatively clean creatures—and they definitely aren’t out to drink your blood.

But just because bats are misunderstood, doesn’t mean they should be allowed to roost in your home.

Having bats live in or around your home isn’t good for multiple reasons. We want to make sure your home is prepped and prepared against bats—especially as baby bat season approaches this summer!

Tips and Tricks for Bat-Proofing Your Home

The most important step in protecting your home from bats is knowing where bats might be hiding, and recognizing the signs of a potential bat problem.

Where Bats Like to Live

Since bats are nocturnal creatures, they will try to seek out the darkest and safest spots of your home to nurse a colony. Usually, they search for openings around the higher part of your home, like a chimney or attic.

Bats are very small creatures—they only weigh a few ounces! Since they’re so small and thin, it’s easy for them to slide through cracks or underneath eaves. Because of this, it’s important to check these areas regularly for bats:

Attic

The attic is one of the easiest places for bats to reside. Attics offer warmth and shelter, and provide a safe space for bats to nest. Bats are very quiet creatures, so it may be months—or even years—before you notice bats are living in your attic.

Attempting to remove bats from your attic—especially once a colony has formed—is extremely difficult and should never be attempted by anyone other than a professional.

To keep bats out of your attic, try installing window screens and draft guards. You want to make sure any potential entry points are completely covered, with no cracks or crevices for bats to crawl through. Making sure your attic is properly insulated can help protect against unwanted pests, too.

Chimney

Bats may also decide your chimney looks like a good place to roost. Like attics, chimney’s offer shelter and safety. Plus, they stay nice and dark. While bats could get inside your home from the attic, it is much easier for them to swoop in through your fireplace.

To keep bats out of your chimney, install a chimney screen or chimney cap at the opening to keep bats and other pests out.

Signs You Have Bats in Your Home

Bats flying around your home

If you notice lots of bats flying around your home in the evening, there’s a chance you have bats roosting in your home.

Since bats are nocturnal, they will leave the roost at night to find food. Once you see the bats coming and going, try to track what part of your home they are entering and exiting. You may spot a crack you haven’t seen before, or there may be multiple parts of your home bats are using to get in.

Bat droppings

Probably one of the easiest ways to tell if bats are roosting in your home is guano. Guano, also known as bat droppings, can typically be found outside of the roost entrance on windowsills, walls, porches and more.

As the droppings accumulate, you may begin to notice a distinct smell. Since some homeowners don’t know for years that bats are roosting in their attic, this smell is usually the indicator.

Please note: If you notice guano around your home, especially in large amounts, it’s important you steer clear until it can be removed professionally. When guano builds up, it can cause a disease called histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is airborne, and can harm your lungs if the spores are breathed in.

Rustling or squeaking noises

Bats are usually rather quiet. However, you might hear them rustling around at night when they leave to feed, or soft squeaks coming from your attic or chimney.

Loud noises around the home, like slamming a door, might frighten the bats and cause them to move around.

Dark marks on the outside of your home

As bats come and go, they leave black or brown marks around their entry points. When they come inside, the grease and oil in their fur rubs off, leaving behind these dark spots.

If you notice unexplained dark spots on your siding, or around your roof or attic, you may have bats!

How to Safely Remove Bats

Removing a bat is one thing. Removing a whole colony is something else entirely. That’s why when it comes to proper pest removal, it’s best to contact the experts.

If one bat finds its’ way into your home through the attic or an open window, your best option is to try and quarantine it until a specialist arrives. However, if you are unable to do so, here are a few tips for safely removing the bat from your home:

  • Make sure you are wearing thick gloves. You definitely don’t want the bat to scratch or bite you.
  • Wait for the bat to land on low surface so it is easier to trap.
  • Very carefully, trap the bat in a cardboard box.
  • Once the bat has begun to calm down, slide a piece of cardboard under the box to ensure the bat is trapped.
  • Take the bat outside (preferably at night) and safely release it!

Please note: If you are ever bitten by a bat under any circumstances, see your doctor immediately. Bats are not vicious creatures and are not known to attack humans. However, if you encounter a bat and it feels threatened, it may bite. After all, it is a wild animal!

Bats Bolt At The Sight Of The Killingsworth Wildlife Removal Team

While these tips may work for a rogue bat in your home, removing a colony of bats is no easy task.

At Killingsworth, the first step in professional bat removal is an inspection, followed by proper bat exclusion. Once all of the bats have been safely removed from your home, we will sanitize the area to make sure there is no threat to your health, or to the health of your home.

Have more questions about bat removal, bat laws, or just about bats in general? Give us a call, or download our free guide, The Killingsworth Way, to learn more about wildlife control!

What'd You Think?

Comments are closed.