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How to Get Rid of Bats

SIX STEPS TO GET RID OF BATS:

  • STEP 1 - Inspect inside the attic, and observe the house at dusk and danw, to identify the species of bat and the entry and exit holes they use to enter the building.
  • STEP 2 - Climb a ladder and climnb the roof and identify all entry holes and gaps, as small as 3/8". Seal most of these areas shut with caulk or other sealant. Leave the primary exit holes open.
  • STEP 3 - Install the appropriate one-way exclusion doors on the primary exit holes. Could be funnels, screens, or nets depending on architecture. The bats must be able to fly out but not back in.
  • STEP 4 - Watch the bats at dusk and dawn, to ensure that they can properly get out, but not back in. If there's a problem, remove the one-way doors immediately, and re-position after a day or two.
  • STEP 5 - Leave the functional exclusion up for at least 3 days. Once you are certain all the bats are out, remove the exclusion devices and seal the holes and gaps shut.
  • STEP 6 - Clean and decontaminate the attic. Remove all guano, and fog or spray with an enzyme cleaner.
How to Get Rid of Bats in the Attic
Bats in the attic are usually female bats looking for a safe place to raise their young. There are a lot of legal issues when it comes to bat removal, and this is one situation that is best left to the professionals. Bat colonies are protected by law and cannot be killed or relocated. The best way to eliminate bats from an attic is by installing a one way door which will let the bats exit the building but not re-enter. This process may seem simple, but it cannot be done when baby bats are present or you will have a number of baby bats starving to death inside your attic. Bats will remain in a roost year round if it is warm enough, and if not, they will migrate away but return in the spring. This is why is it so important to seal up your attic so bats cannot enter and become nuisances.

How to Get Rid of Bats in the Basement
Basements are similar to caves; dark and usually a constant temperature. Bat colonies are drawn to this type of environment. Once they find a roost, bats are reluctant to leave and they will return to the roost every year if it is accessible. Preventing access is the only real method of bat control since the animals are protected by a number of laws and regulations. You cannot legally kill bats and they cannot be trapped and relocated. So what does this mean for bat removal? The only effective means of bat removal is the installation of a one way door at the exit points of the basement. The adult bats will be able to leave but won’t be able to return. Potential complications with this involve the presence of baby bats. Baby bats won’t leave the basement with the adults and if the adults can’t return, the baby bats will eventually die. In large colonies, this can mean hundreds of dead baby bats decomposing in your basement. For effective bat removal, it is recommended that you employ the expertise of a professional to help minimize this type of dilemma.

How to Get Rid of Bats in the House
A trapped bat in the home is not uncommon, especially during the warm summer months when homeowners leave windows open after dark. If a bat has flown into your home, do not swat the animal with a broom or other tool, and do not sic your house cat on it. Pick a room in your home with large windows. Turning off the lights, guide the bat into the chosen area, opening all the windows. Leave the bat in there for the night. Chances are the animal will be gone in the morning. If the bat is injured while in your home or is reluctant to move or fly, place a vented box or container over the rodent and call a wildlife rehabilitator. Do not handle the bat. In many areas of the country bats are the primary carrier of rabies. Handling a bat unnecessarily can result in potential health concerns. Most counties will require you to report bat exposures and may require the bat to be euthanized and tested to the virus.

How to Get Rid of Bats in the Barn
Barns are another primary place for bats to set up residence. Barns often have high roofs with lots of beams and hidden places. Hay lofts are only disturbed once or twice yearly, making the rafters dark and dusty roost areas. Bats in the barn can be very difficult to remove because of the nature of the barn itself. Most livestock sheds are left open for the large animals to come into at will. This open-all-the-time policy can make bat control impossible. For bats in the barn, the barn must be able to be sealed during the hours of bat activity: dusk and dawn. The doors of a barn are not usually the exit points for bats. Watching where the rodents emerge from the building will key you into where your one way door trap needs to be installed. Excluding bats from the barn is the only way to eliminate them. Bats cannot be poisoned and they cannot be trapped and relocated. Legally, bat colonies are protected and can’t be moved or killed. This makes bat control difficult. Most bat situations warrant the help of a professional. Even if you are able to install the one way doors to keep the adults from coming back, baby bats left behind can cause serious problems when they crawl into corners and die. A professional will be able to tell if baby bats are present and will be equipped to go in and removed the entire colony.

Go back to the main Bat Removal page for more information about how to get rid of bats.
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