One of the best ways to get bats out of your attic is to hire a professional to humanely remove the bats. An animal removal specialist can also help you determine how the bats entered your attic so you can take steps to block off these entrances. If using a professional bat-removal service isn’t an option, you can take steps to make your attic less inviting to bats. Use shiny objects or ultrasonic noise to drive bats out of your attic. You can even put up bat houses to discourage bats from invading your attic. They will roost in the bat houses instead.
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4 Ways to Get Bats Out of Your Attic
A colony of bats living in your attic can cause potential health risks since bats can carry diseases. If you believe bats have made a home in your attic, it’s essential to act quickly to drive them off. Here’s how to do it:
Let the Professionals Handle It
The fastest, safest, and easiest way to get bats out of your home is to hire a bat removal service. While this method does cost money, it is the most effective way to get rid of bats permanently.
- Experts know exactly how to find and remove bats.
- Professionals can properly clean up toxic bat waste so you don’t have to.
- Wildlife removal specialists know exclusion strategies that can prevent bats from reentering your attic.
You can also reach out to a local bat conservation organization. Someone there may be able to help relocate bats from your home. Additionally, a local wildlife rehabilitation center may be able to provide you with the contact information for a wildlife control service that will remove bats from your attic.
Give Them an Alternative
To keep bats out of your attic, install a bat house on your property. Here are just a few reasons to have a bat house in your yard:
- Bats are more likely to stay in a place with no humans if they have the option.
- Properly installed bat houses are proven to be effective in getting bats to vacate buildings.
- Bat houses help wildlife conservation efforts.
- The bats that stay in bat houses provide free pest control since bats eat bugs.
So, how can you get a bat house? They are available online and sometimes in home improvement stores. For the best odds of bats moving out of your attic and into the bat house, it should meet certain criteria according to Bat Conservation International. Bat houses such as this 3-chamber one and this 4-chamber house fit the bill due to their adequate size.
Use Bat Exclusion Techniques
The holes bats use to enter your attic can actually be used to get them out. Since you don’t want to trap bats in your attic, you can implement one of the strategies used by professionals to get bats to leave through a one-way exit.
- Inspect your attic to find the holes through which bats are coming and going.
- Be sure you can access the entry point from the exterior of your home, since that is where you can modify the hole(s) to get bats out and not let them back in.
- You’ll need ⅙ inch (4 mm) or smaller netting or this plastic mesh.
- Measure the mesh so that it covers the hole on all sides and extends 2 feet (60 cm) below it.
- Fasten the net just above the entrance with duct tape or fasteners.
- Secure the material on the left and right of the hole as well, so the mesh is only open at the bottom.
- You may also consider incorporating this small tunnel that allows bats to exit through a hole but prevents them from entering again.
Bats will be able to leave your home from the hole, but when they try to come in through it, the weight of their bodies on the net will close off the hole so they cannot get in. This method can be used on its own or in combination with other ways to drive out bats that are staying in your attic.
Try Ultrasonic Sounds
Studies show that ultrasonic noise can deter bats directly or by disturbing insects, a food source for many bats. Placing a device that generates these sounds in your attic might motivate bats to stay elsewhere. However, some bat species are less sensitive to acoustic deterrents than others, which makes this a very hit-or-miss method for repelling bats.
- This ultrasonic sound-emitting device can work to drive out bats, but it may not work for all species.
- Some devices work differently, so follow instructions that come with an ultrasonic sound product to maximize effectiveness.
- Solar-powered ultrasonic repellent devices are not recommended—they are staked into the ground and are less likely to repel bats in your attic.
These products require some finesse to determine the right settings for your particular bat problem. If after two weeks you do not see any changes in bat behavior, change up the settings on the device and try again. Different species of bat will react to different frequencies of ultrasonic noise.
How Do You Keep Bats Out of Your Attic?
To keep bats from returning to your attic, you need to find and close off the entrances the bats used. Only close up the entrances after the bats have vacated, whether in winter or after using a bat removal method. The quickest way to make your home bat-proof is to have an expert inspect it and follow their recommendations. If you want to bat-proof your attic yourself, follow these steps:
- Keep in mind that bats can fit into holes less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) big.
- Identify holes through which bats may enter and seal them.
- Caulk around windows to be sure they are sealed.
- Install covers such as vent caps, window screening, and a chimney cap to prevent bats from entering.
- Maintain the areas around your attic such as the roof, gutter, chimney, and siding through which bats may find a weak point and enter your home.
It is always important to make accessing your roof as safe as possible. Take necessary safety precautions and be sure someone is with you during your DIY home inspection.
3 Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Bats Out of Your Attic
Not all common bat removal methods are actually effective. Here are some you should avoid using:
- Lights may cause bats to further invade your home, possibly crawling deep into walls to avoid it. Plus, light attracts bugs such as moths, which are a preferred food source for many bats.
- Moth balls are highly toxic and cause neurological problems. Not only to bats and insects—moth ball fumes are also harmful to humans. It is not recommended to use them as a bat deterrent since they are likely to cause health problems and will not keep bats out.
- Trapping or killing bats is not only illegal, but dangerous. Bats carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans and pets. This is why licensed professionals are the only people legally allowed to handle them. Many species of bats are protected federally and locally as well, which makes harming them a class A misdemeanor.
Will Bats Leave Your Attic in Winter?
Bats prefer certain humidity and temperature in the winter so they can properly hibernate. If your attic does not fit the bill, they will leave to find more suitable accommodations.
- If the temperature dips below freezing for long periods of time where you live, bats will likely leave your attic due to a lack of bugs to eat.
- Bats hibernate at a temperature range of 30 to 45℉ (7 to -1℃) so your attic is likely too warm for them to hibernate in the winter.
- Bats hibernate from late fall to early spring.
When it is below freezing for extended periods of time, bats will migrate away from your attic. During winter, seize the opportunity to clean and seal your attic. This will prevent bats from entering when the weather is warmer.
What Should You Do if You Have Bats in Your Attic?
Bats can be a serious problem for homeowners, so it is important to know your options when bats take up residence in your attic.
- The best way to get bats out of your attic is to call a wildlife removal professional.
- Provide other options for bats, such as bat houses, which can draw bats out of your attic.
- Install ⅙ inch (4 mm) mesh on the exterior of entrance points to create a one-way exit.
- Install bat exclusion cones or tunnels designed to get them out and keep them out.
- Try ultrasonic sound devices designed to repel bats.
- Do not use poison, lethal traps, moth balls, or lights as these are ineffective and harmful.
- Note that harming bats is illegal and handling them is dangerous.
- Once you’ve driven bats out, keep them out by sealing the holes and cracks they use to enter your attic.
Getting bats out of your home without professional assistance is a process that may take trial and error. Keep in mind that although bats are a nuisance to many, they provide pest control services and are top-of-the-line pollinators with an important role to play in the natural world.