Wondering how to get rid of bats in your Mississippi home? Let our experts explain how to make sure you and the bats keep safe.
Bats are truly incredible animals. As the only mammals to fly, they’re capable of pollinating flowers, dispersing seeds, and finding food in total darkness. Not to mention that insect-eating species are also pretty good pest exterminators themselves!
But if you have an infestation of bats in your home, you’re probably feeling a little less charitable toward these night flyers. When you notice telling signs that range from smelly piles of droppings to small squeaking and scratching, you’ll understand why these pests can be a nuisance to have around.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered when it comes to getting them out. Here’s how to get rid of bats, using a few simple strategies.
1. Seal Up Entrance Holes
In the daytime, bats love dark spaces for shelter, nesting, and slumber. In the absence of their natural habitat—subterranean caves and caverns—they’ll find the next best thing. Make sure that isn’t your house!
When you hear bats in your attic, it means there’s a way for them to enter your home from outside. Wall cracks, chimneys, and roof eaves can provide an inviting home for bats if you aren’t careful.
You can use a rust-proof metal mesh to cover holes while still allowing airflow. However, if you already have an infestation, you’ll want to be sure there are no bats present in your home before you lay it down.
2. Use Bat Repellent
For a humane method of deterring bats from returning to your house after their nightly outings, try a bat repellent. You can find repellents with natural ingredients as well as those made from artificial chemicals, depending on your preferences. Many of these will include strong-smelling essential oils, like peppermint or spearmint, to make a space unattractive without harming bats.
Apply the spray in strategic bursts around places you know the bats will be. This may include entry points and hollow spaces in your home or attic.
Be sure to follow any safety instructions on the product, of course, including wearing gloves or safety goggles as needed.
3. Add a Decoy Bat House
Sometimes, creating an ideal environment for bats near your home is all it takes to get your unwanted guests to move on. Don’t forget: bats are great for culling the insect population around your home, so while you don’t want them to move in with you, you may also want to keep them nearby.
You can build your own bat house from basic exterior-grade plywood, or you can buy one. Whatever you decide, make sure it meets two key requirements.
First, make sure it’s 15-20 feet above the ground and at least 10 feet from nearby vegetation. This makes it a little harder for possible predators to reach them. Next, don’t forget to make sure your house has multiple “rooms,” as bats prefer to have smaller spaces rather than a single large chamber.
4. Remove Nearby Food Sources
Bats may be attracted to dark spaces, but there can sometimes be an extra tempting factor: nearby food.
Here in Mississippi, we have a wide range of native bat species, from the silver-haired bat to the southeastern myotis. Most of these are insect eaters, though some also eat fruit—so it’s time to go outside and check out your garden.
Beetles, moths, and even pesky mosquitoes act as the diet for many of our common bats, so a simple insecticide used around your home can help take these bugs off the menu. Make sure to use a product that doesn’t harm the bats themselves.
For our fruit-eating friends, all you’ll need to do is pick any fruit from your garden, or to set up netting that prevents access.
5. Install an Exclusion Device
Wondering how to get rid of bats in your attic if you can’t be sure when all bats have left?
A bat cone or bat valve is a simple exclusion device that allows bats to leave your house but prevents them from coming back. Installation is easy: all you’ll do is nail the base to any opening the bats use, pointing the tube toward the ground to make it harder for bats to come back in.
6. Upgrade Your Lighting
Bats are most active at nighttime, and they prefer total darkness to rest. After a night of feeding, they tend to flock to areas that provide safety and comfort in the dark.
To make your home as unattractive as possible, upgrade your lighting to include more bright lights. When the bats are hunting at night, place a high-powered flashlight or even a strobe light in the area where they nest. Once they return to find the new light system in their comfortable corner, they’ll be more likely to search for a new home.
7. Overpower Their Sense of Smell
If you’ve noticed enough bats circling your home to start worrying, you may be wondering, “What do bats not like?” Because bats have a keen sense of smell, adding overpowering aromas to your home can make it less unattractive to unwanted guests.
Mothballs are a good place to start. This simple home remedy actually works because mothballs include naphthalene as an active ingredient. This chemical is toxic to moths, but it also causes nausea, dizziness, and even vomiting in bats.
In very high amounts, it can be lethal to them, but you’ll only need about 5 pounds of mothballs per 2,000 cubic feet to affect them. Try to place them as close to the ceiling as possible.
However, you’ll want to make sure you’re putting the naphthalene in an area that’s free of other pets or people, as it’s not healthy for most of us to breathe this chemical in large quantities.
Note, of course, that after the smell fades, the pests may return—but this may be a good strategy if you want to make sure the area is bat-free before adding other preventative measures.
While essential oils seem pleasant to us, bats find them pungent and overpowering. Strong smells like cinnamon, peppermint, and cloves are great options to deter sensitive noses.
To make this work, all you’ll need to do is mix a few drops of your chosen essential oil with two cups of warm water. Placing this mixture in a spray bottle allows you to spritz the places bats visit the most, making them unlikely to want to return.
8. Scare Them With Loud Noises
Bats hunt at night through a process known as echolocation. Through echolocation, they give off ultrasound, a frequency humans can’t hear. This allows them to “see” by hearing the sound as it bounces off nearby surfaces—including everything from huge trees to tiny insects.
To make your home unattractive to bats, disrupt their “sight” through the use of loud noises. Ultrasonic bat repellents are a great way to transmit sounds that are loud to bats but not humans. These devices can be great options if you’re wondering how to keep bats away from your porch at night without hearing loud noises yourself.
9. Use Their Reflection Against Them
Bats—along with many pests—don’t like sudden flashes of bright light. These flashes can be disorienting and frightening to them, especially when they don’t understand the source.
A simple way to take advantage of this is by placing any mirrors you have lying around the house where the bats like to hang out. Using this method in addition to extra lighting can make the space uncomfortable for the nesting bats, especially if you angle the mirrors toward where they sleep.
You can also use strips of foil as sources of light reflection, or you might want to hang strips of foil near the hole where bats enter your home. This by itself may not be enough to make a difference, but combining it with other home remedies can be useful.
Let Us Teach You How to Get Rid of Bats
These simple strategies can be a great way to remove small infestations of bats from your home, especially when you combine several of them at once.
However, we find that some established bat colonies are hard to uproot, making it difficult for homeowners to kick them out with the simple steps above. Longstanding infestations and large colonies can be problematic, and they may not respond to repellents or basic strategies.
That’s where our bat expert team comes in. With our expertise, we’ll help you figure out how to get rid of bats fast, with less guesswork and hassle. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our services and contact us to see how we can help!
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