While bats can seem scary, they’re often shy and benign. That said, you don’t really want them in your home. If you need to get rid of bats in the attic, it’s time to learn about their characteristics and behaviors. From there, you can figure out how to treat the home and prevent them from returning.
Though you may not want to hurt the bats, you don’t want them nesting in your home. This article talks about different methods of getting rid of bats humanely and offers advice on how to bat-proof your house in the future.
Top FAQ’s About Getting Rid of Bats
Physical Characteristics of Bats
- Webbed wing structure and general shape
- 5-foot wingspan for ‘megabats’ and weighs 2 pounds
- 6-inch wingspan for ‘microbats’ and weighs less than 1 ounce
- Sporadic and swooping flight pattern
- Can look like a Chihuahua
- Can live alone or in colonies (with up to 1,000 bats)
Life Cycle of Bats
A bat can live up to 20 years, but the females have slow reproductive rates (up to two babies a year). You also have to consider that bats have many natural predators, so most of them don’t die naturally from old age.
Mating season happens in the falls when the males and females go into hibernation. When the pups are born in spring, the groups come together to create colonies. Mothers have to leave at night to get water and food, and then they come home to nurse.
After one month, the pups fly away (often in summer). Typically, young ones aren’t accustomed to the area, so they seek residence in your house.
Reasons Bats Pick Your House
If you see a bat nearby or in your house, it’s probably because you live very close to their food source. They eat mosquitoes and moths, but they also nosh on fruits and plants.
Typically, bats like well-shaded and dark locations to roost during the day. That means your attic is the perfect location.
Bats tend to like humid and warm climates, making your house a perfect home for them.
Inspections of the House for Bats
If you want to get rid of bats in the attic or think you have them, you should inspect the entire home. Look for:
- Signs of Damage – Bats can only get into the house through an existing crevice or hole and can’t tear apart the materials. Look for bat droppings (guano). You may also notice mold because their waste is the perfect option. It’s also possible for a bat to get stuck in the wall, so you could smell the decomposition.
- Find the Home – If you suspect that you’ve got bats, look behind the shutters, in the chimney, and under the eaves. You may also notice them in the attic around wires and pipes.
How to Get Rid of Bats in the Attic
Though bats are not vampires, they do look a little creepy. They’re not often aggressive, so you shouldn’t be afraid of them. However, they’re not particular about where they stay and can easily use your attic as the right choice. This is problematic for you and your family, but there are some great treatment methods to get rid of bats in the attic.
1. Locate the Bats
Before you can develop a plan for getting rid of bats, you need to know all the places they’re coming in and out. That way, you don’t miss any.
- Look for any openings in the roof or attic.
- Watch the building before sunset to see if any bats fly out and make notes of where they come from.
- Inspect the attic, paying close attention to dark corners.
- Use a ladder and take a flashlight to get into the eaves and corners of the roof.
- You’re sure to see brown stains and oil from urine and guano.
2.Seal Off and Exclude Bats
Once bats find your attic undesirable, you should figure out how to get rid of bats in the attic permanently. A one-way exclusion device fits on any hole where bats use it as an entryway. They’re often one-way tubes or valves where bats can get out but can’t get back inside.
After you treat the attic with repellents, use this device to make sure no more bats are there. This requires you to do another inspection. Pay attention to the areas where bats roosted to make sure none remain.
When you’re sure that there aren’t any bats left and know where they’re coming in, you can seal off the entry points to avoid future infestations. This step can take many materials, such as caulk, wood, shingles, plaster, and more.
3. Bat Repellents-Effective or Not?
The next step is to make the living space inhospitable for bats. That way, they want to move somewhere else. There are a lot of companies marketing bat repellents; however, use caution if you decide to purchase. There is no harm in trying bat repellents; but data to support the effectiveness of these are not conclusive. Options to try to repel bats include:
- Ultrasonic repellents – An ultrasonic bat repellent emits a high-pitched wave of sound. It irritates the bats, but you can’t hear it. There are different options, and some of them offer motion detectors. That way, they only turn on if they notice a bat and can save battery life.
- Liquid or gel repellents – Store-bought gel and liquid bat repellents have many ingredients in them. However, they often non-toxic and taste/smell bad. They generally come in spray form, and it’s best to wait until they leave at night. You’ve got to reapply them every 30 days to keep them active.
Clean Up-Bat Guano
When the bats are finally gone, you should clean up the mess to avoid damage. Wear a face mask and long sleeves so that you don’t come into contact with the guano. Due to the severe health consequences of dealing with bat guano, most homeowners choose to hire a company specializing in bat guano removal.
If there are bat droppings, HEPA vacuums are recommended. You can also scrape the area first before vacuuming. Bat guano can contain histoplasmosis which is transmitted to humans through the air. Respirators are a must if you plan on cleaning up bat guano yourself.
You should also throw away any affected carpeting, rugs, and furniture. Then, scrub the area with a special cleaning solution that can break down any biological matter.
Bats can be very hard to get rid of, and they primarily invade your attic. If you can’t figure out where they’re coming from and want to get rid of bats in the attic, it might be time to call a professional for help.
Otherwise, these tips should help you figure out their roosting spots and get them out of the house. From there, you can seal it all up and protect yourself from future issues.
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