Are you wondering how to get rid of a bat in the house? As nocturnal creatures, bats spend their days hiding out in small crevices and cracks; in nature, these can be found hollow trees and caves, but bats can also find them in and around your home. Because they frequent dark, damp environments, bats are often associated with all things spooky and unpleasant — so when homeowners realize that a bat has found its way into their living space, most aren’t thrilled about it. While they are not usually aggressive, bats are still unwanted house guests that can potentially carry dangerous bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to humans.

Read on to determine if you have a bat problem within your home, as well as solutions a professional would take to remove them and prevent future infestations. Because it can be potentially dangerous to come in contact with these creatures, it is best to let a bat pest control expert handle these, like those at Pest Pros.

Where Might You Find Bats in Your House?

Most bats in North America are a lot smaller than you think. This makes it pretty hard to spot the quick flying mammals but they do have tendencies; bats like warmer temperatures, the dark, and less traffic. For these reasons, here are a few common places to find bats in your house:

  • Attics
  • Within your walls
  • Garages
  • Roofline of your house
  • Sheds and other outdoor structures

Because bats can carry harmful bacteria and viruses, it’s best to hire a professional to go hunting for bats on your property. If you do decide to check for bats without a professional, however, be sure to wear thick gloves and a jacket as they can carry rabies. Bats don’t tend to attack, but they will defend themselves just like most animals.

One good tip when looking for bats is never put your hand somewhere before looking. Bats can be anywhere and can squeeze through small holes. So make sure to point that flashlight before sticking your hand in.

Another tip is to check high before checking low. Bats are more likely to be above you on the ceiling, behind curtains, vent openings, and high shelves. Even with that being said, don’t forget to look down. These nocturnal creatures do in fact crawl and can be found under items on the floor. You might also find bat droppings, called guano, on the floor. Guano looks quite similar to mouse droppings so that would be an indication of bats living in your home. If you do find little pellets, proceed with caution because it could be dangerous to humans and we explain why later.

Steps to Getting Rid of a Bat in Your House

Once a bat infiltrates your home, the strong smell of their urine and droppings can alert other bats of their location and create a larger bat infestation in your home. The best way to prevent a bat colony from setting up camp in your attic or other dark living areas is to implement exclusion pest control measures that can keep them out for good. Bat-proofing a building is the only efficient and permanent way to eliminate bat problems. There are several steps that your pest control professionals will take to get rid of bats in your home for good:

  1. Inspection. Your pest control experts will observe your home to find out where bats are entering and exiting. This allows them to create a strategy for excluding the pests.
  1. Install a one-way exit device. A one-way exit device is installed at all existing entry/exit points currently used by bats. This can be done by using netting or tubes to cover these openings and will allow the bats that have entered your home to find their way out without inviting more pests inside. 
  1. Seal any other gaps or openings in the home that bats can enter through. Bats are unable to create their own entry points into your home. They are, however, able to enter through openings in your home that are as small as ⅜ of an inch. Once all of the current bats are excluded from your home, close all the gaps, even in areas of the home where bats weren’t living previously. 
  1. Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up. Once everything is closed and it seems like your job is done, make sure to clean up, deodorize, and disinfect all of the urine and droppings. Not only does it attract bats from returning, but bat droppings could also contain diseases that are harmful to humans so make sure to get thoroughly clean with professional gear.

Bat Prevention

While bat removal relies primarily on exclusion techniques, there are preventative measures that can be taken to ensure that your home is free of bats by discouraging them from entering in the first place. There are a couple of ethical ways that you can deter bats from entering the premises.

  • Build a bat house. No, not the “Bat Cave” — a bat house. Similar to a treehouse, you can build one or buy one to mount on a pole or tree. A bat house won’t necessarily draw bats out of your house, but it will invite them to stay outside of your home. Plus, there are benefits of having bats in your backyard
  • Apply natural bat repellent spray. A popular bat prevention technique is using a natural bat repellent spray. You can find repellents at most hardware stores and although most use natural ingredients, make sure to read the instructions carefully because it could be harmful to people and other animals. 
  • Consider ultrasonic repellent. You can also purchase ultrasonic bat repellents. These devices emit a sound that deters bats and other animals. A majority of products are safe for cats, dogs, and household pets, but be sure to double-check when you are shopping. 

There are a few other solutions that are marketed to consumers as solutions for bat prevention, such as ultrasonic repellent or natural bat repellent, that, put simply, do not work. In fact, because they give homeowners a false sense of security, the use of these repellents ultimately just prolongs the actual solutions, making it more difficult for professionals to regain control of the infestation once they’ve been called. Buyer beware!

Bat Exclusion During Winter

During the wintertime, bats like to hibernate in warm, dark, and safe locations. This makes your home an ideal location for bats to infiltrate for the season and may take a longer time to get rid of them from your home. Oftentimes, they will roost and raise bat pups during this time of year as well. While this is not an ideal situation for homeowners, this is a delicate one that requires a great deal of knowledge and tact to solve due to bats being a necessary part of maintaining environmental balance.

Because bats are an important part of our Pacific Northwestern ecosystem, there are strict laws set in place to protect them. Pest control professionals are aware of the best way to exclude bats from the home in the most permanent, ethical, and legal way, as designated by bat conservationists.

Following these guidelines, winter bat exclusions should be performed only if it can be determined that no bats are hibernating in the building. Bats can stay in hibernation for up to 183 days, so If bats are present and hibernating inside of your home during the winter months, their exclusion must be postponed all the way until springtime arrives.

Bat exclusion must also be postponed if a mother bat is raising bat pups inside of your home. If she is excluded from the residence while her babies are inside, they will be trapped inside of the roost and unable to receive the food and care that is required for survival. The goal of ethical bat exclusion is to maintain a healthy bat population in the area while keeping homeowners’ peace of mind.

How to Get Rid of Bats in the House – Conclusion

As you may have learned by now, bat prevention and removal is a complex task that requires professional gear and expertise. Keep your home and family safe by leaving bat pest control to the experts. With locations in Washington and Oregon, Pest Pros is the regional expert in pest control. Get a no-cost estimate today!

Even as bat “exterminators” at Pest Pros, we can’t deny it: there are plenty of positives about bats. They devour insects, support cave ecosystems, and pollinate plants, to name just a few benefits of these sky-dwelling creatures. Really, we could sit here and talk about the virtues of bats all day. Despite their inherent scariness, they’re very intriguing animals.

However, bats could be responsible for curing world hunger, and homeowners still don’t want them buzzing around their property. With this in mind, many homeowners wonder how to get rid of bats permanently. Read on as we examine how to get rid of a bat in the house and outside the home.

Signs You Have a Bat Problem On Your Property

While you might be lucky (or unlucky) enough to see bats roaming around your property, it’s not all that commonplace. Remember that bats are nocturnal creatures and live in hidden nooks, making it tough to get a clear visual. So, sometimes, you’ll need to perform your best Sherlock Holmes impression and put in a bit of detective work.

You’ll therefore need to know the main signs of a bat infestation, which include:

  • Bat droppings (a.k.a. “guano”) on your walls, ledges, and window sills
  • Odor from bat droppings
  • Bats flying around your property at night, whether they’re arriving or leaving
  • Black stains around entry points
  • Chirping and/or rustling noises

Disclaimer: don’t get too concerned if you see a lone bat circling your home — that doesn’t necessarily indicate any infestation. They might live elsewhere and just eat insects in your yard before heading back to a different roosting spot. A strong indication of an infestation is if the sightings are more frequent, combined with the signs listed above.

Bat “Extermination” Isn’t Usually an Option (Nor Should it Be)

Before you do anything to solve your bat problem, you must know your local laws. 

Why is it crucial for you to perform due diligence? Because most states protect bats and make it illegal to exterminate them, which isn’t surprising given how vital these creatures are to the environment. In Washington state, for example, all species of bats are classified as protected wildlife and cannot legally be hunted, trapped, or killed.

With that, the suggestions below will focus on how to get rid of bats without killing them. With that in mind, we also suggest installing a decoy bat house in your yard. This way, your unwanted tenant will have somewhere to roost once you’ve gotten rid of them. 

Now, we understand if you’d wish to not have any bats around your property at all. But hear us out — there’s a method to the madness. First and foremost, the bats will have a place to stay, meaning they won’t be tempted to keep trying to sneak into your house or onto your porch. Furthermore, they’ll eat insects on your property and be “playing on your team,” so to speak.

Here’s one last point we’ll make before moving forward: you need to act fast at the first sign of a bat pest control problem. Otherwise, you’re leaving your property vulnerable to structural damage and the costly repairs that come with it. If you’ve identified a bat infestation on your property, contact Pest Pros for immediate remediation. 

Where Are Bats Commonly Found On Your Property?

As natural habitats continue to get wiped out by urban sprawl, bats more frequently become tenants inside homes as a means of roosting. How are these nifty creatures able to pull off such a feat? 

Well, bats are tiny and can slide through holes and gaps under an inch in width. There’s essentially no crack or crevice too small for a bat seeking out roosting sites, which typically include:

  • Roofs
  • Eaves and soffits
  • Chimneys and dormers
  • Space beneath broken shingles
  • Areas behind gutters
  • Your porch

How To Get Rid of a Bat in the House

Here’s a breakdown on how to get rid of a bat in the house (or many bats in the house):

  • It’s important to know what type of bat you’re dealing with since each kind has its own maternity season. A mother might get barred from your home, leaving its babies behind, who’ll die (and remember, bats are protected, so this isn’t good, never mind the smell it’ll leave behind). Thus, you shouldn’t take action if a bat is in your home during its specific maternity season. 

  • You’ll want to figure out where the bat is entering from so you can strategize. Typically, entry points are chimneys and vents, roof ridge caps, etc.

  • You can get rid of bats with a one-way exit valve placed at their entry point so they can leave the building without coming back in.

There’s a bit more to this process. But we cover this topic in a more comprehensive guide to getting rid of bats from inside your home.

How to Get Rid of Bats On Porch

A bat can find some of its favorite roosting spots on your porch after they’re finished eating a hearty meal of insects and need a place to rest and digest. Porches draw in bats is due to the nearby lights, which attract mosquitoes and other insects. In short, you’re caught between a rock and a hard place unless you want to be swarmed by mosquitos every time you come outside. Fortunately, we can give you a few tips on how to get rid of bats on porch overhangs: 

Wait Until Winter – The first tactic could plainly be waiting for the winter until the bat leaves due to the cold. While some bats are big enough to hibernate INSIDE your home during the winter, your porch won’t offer enough heat.

Mylar Balloon – However, you might not have the patience to wait until winter. You also might not want to chance the bat getting into your home. So, try hanging a helium-filled Mylar balloon near the roosting spot. If the balloons sway or are suspended by aluminum foil, it should repel the bats from your porch. Hanging chimes or mechanical owls can also help if the balloons are too unsightly for your tastes.

Adjust Roosting Surface – Unlike the two above suggestions, this last one is more longer-term as a solution. Specifically, try altering the roosting surface with something like plexiglass to prevent bats from hanging like they can on brick or wood.

Keep in mind that, while these “solutions” can be effective ways of repelling the bats from your porch specifically, it’s common for the bats on your property to take up residence elsewhere instead — possibly even within your home. The only effective way to eradicate a bat infestation is to call in professionals like Pest Pros. 

Getting Rid of Bats in Your Roof

One of your best bets, when a bat gets into your roof, is using mothballs since they smell naphthalene, which the nocturnal sky-dwellers do not like.

You’ll have to replace the mothballs frequently if you want them to do their job and get rid of the bats because the odor fades quickly. Also, note that you’ll need to use an abundance of mothballs to generate a sizable enough smell, which will then seep into your living space.

Lastly, bats don’t like bright lights that much, so consider using Christmas decorations to repel them from your roof area as well.

Getting Rid of Bats in Winter

Now, we’ll first point out that bats are most active in the early fall

All the same, you still might need to concern yourself with getting rid of bats in winter. Specifically, big brown bats are sizeable enough to handle winters inside your home. They’ll find the optimal space to hibernate in your walls and attics, staying cozy and protected from the harsher, frigid elements. 

While this might not seem like a huge issue since the bats are supposed to be hibernating and, therefore, sleeping, there’s more to the story. Drastic changes in winter temperatures lead to bats waking up mid-hibernation. They’ll flap around and wreak havoc around your home until they find a more comfortable spot. 

Your best bet for preventing bats from roosting for the winter is covering your entry points. Observe where the bat leaves at dusk, then hang clear plastic sheeting or bird netting over those areas. 

DIY Isn’t an Option: Call Pest Pros to Get Rid of Bats Permanently

Given the protected status of bats and how crafty these pests are, there comes the point where DIY simply won’t do. You’re limited in how much you can do to free your house of bats by the law, and oftentimes, using hardware-store repellents will only prolonge an actual solution and allow the infestation to grow, making it more difficult for the professionals to control once they’ve been called. For the sake of your own sanity, getting into an epic turf battle with bats isn’t always the best idea.

There comes a time when you need to type “bat removal services near me” into the old Google machine to find a professional to handle the situation. For instance, calling Pest Pros to deal with your bat problem will ensure the pests are removed from your home humanely and permanently.

If you have a bat problem that needs to be dealt with promptly and professionally, contact Pest Pros today.