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Get Rid of Bats in Your House

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How To Remove A Bat From A Room In Your House

If a bat has gotten into the living areas of your home the best thing to do is call a pest control company or wildlife specialist. A small percentage of bats carry rabies and you don't want to risk being infected. If you are unable to get a professional to come to remove it and prefer to get it out yourself, do this with great care.

1. The first thing you should do is shut the door to the room and turn on the lights so it doesn't escape to other areas of your house.

2. Open the windows, it might fly out on its own.

3. Cover yourself up with a coat, hat and gloves. You will probably have to search the room to locate the bat.

4. The bat is probably frightened and will hide. It most likely has landed in a secluded area of the room such as the back side of the curtains, under a pile of clothes, in the clothes hamper, closet, etc. Spraying a large amount of air freshener or an insect aerosol in the room should irritate the bat and make it come out of hiding.

5. Once you have found the bat carefully cover it with a small blanket, a pillow case, or garbage bag.  A small fishing net or swimming pool skimmer will also work. I have caught plenty of bats using my old swimming pool skimmer.  After it is caught release it outdoors. It's a good idea to release it at least five miles from your home to prevent it from it from wandering back to your property again.  If it has come in contact with people or pets it should be captured and killed so it can be tested for rabies by the health department.

little brown bat.jpg
Little Brown Bat


Do Moth Balls Work In Repelling Bats?
In my opinion moth balls (naphthalene flakes) usually will not help in repelling an active infestation of bats, although they may help to prevent a re-infestation after they have already been excluded from your attic. The odor from moth balls is only present for three or four weeks and is also slightly toxic to children and pets.

How To Seal Bats Out Of Your House Permanently
Exclusion is the best way to  eliminate them and allows them to safely leave their roost sites but does not allow them to return. Once all have been safely excluded, all roost sites should be permanently sealed with caulk, foam, netting or bat tubes. In many states bats are protected. There is no spray that can be used to keep bats out. 
Mesh Netting

Sealing their entrance holes with mesh netting keeps them out. They will be able to exit, but wont be able to re-enter. Place the mesh netting over openings, attaching to your building with staples, nails, screws,etc. Secure the netting on three sides, leaving the bottom free (see diagram to the right). Be sure to extend bottom of netting about 12 inches below the opening leaving enough room for the bats to squeeze out and exit the house. They should not be able to re-enter through the netting. Leave netting in place for at least a week, although permanently would be best. Make sure all bats have left your home.  


bat netting.jpg
Fine mesh netting

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Brown Bat Picture

How To Make Bat Exclusion Tubes

Exclusion tubes can be used to safely let them out and they will not be able to re-enter. Use a tube such as a paper towel tube, an empty caulk tube, or roll a piece of wire screen into a tube, that is ten to 12 inches long. The wire screen tube seems to work best. Cut a six inch piece nylon stocking from the upper end of the stocking. Make sure there is an opening in both ends of the stocking. Duck tape the piece of nylon stocking onto the end of the tube. Place these bat exclusion tubes into the holes and openings where bats are getting in (outside your home). They will be able to leave through the tube, but  wont be able to re-enter. (See diagram below).

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Picture of bat droppings

Bat Dropping information

Bat droppings look much like mice droppings, except that bat droppings seem to be found in piles and mice droppings are usually found with single pieces scattered around. Fresh droppings are shinny black, and soft.
Old droppings are dull black, hard and crumbly.

CAUTION!!! Bat Droppings Can Be Toxic. Hire An Expert To remove them. 

Bat droppings are known to cause histoplasmosis,which is caused by the airborne spores that are produced by droppings.

If you decide to remove droppings from your home: Lightly spray them with water and bleach. This will kill the spores and help to prevent dust when you sweep or vacuum them up. Wear an approved respirator. Seal openings to living areas of your house with plastic.

What should I do if I think I have been bitten ? 
First of all don't panic, less than 1/2 of 1% of all bats carry rabies.
Look closely at the bite, a bat bite is no more than a pin prick. 
If you have been bitten,wash the bite area with plenty of soap and flush with water for at least ten or 15 minutes. 
Notify your doctor, or your local hospital emergency room 
Call your local health department 
If you can, catch it , but do not come in contact with it. Use  leather gloves, a net. Put it in a bag, can, or box and  cover it with a lid. Do not damage the head, because the brain is what is used for testing. The Health Department will want to send  it off  to check for rabies.

Once an exposure has happened, a series of 5 shots will be given to you by your doctor. The shots are not painful, and are not injected in the stomach as they were in the past. The shots are given to you in the arm. If the animal was tested, the results of the test will decide whether or not  you will get the shots. 

Bats are useful
Bats should never be injured or killed. They are an insect killing machine.
Many farmers in America place bat houses around their fields because the bats will eat insects that are harmful to their crops. Bats also help to pollinate many of the fruits we eat. 
In many states they are protected. Less than 1% of all bats carry rabies.

Contact Me

Readers With Bat Problems Looking For Answers

Bat Urine Odor
First, let me say that I LOVE your website and have passed it on to a couple of friends.
My question - I have been finally able to clear my bedroom from a few bats that had taken up "resting" on a very small ledge type area that is part of the exposed cathedral framing of a log home and is located right over my bed. Since the "residents" have left, it seems that on certain days there is still a lingering odor (I presume urine) especially when it is warm and a bit humid.
I have cleaned/treated this area using  a vinegar/ baking soda solution, citrasolve, windex, a bleach solution, odor eliminating sprays and any other  product or combination of products that I thought would eliminate this odor. Even after using all these concoctions,  the odor has maybe diminished a very tiny amount. Since I can not replace the wood, I wondered do you had any ideas or miracle cures in this  odor elimination.
 I appreciate any help you can give me.
Thankyou for your compliment and email. Probably the best product you can use to get rid of urine odor is Natures Miracle Urine destroyer. I have used it many times on dog and cat urine and have had great results. Have never used it on bat urine but it should work. You can find it on Amazon and many hardware stores also carry it. Its not expensive. Sorry, I do not know of any home remedies to remove bat urine odor. 
How Do I Know If I Have Problem With Bats In My House
Check the outside of your home for droppings. Bat droppings are small and look a lot like mouse droppings.They are usually found stuck to the siding where they are entering your home. Also check your attic for droppings and urine odor. Do a walk around of your home at dusk to see where they are exiting. Check closely around the chimney for spaces where they can squeeze through. Another favorite roosting area is behind the shutters.

Bats in August
I have read your article and hope you can help us. We live in Buffalo NY and for the past 4 years in August we have had bats in our home. It seems to be the first or second week of Aug. usually hot, humid weather. My husband has been the one to encounter the invaders on most occasions. Usually about 1 or 2 am. and in the living room of our home it comes swooping in. We have been in a dilemma of there entry however. We have a three story home our attic has been finished and it is an apartment. We do have a fireplace which has a screening on the chimney. We have found one in our basement flying around lights my husband hung to keep them out. We have also hung baskets of moth balls. We cant seem to figure out there entry. Our tenant on the 3rd floor had one bat 2 years ago. I have not noticed any of there excrement anywhere, however we have a very high structured home and unable to see the third floor eaves to check these. I just would like to know if you have any other suggestions or home remedies we could use.  We are discouraged and not looking forward to Aug. it scares the heck out of us at night when one is swooping all around our high ceilings and the 2 of us are trying to remove it. I hope you have some other suggestions for us.
Thanks Discouraged in Buffalo!
August is the month when young bats venture out on their own without their mother. It is very common for these young bats to get lost and end up inside a house. In many cases they enter through a door or window that has been left open. Also chimneys are common places of entry. Be sure the top of your chimney is sreened off and double check to make sure yours is sealed up tight. Chimneys are common places where bats will enter into your basement. Check the outside of your home for droppings.Bat droppings are small and look a lot like mouse droppings.They are usually found stuck to the siding where they are entering your home. Use a pair of binoculars to check the high hard to see areas of your house. If any small openings are seen they must be sealed up either after 10:00 pm after the bats have left for the evening or by using a bat exclusion tube. Be sure and check for bats behind your shutters which is also an area where the can be found roosting.

Bats Attacking Kids In Swimming Pool 
My kids use to love to go swimming after dark in our pool, until the bats started showing up. Every night around 10 PM they start swooping down at the kids in the pool as if their trying to bite them. I worry about bats and rabies so I don't let my kids anywheres near the pool after dark. My daughter will be turning 16 next month and wants to have some of her friends over that night for a pool party but I have told her only if we can find a fast way to get rid of the bats, otherwise she will have to have her party in the daytime. Do you know of anything that will work to keep them away. 
Answer: Most likely their not swooping down to bite the kids, but to get a drink of water. It's a common thing for bats to swoop down to get a drink of water in creeks, ponds, lakes, and pools. Heres a couple ideas that might be the solution to your problem. 
1. Install bright flood lights around your swimming pool. Bats hate light. 
2. Purchase a swimming pool canopy. You can get them for around $200.00 on eBay. A canopy will prevent the bats from swooping down. 
Hopefully these things will do the trick.

Bats In Apartment House

A friend of mine lives on the third floor of an old apartment building-located on a military school campus in Indiana. The building has been converted to apartments, and is in fairly poor condition. During the winter months, it is heated with steam heat. In the spring, infestation of bats are routinely problematic.
She owns two house cats, and for the sake of both her and the cats' health, nontoxic pest control methods are preferred.
Please let me know what you may suggest.

Hi, Thanks for your question.
In most cases an exterminator is necessary to seal out the bats. She should contact her landlord about having the bats removed. It is the landlords responsibility to keep the building bat free. She also might want to report the problem to the health department, since bats can present a danger to humans with the transfer of rabies. Electric bat repellers,bat repellents and moth balls are usually a big waste of time and money in getting rid of bats but sometimes help in preventing them. All holes and crevices the size of a quarter or larger on the exterior of the building should be sealed up with caulk or wire mesh. One of the entrance holes should be left open until after all the bats have left usually around dusk or later. The hole should then be sealed up with caulk, fitted with a bat exclusion tube or sealed up with mesh netting. If the netting is stapled on the top and also the left and right sides, their should be enough room for the bats to squeeze out through the bottom but they won't be able to re-enter. Once the bats are excluded from the building repellents may be useful in preventing a re-infestation. Bats should never be killed and in most states they are protected by law. They are responsible for consuming many harmful insects such as mosquitoes and moths.

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