Because there are restrictions on how to humanely and legally remove bats from your home, the best way to get rid of bats is with a bat valve. 

The United States is home to over 40 bat species (Arizona and Texas have the widest variety of bat species). The most common types of bats homeowners will find in their attic are the big brown bat, little brown bat, 

Bats play a vital role in the local ecosystem and can help the economy. Most American bats are insectivores. One bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour

There are six species of bats that are federally protected. It is a federal violation to use chemicals including insecticides, rodenticides, disinfectants, and mothballs to kill bats. Most states have restrictions on when bats can be removed. Most states have further regulations on when bat removal should happen.

How to Get Rid of Bats in Attic

The most effective and humane way to remove bats is by using a bat valve in conjunction with a full home exclusion. A bat valve allows for bats to exit your home but not re-enter. 

Once the bat valve is installed, all other entry points will be sealed, allowing for bats to only exit through the valve. The removal process typically takes 3-7 days. Our specialist will perform a final attic inspection before removing the valve. After removing the valve, the final entry point will be sealed, leaving your home bat-free.

Each bat control is unique, so you need to create or use a bat valve specifically for your situation. Most of the time, you only need one bat valve.

Bat Exclusion Devices

Because bats are not gnawers like rodents, bats enter preexisting holes. Hardware cloth 1/4-inch, caulk, sealant, and weather form foam strips can effectively block bats from entering. A stainless steel chimney cap with 3/8 inch wire mesh will protect your chimney from bats

How do bats get into my home?

Unlike other nuisance wildlife like raccoons or squirrels, bats cannot create their own entry point. They only need a hole the size of a dime. Typical bat entry points include soffits, eaves, gable vents, and loose shingles.

Why are bats in my home?

Depending on the time of year, bats are either in your attics or walls to give birth or to hibernate.

Bats tend to inhabit strucutres that have significatnt exposure to sunlight, are large, and are within 1/2 mile of a fresh water source.

Bats typically breed in late fall and give birth in May or June. Some pregnant females will roost in larger maternity colonies. Attics make ideal places for maternity colonies because high temperatures are needed for rapid development of their young.

If it is winter, bats in the attic will be hibernating (some species migrate). Do not disturb hibernating bats. You’ll need to wait until it’s consistently warm to evict the bats from your attic. 

If a bat is in your living space, the top priority is to keep you as well as the bat safe. Bats should never be handled with bare hands. Our wildlife specialist will use gloves specifically designed to handle animals and ensure the bat is safely released outdoors.

What are the Signs of Bats in the Attic?

You probably won’t see any actual bats in your home. You’ll notice a bat problem from signs like rub marks, guano, a strong scent of ammonia, and small openings. 

Bat Sounds

Bats make sounds that are two or three times higher than humans can hear. When flying mammals use echolocation, humans are only sometimes able to make out very quiet clicks. You might hear bats flying when they leave or return. As flying mammals, bats make fluttering noises with their wings. If you hear scratching that could result in bats climbing.

Bat Guano

Bat droppings, known as guano, are small and dark in coloration. The elongated pellets are crumbly and turn to dust when touched.

Bats cannot cause physical damage to your house, your crops, or your livestock. However, especially in large colonies, the accumulation of guano (bat droppings) can be dangerous.

Their collective droppings and urine will soak into the insulation and drywall below, developing a strong odor similar to ammonia or a cat litter box. Besides the smell, bat guano can remove paint, corrode metals, rot wood, and block ventilation systems. If too much poop accumulates, it can put pressure and weight on the drywall and ceilings, creating sagging and ultimately threatening the structural integrity.

Smudge Marks

Marks on the side of your house can be a sign of bats. When bats squeeze into your home, they leave behind rub marks. Bats cannot create an opening into your home, but they only need a hole the size of a dime. Typical bat entry points include soffits, eaves, gable vents, and loose shingles.

Do Bat Repellents Work?

Because some bat colonies return to the same roost year after year, it is important to prevent bats. Bat proofing your home is the only effective way to keep bats out.

Bat repellents like mothballs or aluminum foil are not effective and might be hazardous. Some suggest essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, cinnamon, or cloves will get rid of bats. There is no evidence strong smells will permanently get rid of bats from your attic or walls. In fact, there are no registered repellents are toxicants to use on bats.

Bats will leave your attic eventually. Whether it is a maternity colony or hibernating bats, they will eventually leave. Once they are gone, you can safely install exclusion devices.

What are the Health Risks of DIY Bat Removal?

Bats can transmit two serious diseases to people — rabies and histoplasmosis. Exposure to rabid bats is the leading cause of rabies in humans. Getting rabies is incredibly rare. There are 1 to 3 cases reported annually. Simply avoiding contact with a bat will protect you. If you do come in direct contact with a bat, contact your doctor or local public health official immediately. Bat bites are not always detectable. Sometimes they cause no visible marks.

Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease that grows in dark, humid areas with large accumulations of guano. The spores become airborne when guano is disturbed. Attempting to remove bats from your attic or cleaning up guano without the proper protective equipment can put you at risk to histoplasmosis.

Habitat Modification for Bat Prevention

Limiting a bat’s access to food, water, and shelter on your property can help protect your home from bats. 

  • Keep bright lights turned off at night. The lights will attract insects, and insects are a huge food source for bats.
  • Floodlights strung in the attic to illuminate all roosting sites may cause bats to leave.
  • Bats also drink a lot of water, so minimizing water sources around your property, if possible, is a way to prevent bats and other wildlife from being a nuisance.

However, with your home excluded, bats are great to have around. Bats will help reduce the insect population around your house, and they also pollinate many flowers and crops that we utilize every day. Bat houses are great ways to provide a safe place for colonies to roost outside of your attic.

Frequently Asked Quetions about Bat Control

What should I do if I find a dead bat?
Do bats hibernate in attics?
Should I call an exterminator for bats?

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