Published on June 27th, 2017 | by Aitor Menta
How to Get Rid of Bats
Bats are considered to be the only true flying mammal and are generally non-aggressive. They may have small teeth mainly used for eating insects, but they can bite you in self-defense like any wild animal if you handle them improperly.
Bats can get into the house either solo or move in as a family. When a solitary bat flies into a home it could only be a lost youngster and will eventually find its way back outside through an opening. Moving in as a family is a different story. They should not be allowed to enter human living areas and it is still considered unhealthy to be living with them because of urine and droppings they secrete.
GETTING RID OF BATS IN A SAFE AND HUMANE WAY
In some countries bats are already considered to be endangered species. That is why getting rid of them from your house should be done in a safe and humane way. According to the Bat Conservation International (BCI), it is illegal to use chemicals to get rid of them, like poisons or pesticides.
Bear in mind that removing a single bat is different from removing a group or family of bats. You also have to wear gloves when handling them, for you and the bats’ protection.
- You can follow these guidelines when a solitary Bat does not leave your home:
You need a small container with a few small holes and a piece of cardboard for the lid. A small box will do but should be big enough for the bat to fit in it. In some cases you might need a net.
- The bat will surely get tired after flying. So when it lands, cover it with the container in one hand while slowly slipping the cardboard with the other hand. If it won’t land for some reason, then use the net to gently catch it.
- Wait until it is dark (since bats are nocturnal) before you release it outside. Since they cannot fly from the ground, hold the net or container up while opening the lid.
If the bat is unable to fly after releasing it then it could be injured or sick. Put it back into the container and cover it again with the lid. Make sure you will not suffocate the animal. Seek professional help by contacting the local animal control office or a wildlife rehabilitator.
As for a group of bats, it may not be that easy at all. You just cannot trap and relocate each and every bat because they will simply return, thanks to their powerful homing instincts. You also cannot start catching them with a net since it will cause an alarm and you would eventually be swarmed by a colony of flying bats.
Below is a general guideline to get rid of Bats:
- Determine where the bats are roosting and how big the group is. Are they in the attic, inside the house or at the basement? Are there baby bats (pups) around? Remember that you cannot get rid of nursing female bats until the pups are big enough to fly and fend for themselves.
- Identify the entry point. You will usually see the black or brown stains (as mentioned before) near the surrounding area.
- Set-up one-way exits. The Bat Conservation International recommends the “one-way door” method, in which the bats will be leaving from the same holes they enter but unable to return. You can install these one-way tubes or cones with valves out of the existing holes that the bats are already using. You can use caulk tubes or plastic pipes and for constructing the one-way valves you can use light-plastic netting with a mesh of around one-sixth inch or smaller. Then, you have to seal the openings located at the exterior of your home to 1/2 inch or larger using special materials like metal fabric or screens. Make sure to block all holes, cracks or vents. These should be done very carefully so as not to leave any bats trapped inside the house.
- Clean the nest after all the bats has been gone. The area where they nested will definitely be full of urine, feces, parasites, possible dead bats and other biohazards. Protect yourself by wearing gloves and proper masks with filters, air scrubbers and vacuums. You don’t want to get infected nor infect other members of the household when they come in contact with you after such clean-up.
Consult an expert if possible
It seems that the above mentioned steps in getting rid of bats at home are very straightforward. However, you may not have the proper knowledge and experience to handle animals from the wild. That is why it is advisable to seek professional help. You might be charged for consultation and services rendered but it is absolutely worth paying them if you want to avoid damages to your property or inflict injury to the bats, to yourself or to other members of the household.