Are they elegant creatures from horror mythology, or troublesome flying pests? A protected species, bats have been a part of myth and folklore for centuries but are actually just everyday mammals. Unfortunately, they can prove to be a significant and potentially deadly nuisance when abandoning their usual habitats and nesting inside buildings. Here are several effective and proven ways to ensure that these winged intruders are no longer in your life.
1. Seal their entry ways.
During the evening, wait outside your building and observe where the creatures are entering and exiting. Sealing up these passages, which can be extremely small, mind you, is an important step. Bats can crawl into almost any area! But sealing their entranceways can prevent them returning.
This step should not be done during the summer mating season as the young, flightless offspring will be trapped inside and die. Not only is this inhumane, but it can lead to sanitation problems and is also a violation of the law in certain areas of the world.
2. Hang bat netting.
Similar to yet stiffer than a regular window screen, bat netting is used to prevent the creatures from entering structures and/or creating holes that they can fit through later on. In contrast to mice and rats, bats do not try to chew through the netting and will soon give up.
This method is quite effective, but setting the netting up can be quite cumbersome and your structure will not look especially attractive if more than a little is covered in it.
3. Give the bats a home.
Bats are looking for a place that provides safety for them and their pups. One way to get the creatures out of your structure is to give them one of their own, which costs approximately $75-$300 for the building materials.
Somewhat resembling the much more widely seen equivalent for birds, bat houses can be a fun project for the do-it-yourselfer in your family. The bats will stay away from your home and you have dealt with the problem humanely. You can even watch them flying about at nighttime by using this approach!
4. Hang some balloons.
This will not work on the inside of your home, but apparently does help with bats roosting outside. It sounds silly, but if you have bats living under the overhang of your porch, hanging helium filled Mylar balloons close to the roosting spot can help.
The balloons will blow in the breeze, and that movement is often enough to interfere with the creatures’ echolocation ability, which they use to locate their home roosting areas. Their resulting confusion will stop them from coming back to this spot.
5. Use fiberglass insulation.
Bats love to roost in high places, and this makes your home’s attic a prime target for them. In addition to sealing up entryways from the outside, make sure your attic’s fiberglass insulation is intact, layered, and covering all the necessary areas. This helps to properly insulate the house as well as making the creatures’ entry more difficult. That’s just a smart and savvy solution! An added benefit is that fiberglass insulation irritates bats’ skin, making them less likely to stay near it.
6. Clean up your property.
The reason you have bats inside your building may be due to the fact that your property is so inviting to them. Bats like to make their home inside dead trees, so cut down and clear away any that might be nearby.
Bats are also attracted to standing water. If you cannot remove the water, cover it with bat netting so that they cannot access it. Doing everything that you can to make the area around your structure an unwelcome area for bats is a good way to ensure that they do not come back.
7. Bring in professionals.
Bats can be quite dangerous, and a bite from an infected one could leave you with rabies. If you want to play it safe, call in a professional exterminator. After doing a survey of your property, they will decide on the best course of action and offer you an estimate.
Professionals will identify the areas where the creatures most likely invaded and offer suggestions or actions on how to repair them. Most will also clean up the bat guano, which can actually be fatal if inhaled due to the presence of a virulent fungus that it has inside.
The best solutions to your bat problem all require some degree of cost or effort. The following alternatives are cheaper and easier, but buyer beware.
8. Use electronic devices.
As bats possess extremely sensitive hearing that allows them to navigate through low-light areas, they are sensitive to certain frequencies. Consumers can purchase electronic devices that emit a sound bats reportedly find especially annoying, which prompts them to flee areas where they should not be.
Humans and pets allegedly cannot detect the sound, making this a simple way to eject bats from your belfry. However, the effectiveness of these devices is largely in doubt and the Federal Trade Commission has criticized manufacturers for failing to back up their claims with evidence.
9. Leave out mothballs.
Composed of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, this longtime form of pest control emits a toxic vapor that is fatal for moths. This method was long considered to be effective in controlling bats, but this has come to be highly disputed.
Even if mothballs were effective, you should not be considering them anyway as killing bats is illegal. You can also forget about any other kinds of poisons you might also have been considering as they also may affect the health of your family and pets.
10. Commercial bat repellent.
As with roach motels, ant traps, and other lines of insect defense, various companies have released forms of bat repellent. Often advertised for containing all-natural ingredients, these can be found on the shelves of your local hardware and superstores. However, while this seems a very handy and simple solution, there is little solid evidence available to suggest that they have any real effect.
Bats are fascinating creatures that are very helpful in controlling the insect population. However, when they relocate to your home or business, they can present a significant hazard and even damage and devalue the property. Remember that is against the law to kill bats, so be patient and stick to our suggestions. Make your home safe again and feel good about using humane practices by doing so.