15 Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bats

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home remedies to get rid of bats

Bats like dark, quiet, undisturbed roosting spots and man-made structure provide the perfect abode. Bat smell and the acrid smell of bat droppings are often the biggest clues as to where they are roosting but you can expect these unwelcome guests to roost in the attic, unused rooms, roof or porch. You can catch histoplasmosis from inhaling bat droppings so getting rid of bats should be made a priority. Be aware that if you want to remove bats from your home, you may find there are local laws preventing it. But there is nothing saying you can’t prevent bats from entering your house or deter bats from roosting in the first place. So why not try and make their lives as uncomfortable as possible so they move on themselves? Want to know how to get rid of bats? Then try out our home remedies.
how to get rid of bats

How to get rid of bats

1. Mothballs

mothballMothballs, also known as naphthalene balls, are one of the best remedies to get rid of bats. These balls not only repel bats but keep bats away from house.

You can find mothballs easily at pest control stores. Tie them in a soft cloth and hang them in the attic or wherever they are roosting. The effectiveness of moth balls as a repellent depends on the ventilation.

If your home has proper ventilation, the effectiveness of naphthalene balls will be low (2). These balls should be frequently replaced to maintain effectiveness (3).

Note: When used in large quantities, there are health risks associated with mothballs.

2. Sealants

sealantIf you want to know how to stop bats coming into house, the only foolproof way is to the seal the home.

Get a ready supply of netting materials, sealants, and hardboard. Now find where the bats are roosting and closely monitor their entry points.

Pay close attention to where the roof joins the walls of the house. This is usually the entrance point.

Once the bats leave their roost at night in search of food, seal their entrances and immediately clean the area of any bat poop stains using bleach. You can also use steel wool, oakum or foam rubber to close the openings (6).

If you want to deter bats from roosting in your attic, then place some naphthalene balls after the bats are out hunting. You may have missed an entrance but the mothballs will finish the job.

3. Phenol

phenolThe smell of phenol is an excellent bat repellent. The noxious smell is an irritant to their sensitive sense of smell.

Buy white phenol from the supermarket and use a spray bottle to spritz it all over the areas where bats are roosting.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle phenol crystals around the roost. Phenol is quite volatile so it needs to be replaced regularly for the effect to be maintained.

Repeat spraying the phenol will discourage the bats from roosting as the odor is too much (7).

4. Repair Walls

repair homeThe roof or the walls of your house may have small holes. A hole that is only ½ inch wide is enough for a bat to get inside. Repair the walls and seal the entry points (8, 9).

You can use rock wool insulation, expanding foam or fiberglass to close the openings.

6. Aerosol bat repellents

bat repellentThere are also special aerosol pet repellents sprays available in the pest control stores. These sprays prevent cats and dogs from chewing furniture or from coming too close.

The repellents contain bitters and peppers which are irritant to animals with sensitive noses.

You can use these sprays as bat repellents as well. Bats do not like pepper spray and you can prevent bats from roosting in the attic or roof with these commercial products.

As with all bat repellents that use smell, you have to repeat spray to maintain the deterrent. (11).

Note: Don’t spray it when bats are present on their roosting spot (13).

7. Mylar Balloons

mylar balloonsThis is one of the more creative and pleasant ways to chase bats away. When the bat colony is out hunting at night, hang Mylar balloons (filled with helium) around the roost.

Try and make sure these balloons remain in motion if possible.

The bats will be too scared of the balloons to return to their roost. (14, 15).

Choose mylar balloons that are shiny and reflective. Childrens’ party balloons work the best.

8. Hang Aluminum Foil

aluminum foilAluminum foil hangings not only produce a chime-like sound but they also bathe an area in shards of light.

Bats have incredibly sensitive hearing and rustling aluminum foil is literally painful for the bats to hear.

Both the sound and also the light reflections disturb bats. Use this technique at the entry point or in their nest (16).

9. Mirrors

disco ballHang small mirrors in the areas where bats are roosting. Extend some electrical lighting close to the mirrors or leave a long-life flashlight focused on the mirrors.

Once you turn the lights on, these mirrors reflect light over the roost. Bats will not roost in these conditions. If you have a disco ball, then this works the best.

Using the mirror technique will drive bats away.

10. Water Spraying

sprinklerThis is a very simple remedy for getting rid of bats: all you need is a long hose pipe. Spray water on the bats in the daytime when they are roosting.

Motion sensitive sprinklers used to deter cats from your lawn may also work if sensitive enough.

This will drive bats away but does not harm them at all.

Be careful not to flood lower floors.

11. Mechanical Repellents

ultra sonicNoise created by ultrasonic sound emitter devices can be used to drive bats away from your home. Bats hear in ultrasonic frequencies and bat repellent sound devices are available to buy.

However, getting rid of bats with sound has had mixed results, but they are worth a try.

Attics can also be cooled using fans to make the temperature unsuitable for bats (17).

You can also use motion activated floodlights to discourage bats from the area (19).

12. Christmas Décor

christmas tree lightsIt is not Christmas, but the Christmas decorations lying unused in your basement can come in handy when trying to get rid of bats.

If you want to know what scares bats away, it is shiny, glittering objects.

Take the rice bulbs, bling balls, and glitter materials and hang them in the bat colonies of your roof or attic.

They work even better if you turn the Christmas tree lights on. Christmas lights that alternatively flash with random patterns will scare bats the most.

13. “4 The Birds” Gel

bird gelThis is a gluey ‘anti-bat’ gel available in stores all over the world.

Apply this gel at the entry points of the bat roosting spots in your house. Also paste it on the rafters where the bats are roosting.

Bats hate to come into contact with these gels and will soon roost elsewhere.

Similar to the gel, there is also “4 The Birds” liquid available on the market to keep bats away from house. It is designed to repel crows and pigeons etc, but it works as a bat deterrent.

Note: Solution given above is a temporary solution. It does not guarantee permanent removal of bats.

14. Cinnamon

cinnamonCinnamon is another excellent bat repellent. Take powdered cinnamon and sprinkle it in the bat colony. You can also add finely crushed cinnamon powder to water to make a cinnamon bat spray.

You can also use cinnamon essential oil.

This is an effective and a non-toxic way to chase the bats away from your home.

15. Eucalyptus essential oil

eucalyptus oilThe smell of eucalyptus oil, eucalyptus leaves or fragrant eucalyptus gel annoys bats. However, eucalyptus essential oil is the most effective bat repellent.

Simply add a tablespoon of oil to an equal amount of pure alcohol (this makes the oil soluble in water), and then add the mixture to a pint of water. Fill a spray bottle and get to work.

The eucalyptus solution will deter bats from roosting wherever it is sprayed.

Similar to eucalyptus, peppermint oil also works as a bat repellent.

16. Bat House

bat houseThis is a simple method where you have to identify the bat entrances and block them from entering.  But at the same time, provide an alternative roosting place, known as a bat house.

First bat-proof your home:

  • First, take a night watch to identify bat entrances.
  • Seal holes to prevent reentry
  • Bat-proof your home during fall or winter (22).

When your house is bat-proofed, provide an alternative roosting box or bat box to house the bat colony(21).

They can be made or purchased. Simply attach it to the side of your house, near the old entrance. It is not a given that the bats will take to their new home, but at least you tried.

Bat Poison

bat poison Some of you may be wondering how to poison bats. A note of caution.

There is no commercially available bat poison nor are there any recipes for homemade bat poison that we are aware of. The reason is simple.

Bats eat insects and so to ingest bat poison, you will have to poison the insects outside.

Not a viable solution.

They will not eat rat or mouse poison if you sprinkle it in the roost.

It is almost certainly illegal to poison bats and even if it weren’t, we wouldn’t advise it. While there may be a viable bat poison spray that would kill bats as they roost, you really do not want rotting, dead bats in your roof or attic. It is an obvious health hazard.

Focus on exclusion and deterrent techniques.

How to get rid of bats in your houseDo’s

  • The best season to get rid of bats is just before their breeding season. February to March is the appropriate time to prevent bats from entering your house (23).
  • Bat exclusion can be done at night only when the bats are out in search of prey (24, 25).
  • If you are living in a country where bat conservation is enforced by law, you should call a professional to deal with your bat problem  (26).
  • Repeat bat deterrent plan at least for a week after they have left so that the bats never return towards your home again.
  • After you have removed bats from your home, pay close attention to small stains on your roof, attic, etc. If you don’t clean up the bat poop stains completely, it will encourage the bats back to your home (27).
  • Deter bats from roosting in the attic by keeping the area cool. Bats don’t like low temperatures (28).
  • To avoid the entry of bats in the house use chimney caps, window screens and draft-guards beneath doors to attics (29).
  • Fill the plumbing and electrical holes with caulk or stainless steel wool to prevent entry of bats (30).

Don’ts

  • Don’t try to catch or handle bats, they tend to bite and they may have rabies (31).
  • Avoid using pesticides and homemade bat poisons to remove bats from your house. Killing bats is illegal and dead rotting bats that are hard to find may pose noticeable health problems. The smell of rotting dead bat is a nightmare for all! (33).

10 COMMENTS

  1. Many repellent products do not work. In my experience, they do not affect bat behavior. But you can perform a do-it-yourself exclusion of bats, by installing screening on their exit hole, which allows them to fly out but not back in. This page briefly touches on time of year for this but it is crucial information that should be stressed up-front. You can’t remove bats in late May, June, July, or early August. It is called the summer maternity season. Bats in the attic are colonies composed entirely of females. All USA colonizing bat species give birth to their young in the late spring, usually May, and the young cannot fly until mid-August. Under no circumstances should you install screening to keep bats out, or do any kind of bat exclusion, until the baby bats can fly. To be safe, wait until at least September before doing any of the work described above. Otherwise, you will kill baby bats!

  2. We have no clue as to where they are coming in, they show up after we’re in bed. We’ve killed a few with trying to get them out, it’s one at a time that they show up. Need HELP!!!

  3. We just figured out what the ‘droppings’ are and now we need to get rid of some bats. They are behind a shudder on the front of our house.
    I guess we’ll try some of the suggestions, starting with mothballs when they leave for the evening. Then go from there,

  4. I have them in my attic and they get into our living space my children are terrified!
    There is so many places that they could be getting in we have tried to remove them with sealing off the chimney and adding netting but unfortunately they return each yr. It is a huge job and even bigger expense to try and have our home free of them.

  5. I have one on the side of my house, which I think use to come in through the vents(outside) up in the attic, I have since closed up the vents on both sides of my house, but this bat keeps showing up. Can I use the moth balls just in that one spot. I know moth balls irritate cats too, and I don’t want the cats to stop hanging out…cause they keep the mice away. I do have eucalyptus oil too…how would that work?.

  6. Mylar balloons really work if there is a specific space that the bats are frequenting. Two or three helium filled balloons, replaced about every 10 days, discourages them immediately and they get out of the habit for that location.

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