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
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.
Note: When used in large quantities, there are health risks associated with mothballs.
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.
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
You can use rock wool insulation, expanding foam or fiberglass to close the openings.
6. Aerosol bat repellents
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
Try and make sure these balloons remain in motion if possible.
Choose mylar balloons that are shiny and reflective. Childrens’ party balloons work the best.
8. Hang Aluminum Foil
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).
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
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
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
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
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.
Cinnamon 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
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
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.
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.
- 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’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).