Bats in the Attic

How to Get Rid of Bats In the Attic - Getting rid of bats in a home is one of the most difficult tasks a homeowner might have to face. Bats colonies are protected by law, so eliminating them from an area can be very tricky. Bats residing in a home are most often female bats looking for a place to raise young. Birthing colonies can number into the hundreds and will return to the same roosts for hibernation or general living. While bats are beneficial to the environment, the mess they can leave in your attic or eve is worth removing them from the area. Guano, or bat waste, has very little odor, but it does contain the fungi that causes histoplasmosis in people. A colony of bats can easily cover an attic floor in waste. Bats are also one of the top carriers of rabies and any contact should be reported immediately to the health authorities.

Sometimes you need to get rid of a bat that has mistakenly flown into your home through an open door or window. Despite the unnerving, erratic flight of the creature, a bat will readily leave a home as soon as the opportunity is detected. Keep all pets (especially cats) closed in a separate room. Gently herd the bat into another area of the home. Close the door and open all the windows. Usually within a few minutes the bat will leave. Do not attempt to handle the bat unless it has landed and is reluctant to fly again. Bats can bite and transmit rabies, and their teeth are so fine that most people do not even acknowledge contact when it happens. For a reluctant bat, use a thick towel or heavy work gloves to remove it from your home. If the bat has come in contact with any humans or house pets, the animal needs to be turned over to the local health department for rabies testing.

Bat colonies in a home are a completely different ballgame. Bat colonies are not mistakenly inside your home, looking for any chance of escape. These winged mammals are very deliberate in their roost selections and they will inhabit a space for their entire lifespan. Removal of these colonies requires the intervention of a professional. Bat colonies must be removed with special traps which are placed on the outside of the roost entry. These traps prevent re-entry into the home and keep the bats restricted in a special container until they can be relocated and released. It is very important to make sure all the bats have been trapped. Infants or adults can easily be left inside the building.

Once the bats have been removed, your home needs to be examined for entry points. A bat needs only a tiny hole to gain access to a home. Roofing joints, vented eves, chimney openings and loose shingles are all areas of a home prone to gaps. Bats will not chew through material the way mice and rats do, so putty or hardening foams are acceptable to use as patches. Chimneys should have special screens to prevent bats from living in the interior of the pipe. Smoke has very little effect on bats other than making them sleepy, so starting up a roaring fire will do you no good.

A gap to the inside of your home may not be the only issue. Overhangs and open patio roofs, awnings and shade treatments are all ideal places for bats to roost. Special netting can be installed to prevent bats from lodging in these areas.

Any waste left over from the bats should be cleaned by a professional company due to the serious risk to humans of fungal infection. Special masks, eye wear, gloves and clothing must be worn to prevent contamination.

Because of the complex nature and laws surrounding bat removal, it is not recommended for a home owner to attempt this task without professional guidance. Bats are not one of the nuisance animals that can be easily eliminated with amateur knowledge.

Learn more about these other animals: raccoons in attic - rats in attic - mice in attic - possums in attic - bats in attic