Bats are one of the worst pests to have in your house. Once they have made themselves at home in your attic, bats leave toxic droppings all over your rafters, squeak during the day, and may even get out into your living space where they bump into lightbulbs and bang into walls. Bat colonies are very stubborn and can only be expelled from your house during certain times of the year, if at all. If you are at a loss about how to get rid of bats in your attic, rest assured the process is not easy but can be effective if all the proper steps are followed.
Step One: Inspect Your Attic
You will need some kind of protective gear, potentially even a respirator, to go into the part of your attic where the bats are living. If you take a look well after sunset the bats should be out feeding; if you go up there during the day, be careful not to disturb the bats with your movements or flashlight. Knowing where they are roosting will give you a better idea where to look for the bats as they exit and enter your attic.
Next, take a look around the outside of your attic. Any crack or hole larger than a half an inch is a potential entry point for bats. According to the Humane Society, bats do not make their own openings but take advantage of spaces already open in your siding or along the eaves, making their doorways difficult to locate.
Step Two: Get to Know the Bats
Choose to either watch the bats leave around dusk or return before dawn. Go outside and pay attention to the spots where you found openings near your attic. Eventually you should see a main location where the bats are leaving or returning. This is their primary entrance/exit. You might think the next step is to simply seal up this spot, but that would only force the bats in and out of their secondary entry points to eat and return.
If you haven’t already, this might be a good time to call a professional. You can hand over the information you’ve gathered to them, and they should be able to effectively diagnose the problem and devise a plan of action. They also have access to the equipment you might need to get rid of the bats.
Step Three: Evict the Colony
You are now ready to kick the bats out of your attic. This cannot happen right after their young are born since the whole colony never leaves at once during this time; some bats always remain behind with the younger bats. Some variety of bats leave for another location in winter, meaning you will have a whole season that is bat-free. If your bats are there all year round, the best you can do is wait for them to all leave to eat.
This next step requires all secondary exits and entrances to be completely sealed. Again, a professional is best at recognizing which spaces a bat can use. Some materials are better than others for sealing your home against bats. They provide a resource guide of sealing materials. By installing a screen, funnel, or cone made for bat exclusion you can make sure each bat can leave to eat but cannot return through the primary entrance. This may take a few days to complete and could reveal secondary entrances that must still be sealed. Eventually, your attic should be empty of bats.
Step Four: Seal Your Attic
Once you or the pest control expert you hired is sure all the bats are gone, remove the exclusion device and seal the primary entry point. Some homeowners have success putting up bat houses elsewhere on their property, claiming it dissuades bats from even trying to reenter the house.
If you’ve figured out how to get rid of bats in your attic, keep them out with preventative measures like keeping your house sealed tightly and performing regular inspections of your attic space. Bats are a stubborn problem, but you deserve to have you attic back and can reclaim it with these simple steps. Just be sure to use caution when confronting bats or any other household pest as animals and their feces carry diseases harmful to humans.