Bats are highly important and extremely beneficial for any open environment they happen to live in, but unfortunately, they’re a big problem when they have no choice but to roost in our attics. They can carry and transmit diseases if we make the unwise decision of catching them barehanded, forcing them to defend themselves through scratching and biting. Their guano can also lead to us contracting diseases such as Histoplasmosis, never mind the kind of structural damage large amounts of bats droppings in the attic can cause. Nevertheless, such interesting and helpful creatures need to be treated with respect and humanity.
If bats have all of a sudden started roosting in your attic, it’s a fairly sure thing that you’re dealing with a bat maternity colony. In this case, if the babies are already born, both common sense and the law will prohibit your from interference. You will have to wait until the baby bats mature enough to leave the attic, after which the colony will most probably disperse, and you can go ahead and properly decontaminate the attic, and seal shut all access points. Bats can get in through extremely small spaces, so meticulous inspection is needed. Installing a bat house near your home may be useful in deterring another or the same colony to invade your attic next year, but there is some valuable knowledge regarding bat houses you need to get familiar with before installing such a structure, so make sure you do your homework if you want your bat house to be a success.
How can you get rid of bats from your attic: If, like mentioned above, the colony hasn’t started giving birth yet, the most effective method of removal is through exclusion devices. This entails sealing up any access points but the primary one. Then, depending on the location of your primary point of entry, you will need to install an exclusion device such as exclusion netting or exclusion funnels. If you were hoping to get more practical advice or a step-by-step how-to guide, we’re afraid that that is an unrealistic expectation when on the subject of bat removal. So many variables, in addition to bats being quite vulnerable and easy to harm, make a general how-to guide an impossible task. The idea is to install a device that will allow bats to easily go out without getting hurt, but that won’t allow them to get back in. This is a delicate process that rarely ends well when not handled by an experienced professional. For this reason, if you’re having a bat infestation in your attic, we kindly encourage you to find an expert wildlife remover that has a couple of good years of experience in bat removal. A pro will know when and how to safely remove the bats, and with experience on his or hers side, the remover will be able to locate and seal shut all the points of entry available to bats in order to offer a permanent solution to your problem.
TRIVIA: In early February 2020, scientists became aware that the likely source of the Chinese Coronavirus was from bats. Read more about Did the Coronavirus Come from Bats?
Will Repellents Get Rid of Bats in the Attic?
Short answer? No. As far as commercial repellents go, there are no registered repellents for bats. And that’s simply because none of them actually work. And this is not just word-of-mouth information perpetuated by pest control professionals so that they can make an extra buck, this comes directly from the Federal Trade Commission. The internet can offer you as many bat repellent success stories as you want, but make no mistake, almost all of them are just paid reviews or false advertising, and those few that are not are most likely mere coincidences having nothing to do with the power of those specific products to repel bats.
As any wildlife removal professional can tell you, repellents – natural or otherwise – simply don’t work. The bats either adjust to the smell or simply don’t care. Even if it does bother them, none of the repellents available on the market can bother them enough to leave your attic, their cozy new home or, even more so, abandon their young.
Same goes for sound machines or strobing lights. Bats are able to fit in tiny spaces, so they can make their way into corners or down in soffits and eaves in the attic where the effect of these alleged repellents is minimal. Even if “hiding” from the strobing light and sound machine isn’t on the table, it will never inconvenience them enough to make them leave once they’ve installed themselves in your attic. Additionally, strobing lights are the bat version of Meals on Wheels, attracting delicious insects for the bat to feast on.
Mothballs and ammonia are two of those pest repellents that have been on the market for decades claiming to be successful in making bats leave. They didn’t work then, and they continue to not work. First off, mothballs aren’t at all eco-friendly, nor are they human-friendly. If you have a strong wish to inhale insecticides, by all mean, fill your attic with mothballs. Second, attics are ventilated, so forget about pungent smells that animals can’t bear. Natural remedies don’t work either. Predator urine will keep bats away as much as cinnamon will – not one bit.
While there are some health issues linked to direct contact with bat excrement, the risk of a bat giving you rabies is very low. Many people are concerned by rat-transmitted rabies, but the truth is the risk is not that real. This being said, bats do a wonderful job at eating all sorts of bugs and mosquitos, insects that can cause us more issues than the bats can. Regardless, due to the way bats have been depicted in popular culture throughout millennia, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to live with them in your attic.
So, what should you do to humanely and efficiently get rid of bats when no commercialized repellents or natural remedies work? Well, there is a repellent that works. Home repair. If bats have already made your attic their home, there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them except to execute a live exclusion. After the bats are removed, all entry holes need to be professionally seal shut. Of course, home repair also works perfectly as a prevention method.
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