How to get rid of bats in your house?
Next up for my blog – How to get rid of bats in your house. Shall we set a scene for this topic? Follow me now; you are laying in your bed all snuggled in, wearing your favorite footy pajamas. Dreaming of sugar plum fairies and just living in bliss. All the sudden there arose such a clatter, Santa? No, it is a bat, and it is in your room, and there are no gifts to be given. Confusion at midnight and fear for your girly shrieks now alerted the family to the bat’s presence inside. You spring from the bed and head to the stairs. Taking them two at a time to get to safety; aka where the bat is not.
Life or Death Decisions
Now you are faced with some choices. Do you take the bat on yourself, or do you call animal control to come and get it? If you’re like me and live in a small town, the nearest animal control is about thirty minutes away. Unless you count your trusty neighbor Don, with his twelve gauge in your house, which I do not. We obviously must take this bad boy on ourselves, so what shall we use as our capture device? Here are our options; we have a broom, we have a blanket, or we have our trusty empty Tupperware. Now, there are pros and cons to all these choices; let’s run through them together.
Weapon of Choice
When it comes to how to get rid of bats in your house, the broom has the best accuracy. At the same time, the broom lets you keep the most distance from the beast in question. Cons of this device are that once you hit the bat, you may lose sight of it. Which can be equally terrifying and because bats are such fragile creatures, death is likely to occur (which you should avoid as they are federally protected). Pros of using a blanket: You can have control of the bat if it has landed.
Additionally, you have a barrier between you and the bat. The cons include having to get closer to the bat. You might not have as much accuracy with the blanket, and the bat usually must be sleeping on a flat horizontal surface. Now, onto our last option for this scenario; pros to the Tupperware are apparent. You can capture it to take the bat outside with a nice thick layer of material. Cons are that you must get very close to the bat and if it’s flying, it will be nearly impossible to catch.
Did You Catch It?
You have reviewed your trapping devices, now, which shall you choose? The biggest go to we hear from first-time bat encounters is a blanket. People seem to have some success with that technique. The best thing you can do in this situation is to stay calm. Remember that bats do not want to be near you as much as you do not wish to be near them. They got lost in the walls and ended up in the wrong area. They were most likely going outside. Most species of bats are federally protected, and we want to preserve their life. Therefore, the safest route for you and the bat is always the best route.
Prepare Your Offense
You’ve gotten rid of that pesky bat that got loose in the house. Now, you can plan your defense against another “attack.” As I feel most Midwestern fathers say, “the best defense is a strong offense.” The best offense options here are calling a professional. Find out what you can do to make sure you remove any remaining bats in the house. All while making sure they can no longer come back to prevent this mid-morning strain on your heart. The thing about bats is this; the best way to make sure you are protected – is to make sure they have no access to the house in the first place. Now, you must decide how you want to go about that.
There aren’t a ton of ways to bat proof a structure. The two main ones we see are netting and making cone exclusion devices. Netting is the process of putting screen mesh along the exterior wall of the house. Around an entry point that the bats can go out, but they cannot get back in. The biggest downside to this is that most netting needs to be very flexible and is not generally made of metal.
Additionally, it takes a lot more of the product to cover a good “dinner-table size” portion of the exterior wall. When you are using regular mesh screening, if the bats are determined enough, they can even chew through it. So it is essential to make sure you use what is going to work best.
Getting the most permanent solution for the house is making sure the bats that leave the structure cannot come back in, and the most important thing about this sentence is they need to vacate. With bats only feeding every 3-5 days, if you lock them “out,” you are most likely locking any bats that did not need to eat that day, “inside.” While there is still time to fix this problem, as bats can survive up to 7 days with no food or water, we do not want to cause this issue in the first place. In case they wander more towards the living human space of the house.
Removing a bat from your house when you have just awoken because of an animal, child, or spouse noticing this issue can be a very stressful and scary situation. But just like any unforeseen disaster that hits your family, it is best to prepare and have knowledge of what to do. No, you maybe do not need to do any drills like you would for a fire or tornado. Even just knowing to close the bat off in a room alone if you can. Keeping animals and kids as calm as possible, and not touching the bat without a protective layer between you and it is good knowledge to keep in the back of your mind for any future encounters. We never want this to happen to people, but because bats are mammals, they are like most pests. They need warmth in the winter to make sure they can hibernate in safety.
When in doubt use a little acronym I just thought of as I was writing this blog on removing your bats. BATS=
A- Act fast
T-trust your instincts
The last one is the biggest as most of the time a bat scratch or bite is hard to recognize, so safety is essential when dealing with any wild animal that may get into your house. Getting rid of a bat or bats in your home can be stressful, but I hope this blog gave you some information to better prepare your house and it’s occupants for any late-night visitors.