The buildings we live in, especially our houses, are sanctuaries to us. We do not like it when any pesky intruder enters. Many of us know how to respond when we see a common trespasser such as a bird, mouse, ant or insect. However, few of us know what to do should we find bats in the house at night. While the prospect of an encounter with a bat may seem overwhelming, there are steps you can take to avoid a bat situation. And should the need to extract a bat arise, Central Plans Bat Removal is here to help!
It’s A “Batty” Situation
Learning more about bats and debunking some of the common myths will help you successfully avoid an uncomfortable encounter. Television, books, and folklore have depicted bats as scary creatures. This perception causes most of us to be afraid of finding a bat in our homes. While we should exercise caution during an interaction with a bat, as we would any wild animal, bats are not as frightening as they have been portrayed.
Bats are an endangered species. Their populations are declining, and natural habitats are diminishing. Bats are vital because they balance our ecosystem by eating insects, assisting with pollination, and dispersing fruit seeds. Should you unexpectedly find bats in the house at night, take extra caution and care to preserve the bats. While bats do not typically bite humans, they may become aggressive if provoked or scared. To avoid a surprise meeting, you should understand why and where they roost.
Why Are Bats In Our Homes?
Historically, bats have created nests in places such as caves or tree hollows. Over time these natural habitats have decreased, and bats have faced difficulty finding shelter in the natural environment. The lack of available homes has forced bats to roost in human-made buildings either for a season or exclusively, depending on the species of bat. Buildings are an ideal nesting place because they provide a temperature-controlled environment and are safe from external threats such as predators. In such a safe location, bats can comfortably raise their young during times when it may be harder to find a natural place to nest.
Where Do Bats Go?
Bats typically prefer human-made buildings or bridges to roost. They will live in occupied or unoccupied buildings, and a few places you may see them nesting are:
Bats will rarely live inside or try to enter the occupied space of a home. If you see a single bat flying into the house, it has typically lost its way or been brought inside by a pet. Bats inside homes are likely looking for an exit. Assisting the bat in finding the way out by opening a door or window is the easiest way to help yourself as well!
Bats may move inside an unoccupied building or portion of a building (such as an attic) to roost. These interior spaces provide even more protection for them. Therefore it is crucial to take the time to assess your home and any outbuildings to ensure there are no potential entry points.
How To Keep Bats Away From Your Home
Check The Inside Of Your House
The first step you can take to keep bats away from your home is to keep any external entry points closed or screened. Bats may also live in what is called a “structural void,” which is “the spaces between the exterior and interior envelopes of a building.” You will want to visually inspect the inside of your home to determine if there are any openings behind or around places such as:
- Air-conditioning units
- Heating equipment
- Attic/Basement doors
- Electrical wires
If you see any holes, even tiny ones, take appropriate steps to close the opening, so the bats cannot enter.
Inspect The Outside Of Your House
You can prevent bats from coming into the “structural void” by ensuring there are no places on the outside of your house for them to enter. Look outside of your home and other outbuildings for potential points of entry. Areas to focus on include:
- Attic/roof vents
- Dormer windows
- Loose mortar between bricks
Search for any places where the outside of your house may be compromised due to settling or weather. Keep in mind bats can fit in cracks or crevices as small as your pinky finger! Repair any holes appropriately.
If you have concerns bats are currently roosting in an indoor space, proceed with caution. Depending on the season, it may be illegal to remove the bats. Seal all external exit points, except for one, and then provide time to make sure all bats are out before you close the final exit point. If you do not follow those steps, the bats may become entrapped. If you are concerned about bats roosting in your home, give us a call so we can help you avoid any uncomfortable bat situations.
Other Ways To Discourage Roosting
Some species of bats will nest during the night and leave during the day. You may find these bats making themselves at home on your porch, garage, or other small places around the outside of your house. Here are measures you can take to discourage them from returning.
- Leave bright lights and fans on in the area where they are roosting
- Attach plastic or other slick material to beams so it is hard for them to hang
- Place mylar balloons near the roosting space
- Attach strips of foil, ribbon, or mylar balloons near the nest, so the strips move in the breeze
Remember you should only make these modifications to the roosting area during the day when the bats are not around! These changes will make the space seem less desirable for the bats when they return. Over time they will be dissuaded not to return.
A face-to-face encounter with a bat, especially at night, may feel concerning to many of us. However, bats are not as scary as we may have heard – they are merely creatures looking for homes. If we take appropriate steps to eliminate interior and exterior points of entry, we can avoid an uncomfortable encounter with a bat. Here at Central Plains Bat Removal, we can assist you with a home inspection to protect you from bats and remove them, if needed.