Saturday, February 22, 2014

Home Remedy For Bat Control

Control bats with a simple home remedy.

Bats are highly beneficial flying mammals. Few people realize how essential these animals are to the planet's health. If they take up residence in your attic, try not to panic. They're not there to terrorize you, but are probably seeking a safe place to nest and nurture new offspring. The only sure solution for bat control is exclusion, which shouldn't be done from April through August when bats are raising their families. While you may empathize with these maternal animals, you probably prefer that they homestead elsewhere. You can accomplish this from September through March with a simple home remedy.


1. Examine your attic walls to find openings where the bats might be coming in. Turn on a bright light in the attic after dark and go outside to see where light shines through, or go into the dark attic during the day to see where sunshine filters in. You will have to cover these openings to prevent the bats from accessing the indoors.

2. Go outside the following dusk and watch for bats to leave your attic. They tend to use the same openings consistently, so you can verify how they're coming and going. Check the indoor areas around holes that you suspect are access points for evidence that bats are indeed using them. Look for dark discolorations below them. These rub marks are stains that have collected from the dirt and body oils present on the coats of bats as they exit the opening to go outside to feed. You may also find little piles of droppings, or guano, below these holes.

3. Use a staple gun to secure plastic garbage bags loosely over the outer openings if the exterior of your home is wood. Staple it shut above the top and around both sides of the hole. Leave the bottom flap open so that the bats can leave. They won't be able to figure out get through it to go back indoors.

4. Roll a sheet of hardware cloth about 1 foot wide and 1 foot long into a cylinder with 2-inch diameter openings. Force one end of the cylinder into a bat hole if your home's exterior surface won't allow the use of nails or staples. Cut the toe part off an old sock off and slide the other end of it over the outer opening of the cylinder. The bats will easily find their way out, but won't be able to re-enter.

5. Remove the bags or cylinders in about a week. This will allow stragglers to get the idea and vacate. The bats may hang around your place for a little while, but will give up and look for more accommodating housing on their own.

Tips Warnings

Seal off the openings permanently between September and March to prevent bats from returning to your attic in the spring.

After successfully excluding the bats from your home, consider installing or building one designed especially for them nearby. You'll not only offer them more suitable accommodations, but reap the bug control rewards as well.

A commonly misused home remedy for nuisance wildlife control is naphthalene, or mothballs. Not only is this illegal to use for anything but clothes moths, it can endanger the health of you and your family. Mothballs shouldn't be used in places that bats may frequent, such as your attic or crawl space. At best, this product may repel bats for a few weeks but is only a temporary fix. The material must be refreshed on a regular basis to remain effective.

Check on the wildlife regulations regarding bats in your area. They may be protected by law, making killing these animals a crime.

Never use poisons for bat control. You don't want them to die and stink in your attic, especially since they may be hiding out in a wall where you'll never find the rotting bodies.

Don't try to touch a live bat, and don't allow your children or pets near them. These are wild animals with very sharp teeth, which they can and will use to defend themselves. If you find a live bat on the ground, call animal control right away. A bat that remains on the ground for any length of time is most likely a victim of rabies, which is easily communicated to humans and any other mammals.

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