Does one bat in the house mean more?
The bats have inspired all kinds of stories and myths for generations; however, although some species are among the animals that feed on blood, we know that most are completely harmless. Still, you may not like their presence in your home and wonder how to scare away bats.
Currently, the habits of bats, added to deforestation, have caused both species to coexist in the same habitat. But how do you chase away bats? In this article, we will share with you some non-harmful and very effective remedies. Keep reading to meet them!
Why chase away bats?
Bats are flying mammals not dangerous for humans, however, through their smelly faeces, called ” guano “, they can transmit certain diseases, such as viruses, rickettsia, bacteria, spirochetes, leptospires, fungi, protozoa, and helminths [ 1].
Another reason it may be the noise they make at night. But also, and especially in the most developed countries, bats have become the most important source of animal rabies infection, both for people and domestic animals, causing a complicated epidemiological situation .
Can I use bat poison?
Considering different options to know how to scare them away, many people even think the use of venom for bats and also seek to understand how to make homemade venom. However, it is something that we should never carry out. Aside from using poison at significant risk to young children and pets, the vast majority of bat species are endangered, making killing them an environmental crime.
Likewise, we remember that bats play a vital role in ecosystems, since they feed on a large number of insects, thus controlling their population. In fact, some people plan to install bat nests to fight mosquitoes. They also stand out for being pollinating animals. For all these reasons, we also do not recommend repelling bats with ultrasounds.
The methods to scare bats at home should be focused on getting rid of them, be it a few or an entire colony, without causing damage or causing discomfort. For this, it is necessary to know that these animals leave their nests at night to feed and return with the first light of day. Plus, they prefer small, dark places to live, so fireplaces, dormer windows, ceilings, ceilings, beams, and any gaps that exist outside are an excellent place to retreat.
Chasing bats away
Before chasing away bats, you need to know that they not only take refuge to sleep, they also use the nest to raise and protect the youngest specimens during the first weeks of life. Because of this, it is essential to identify the species of bat that nests in your home before employing homemade methods to scare them away.
The reason is simple: if you scare away the adult specimens during the breeding season, the babies will not be able to survive on their own, they will die of starvation, and that will bring you more problems, such as rot and unpleasant smells.
Watching bats as they leave the nest can help you identify them. A more practical option is to contact the protection centres of your community since in each region there are different species of these flying mammals. Once identified, you can choose the best time to start the process of chasing them away, remember to do it outside the breeding season.
Chasing away bats with naphthalene
The mothballs is a remedy frequently used as repelling bats home. What is its effectiveness? It is an aromatic hydrocarbon whose pungent odour is very unpleasant for bats. It should be used when they have left the nest to feed, spreading the product in considerable quantities. Upon returning, the scent will deter bats from entering the home again.
Naphthalene, however, is toxic to humans and pets. Furthermore, it is highly flammable, so it should only be handled and used by professionals using protective measures, such as gloves, masks and disposable safety clothing.
Chasing away bats with lights
Bats have nocturnal habits, so they prefer to sleep during the day and feed at night. One way to scare them away is to locate the space in which they live and install intense lighting that makes them uncomfortable to rest. Many people wonder if bats are blind, but the truth is that they are not.
The ideal is to carry out the installation when they are not, that is, at night, and keep the lights on to discourage them from returning. This method can be useful, but it has a weak point: any space with less light or where shadows form will become a possible nest.
Most effective method of driving bats away from home
The most effective way to get rid of bats is to prevent them from entering the home; it is the only way to do it without causing harm or putting the family at risk. For this, the following is recommended:
1. Detect the location of the nests
The presence of bats can be guessed by the bustle caused by the colonies in the roofs and spaces they inhabit. However, guano is an accurate indicator; it is characterized by presenting a rounded and brittle shape with a strong musky odour. If it’s fruit-eating bats, you might also find nibbled pieces in your garden.
2. Discover the species
When you have located the space where bats live, wait for the night to observe them when leaving. Pay attention to its external characteristics so that you can detect the species. In this step, you can consult with specialists to determine which species are typical of your locality. Once you locate the species, you will know what stage of life it is in and, therefore, you will see when you can scare them away without this affecting the breeding season.
3. Wait for them to come out
How to drive bats away from the house is very simple when you verify that the specimens that live there are adults. For a couple of days, pay attention to their habits, that is, make sure of the time they leave the place where they live. In this way, when they do, it will be the ideal time to apply the method that will prevent them from entering again.
4. Seal all entries
The best way to drive bats away at home is to prevent them from re-entering your home. When everyone is out, worry about sealing the cracks and fissures they use to enter. The materials will depend on the place where they have been installed; it can be plaster, metal grids, cement, clay, among others.
5. Deep cleaning
Once the entries are sealed, it is time to do a thorough cleaning. Bat guano is toxic, so cleaning should be done with gloves, a mask and an eye protector, as well as a change of clothes that will later be discarded. Ideally, dry faeces should be peeled off with spatulas, disposed of in airtight bags, and then thoroughly disinfected with bleach.
The mothballs also be used in this case in order to scare the bats when they return home; however, the most important thing is to seal the cracks using to enter.
During all this process, it is recommended that you have the advice of people belonging to protection centres or agricultural and livestock services in your locality. In many areas, they could be responsible for chasing away bats to relocate them to a more suitable space, always seeking their welfare. Similarly, these agencies could be responsible for professional cleaning and review possible critical points in your home to prevent bats from nesting there again.
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- Tamsitt, JR, & Valdivieso, D. (1970). Bats and public health: Study with special reference to Puerto Rico.
- Frantchez, V., & Medina, J. (2018). Rabies: 99.9% fatal, 100% preventable. Revista Médica del Uruguay, 34 (3), 86-107.
- Ruiz, Laura. (2017, January 16). “How to scare away bats from the ceiling”. A Like. Check:
- “Is there a natural bat repellent?”. Bats in the Attic. Nationwide Service ORG. Consulta: http://www.batsintheattic.org/repellent.html
- Why does the law protect bats? Agricultural and Livestock Service of Chile. SAG March 2011.