Expert Tips for Humane Bat Removal

Bats are an effective means of controlling the local insect population. These creatures are not trying to frighten you. They just want a warm, safe space to roost during the daylight hours. However, that doesn’t mean you are comfortable sharing a home with these nocturnal flying mammals. It is highly advisable to leave their removal to the professionals, but if that isn’t an option, let Woodlands Wildlife Elimination help you with some tips and tricks for getting these critters back outside.

Know the Risks

The two most likely risks for a person encountering bats are rabies and histoplasmosis.

The rabies virus is contracted from a bite or scratch wound or if the saliva of an infected animal comes in contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, or open wound. A wound from a bat bite can be small and easily go unnoticed, so it is important to properly check yourself after handling and to thoroughly clean the area with soap and water. Any bite that bites a human or pet must be checked for rabies so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.  

Histoplasmosis occurs from inhalation of the fungal spore Histoplasma capsulatum, which develops in places where a large amount of guano, or bat feces, has accumulated. The symptoms of such a risk are similar to pneumonia, with cases ranging from mild to life-threatening. The risks are considerably higher for those with weakened immune systems or if they are over the age of 55. If you find bat droppings in your home, contact professional services to have them safely removed and the area cleaned to avoid contamination.

Be sure to check your local, state, and federal laws before attempting to remove a bat. There are over thirty-two bat species that have been spotted in Texas, though they differ greatly from region to region. Some bat species will leave of their own accord during their migration season while others hibernate. But you need to be careful before attempting to remove what may be a protected species. Check with local services to be sure.

Signs of a Bat Colony

Knowing what to look for is a good way to prepare yourself for dealing with these fuzzy nuisances. Be sure to exercise caution, as removing a small group of bats is vastly different from trying to oust a colony from your home.

Listen for scratching or squeaking noises around dusk and dawn. As a nocturnal species, you are more likely to hear them at night.

Odors: The smell of a few bats in your attic is unlikely to be noticed. However, if a serious bat infestation gathers, you will catch the pungent, bitter scent of urine and feces.

Sightings: Bats are fairly common. So it’s not unusual to see them if the conditions are right. Pay attention to their comings and goings and see if you can track them to your garage, attic, or storage shed.

Stains: Bats leave behind milky urine that can be easily spotted if you know where to look. They also produce an oily stain around the entrances to their colony.

Dropping: Bat droppings look much the same as any other rodent droppings. They will look like small, brown pellets that turn powdery if pressure is applied.

DIY Prevention & Removal

Most of us don’t think about bats being a problem until bats become a problem. That being said, there are ways to help protect yourself, so you don’t have to deal with the high cost of wildlife removal down the road.

Install a Bat House

Bat homes are an effective means of protecting your local ecosystem while also keeping your home safe and clean. By placing a structurally sound bat house close to their infestation place and making their current roost unavailable, the bats will be more likely to take advantage of this cozy new home rather than trying to find a way back to their old one.

Introduce Deterrents

Bats like dark, safe spaces where they can rest and breed. Disturbing these areas can help persuade the critters to leave without harming them. Use these deterrents around the entry point or in the roosting site to help encourage your unwanted house guests to move along.

  • Shine bright lights in the area for a week or more
  • Use high-frequency emitters or ultrasonic devices
  • Use scented oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, or cinnamon at the entry/roost points

Check for Entry/Exit Points

It is important to locate any entry/exit points the bats may be using to gain access to your home. Look for loose shingles or siding, examine chimneys and ridge caps for the previously mentioned signs of urine and oil, and check prime areas that remain undisturbed like your attic or storage shed for signs of bats.

Bat Exclusion Tubes

Once you know where the bats are getting in and out of, you can purchase a one-way tube for cheap that will allow the bats to leave the premises, but not return. After this is installed, be sure to caulk up other entry points to avoid them returning. Be sure to use such devices around later summer/early fall, otherwise, you may close up infant bats inside the house where their parents can’t reach them.

Manual Removal

It is not recommended to remove a bat on your own unless it has entered your living space and presents an immediate threat. In some areas, DIY removal is simply not an option, requiring a professional to evict large colonies under the law. However, if you find yourself with a bat flapping around your living room, here is what to do:

  • Remove unnecessary persons/pets from the room.
  • Close any doors leading to the rest of the house.
  • Open a window/door leading to the outside so it can escape.
  • Avoid directly handling the bat if at all possible.
  • If you must handle the bat, use a pair of thick work gloves.
  • DO NOT use a towel or clothing. Bats can bite through this easily.
  • Bring with you a plastic tub and a cardboard square to cover the opening.
  • Wait for the bat to land. Place the plastic tub over it and slide the cardboard square carefully under it.
  • Take the plastic tub outside and open it near a tree so the bat can fly/climb out.