Updated On

October 17, 2023

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    While bats play an essential role in our ecosystem by pollinating plants, aiding in pest control, and dispersing seeds, you definitely don’t want them in your home. Bats can carry diseases that can cause safety and health risks and are a general nuisance.

    Bat droppings, called bat guano, eat away at your home’s wood and building materials. If you breathe in the fungus in the bat droppings, you can develop histoplasmosis, which affects your lungs and can cause pneumonia. As a pest control expert, I can help you learn how to get rid of bats naturally and find a reputable pest control company within your budget.

    If you prefer to hire a pest control company for bat control instead of going through the aggravation of DIY bat removal, I recommend choosing Terminix or a company like Orkin. Get quotes from both below.

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    How To Rid Your Home of Bats (5 Easy Tips)

    Learning how to get rid of bats naturally is easier than it may seem. Since some types of bats are a legally protected species, it is important to address the situation as a natural wildlife removal and avoid harming them. Here are five easy tips to help eliminate bats in your home.

    1. Close Entry Points

    a photo of a damaged exterior wall
    Credit: Canva

    Bats can easily fit into tight spaces, like holes and cracks within your home. They often enter on the roof, squeezing in through loose or rotting shingles. These flying mammals love to find ways to turn your attic into a home — it’s the perfect shelter to keep them warm and dry. Bats can squeeze through openings as small as three-eighths of an inch, so make sure to look closely to determine these possible entryways.

    Block Holes

    The first step to keep bats out of your attic, garage, or home is to block all holes with caulking or sealants and place a mesh or hardware cloth over your chimney and vents. Closing up all entry points is a humane way to keep bats away when it comes to a small colony, but a large colony may require you to call a pest control company.

    Install a Bat Cone

    It’s best to install a bat cone in one of the holes, which allows bats to squeeze out of your attic but not into the space. Essentially, it’s a one-way door for bats to exit. Once you install these, wait a few days to ensure all the bats are gone before completely sealing up the holes or cracks.

    Bat cones are relatively affordable. They typically cost between $20 and $40, depending on the type.

    Today’s Homeowner Tips

    If you’re dealing with a large colony of bats, use multiple bat cones to help get rid of them before hiring a pest control company. However, before using a bat cone, ensure the bats don’t have babies so they won’t be separated from their young.

    2. Remove Food Sources

    an image showing multiple mosquitos on someone’s body
    Credit: Canva

    Removing the bats’ food source is essential, as this discourages them from attempting to reside in your home. Most North American species of bats eat insects like mosquitos, beetles, and moths.

    Certain plants naturally repel mosquitos, like rosemary plants or marigold flowers. You can also use a natural or chemical insecticide spray to reduce the insect population, but be sure it’s safe for small mammals. If you have a fruit garden or fruit tree in your yard, use a net to prevent the bats from eating the fruit.

    You can also use peppermint oil or lavender to repel beetles, while bay leaves and rosemary work to repel moths. These essential oils usually cost between $15 and $30. If the bats no longer have a food source on your property, they’ll usually head elsewhere.

    3. Install Bright Outdoor Lights

    A photo of LED string lights hung outside
    Credit: Canva

    Not only does installing bright outdoor lights add curb appeal to your home, but it also acts as a natural bat repellent. Bats can’t handle light — especially bright lights — after all, they’re nocturnal. Installing bright lights on your property can deter the bats from coming near and into your home.

    If you know where the bats are entering your home, put a bright light near this entry point. Bright LED light bulbs are affordable, and you can even install motion-sensitive lights that turn on when there’s motion.

    Today’s Homeowner Tips

    Bright lights can repel bats from entering your home. These tips can help when installing lights:

    ● Use a LED outdoor bulb of at least 40 watts or higher.
    ● Use motion sensor lights to avoid keeping the lights on all night and to save money on electricity.
    ● Hang reflective objects, such as CDs or aluminum foil, to deter bats from entering your home

    4. Use a Natural Repellent

    A photo showing a bat flying through a cave
    Credit: Canva

    Since bats have such a strong sense of smell, it’s easy to keep them away by using natural repellent. Scents such as cinnamon, peppermint, or eucalyptus are excellent ways to eliminate bats.

    Phenol, commonly found in many cleaning products, has a sweet smell that can also deter bats. You can purchase phenol in either crystals or cans, but use gloves when applying to avoid skin irritation.

    These repellents are easy to apply, but you must use them frequently to ensure that bats don’t return. While cinnamon, peppermint, and eucalyptus are affordable, phenol spray bottles can cost about $60 for a 15.5-ounce spray. A more affordable option is using the crystals, which cost around $30.

    5. Use a Sound Machine

    A blue photo depicting sound waves
    Credit: Canva

    Bats prefer to be at peace when resting (just like we do). This is why using a sound machine that gives off an ultrasonic sound will disrupt their peace.

    We, as humans, can’t hear the ultrasonic sound, but bats can. Other small mammals and insects, such as raccoons, mice, cockroaches, ants, and flies, can also hear this frequency. A two-pack of an ultrasonic pest control repeller can cost as little as $20 and is safe for both humans and pets.

    Natural Ways To Rid Your Home of Bats

    I’ve already included several ways to get rid of bats naturally, but there’s another natural way to eliminate them without forcing them out of your home.

    Use a Bat House

    Using a bat house in your yard can deter them from entering your home and provide them with a more favorable shelter. When you install a bat house on your property, you provide a safe environment for bats to reside in that also gives female bats a safe place to raise their babies.

    You can either build your own bat house or purchase one. It looks like a regular box, but the bottom part of the bat box is open so bats can go in and out. If you decide to purchase a bat house, expect to spend between $20 and $40, depending on the size.

    If you really don’t want bats on your property at all or don’t have time to do these DIY remedies, you may need professional help. Many pest control companies are affordable and can provide natural services to remove bats on your property. Fill out the form below to learn more.

    Top Pick
    Terminix_logo

    4.6

    90+ years of experience

    Nationwide service area

    Free treatments if pests return

    VISIT SITE
    Limited Time:
    Get $50 OFF Pest Control Plan
    Best Service Selection
    orkin logo

    4.7

    Treats 20 types of pests

    Offers instant online quotes

    30-day money-back guarantee

    VISIT SITE
    Limited Time:
    $50 Off First Service (GET50)
    Best Additional Services

    4.3

    Treats 20 types of pests

    Offers instant online quotes

    30-day money-back guarantee

    VISIT SITE
    Limited Time:
    $50 Off Year-Round Pest Control
    Best Mosquito Plan

    4.0

    Treats 20 types of pests

    Offers instant online quotes

    30-day money-back guarantee

    VISIT SITE
    Limited Time:
    $150 Off With Code WEB150

    How To Prevent Bats From Coming Back

    Photo of three bats hanging upside down
    Credit: Canva

    After going through all the trouble of getting rid of the bats, you’ll want to prevent them from returning. Here’s how:

    • Install a bright light at their former entry points. Bats hate bright lights and stay away from well-lit areas.
    • Ensure all holes, crevices, and cracks are sealed. When all holes and cracks have been filled in and sealed, bats can’t get back inside.
    • Use scents that deter bats around your home, like peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, or mothballs. Bats strongly dislike these smells and may not re-enter your home if you use these scents.
    • Use your sound machine regularly. An ultrasonic sound machine interferes with bats’ abilities to perceive echos (known as echolocation), which they use for navigation. This keeps them away from your home.
    • Clean the area the bats used to live in. If you clean the area the bats used to be in using chemicals or natural cleaning spray, the bats won’t like the scent and likely won’t return.
    • Call a professional pest control company. Hiring a professional exterminator ensures bats stay away for good by using natural methods.

    How to Identify Bats

    A diagram outlines the anatomy of a bat
    Credit: Canva

    Identifying a bat, especially in the dark at night, can be challenging. These are some physical features to look out for that can help you identify a bat:

    • Webbed wings
    • Often black or brown in color
    • Face looks similar to a small dog, like a Chihuahua
    • Wingspan can be anywhere between six inches to five feet long
    • Sporadic flying (compared to birds)

    Signs You Have a Bat Infestation

    Look out for these signs that can indicate you have a bat problem in your home.

    • You find bat droppings in your home, likely along the floorboards, walls, attic, or roof. The droppings look like seeds, are dark in color, and don’t have white at the end.
    • You smell a strong odor, which is likely bat urine.
    • You hear scratching noises in your home at dusk and dawn.
    • You find black greasy marks around your home, which come from their fur. A bat’s fur contains oils that can rub off where they nest.

    DIY Vs. Professional Bat Pest Control

    The aforementioned DIY methods are effective in getting rid of bats naturally. However, if you’re dealing with a large infestation, the DIY methods you’ve tried haven’t worked, or you simply don’t have the time or energy to handle these unwanted house guests, hiring a professional is the way to go.

    Pest control companies have experience removing bats and permanently keeping them away, using professional-grade equipment and chemicals, as well as natural methods.

    Fill out the form below to get a quote.

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    So, What’s the Best Way To Get Rid of Bats?

    Start by trying some of the DIY methods for getting rid of bats naturally, especially if you’re on a budget. However, some of these methods may not be possible for everyone or may not work. This is when you may want to opt for the help of a professional.

    A professional exterminator has the expertise and tools to remove bats from your home quickly, efficiently, and naturally, which may be the best option, especially if DIY methods have proved unsuccessful.

    FAQs About Removing Bats From Your Home

    Is it safe to sleep in a house with bats?

    You can sleep in a house with bats, but it could be harmful to your health as bats (and their droppings) can pose a safety risk, including diseases. I highly recommend trying DIY methods to get rid of the bats or hiring a professional to get the bats out of your home ASAP.


    How long can a bat live in your house without food?

    Bats can only survive without food for 24 hours, but they can live without food for much longer if they’re hibernating. Once you remove the bats’ food source, they’ll likely exit your home to look for food elsewhere.


    Where would a bat hide during the day in my house?

    Bats hide in attics, porch ceilings, chimneys, or other high places because these spots provide dark conditions similar to their natural habitat for roosting. You won’t see them during the day since bats are nocturnal and only come out at night.


    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Coty Perry

    Coty Perry

    Expert Writer & Reviewer

    Coty Perry is a lawn and garden writer for Today’s Homeowner. He focuses on providing homeowners with actionable tips that relate to the “Average Joe” who is looking to achieve a healthier and greener lawn. When he isn’t writing he can almost always be found coaching youth football or on some trail in Pennsylvania in search of the next greatest fishing hole.

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    photo of Andrew Dunn

    Andrew Dunn

    Senior Editor

    Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience reporting and editing for local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer and Business North Carolina magazine. His work has been recognized numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He is also a former general contractor with experience with cabinetry, finish carpentry and general home improvement and repair. Andrew earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate in business journalism. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.

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