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Even though bats keep other pesky pests like mosquitoes at tolerable levels, most people fear these small mammals. Normally they go unnoticed, until you find one roosting in your attic or flying around your living room. Finding a bat in the house is cause for alarm, because bats are known to carry rabies and their guano can carry a fungus that is harmful to humans. The products and information on this page will help you learn how to get rid of bats safely and allow you to do your own bat extermination.
If you find that bats are using your home to roost, exclusion is the most effective, most humane way to get rid of bats. You can construct one-way doors out of copper mesh that enable the bats to fly out at night but unable to return. Once you are sure the bats are no longer there, fill all gaps ¼ to ½ inches or larger, and holes 5/8 inches in diameter or larger. Using foam filler is an effective bat control product, as is wire mesh.
To prevent bats from roosting again, you can place bat repellents in those areas. Bat repellent makes the environment very unpleasant and the bats generally want to get out of that area immediately. Do a thorough inspection of your home, making sure there are no gaps or cracks for the bats to squeeze in to.
Bat traps are generally ineffective; the bats can escape and isn’t a deterrent to them from coming back. Many people want to know how to kill bats, but this is generally illegal in most states and counties, and there are no “bat killer” products available.
If you find a live bat in a living space, follow these steps to safely remove the bat:
Knowing more about bats can help you to understand their patterns and be more comfortable with them when you encounter them outside your home. Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly, and one bat can eat thousands of insects in one night. Some people choose to attract bats to areas around their homes for this very reason. All bats are nocturnal and will roost during the day, hanging upside down on branches or wedged in to a protective space. Healthy bats will not attack humans; they are more likely to bite if being handled.
If you are concerned there may be bats roosting in your home, look for some tell-tale signs, such as bat droppings (which is shiny, brittle, and filled with insect bites and will often be in piles near roosts) and watch for bats near dusk to see if any exit or enter your home.
If the bat bites a human or pet, seek medical attention immediately. Confine the bat to one room and call animal control to capture the bat and test it for rabies. Rabies is easily treatable and rarely fatal if treated immediately.
Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a certain fungus that can be found in bat guano. The spores can become airborne and inhaled, and can be serious if left untreated. When cleaning bat guano, always wear a mask and spray guano with a bleach and water solution before removing.