Why and How Bats Get In Homes | Skedaddle Wildlife Control (2023)

Bats are great animals, and a key part of the environment and our ecosystem. Bats only become a problem when they decide to use an attic or other section of a home or building as a roosting or nursery colony.

Most people do not tolerate that idea very well, and it becomes necessary to evict the bats and repair the structure as needed to prevent them from entering in the future. Accumulations of their droppings (guano) can cause health, odour and insect problems, which is the primary reason bats should be excluded from a structure occupied by a wildlife control company.

Why and How do I end up having bats living in my house?

People seldom notice small cracks or gaps on higher buildings, but a 1/2″ crack in a mortar joint 30 or 40 feet off the ground becomes a superhighway for bats to enter a structure. Since they are nocturnal and for the most part very quiet animals, they often use attics for years before the odor from the build-up of droppings alerts us to their presence.

Why and How Bats Get In Homes | Skedaddle Wildlife Control (1)

(Video) Bat Infestation!

Bats often get into attics by slipping into the gap between the soffit overhang and the exterior brick

If you had bats flying inside your home this means that you probably have bats living somewhere in your walls or attic.

Usually the first time you have bat flying around the inside of your house there is a slight chance that they might entered from an open door or window and it can be dismissed as a one-of event. But if that happens repeatedly then we can safely say that you have some bats living in your home.

Baby bat season

Baby bats are born in the early summer. They are very small and have little fur. When their mothers go out to feed in the evening the unsupervised babies sometimes go exploring inside the walls and attic and become lost, ending up in living areas, having fallen through small gaps inside the home. Baby bats become mobile through late summer and without much experience they tend to get lost more often than adults.

Open windows

On very rare occasions bats may mistakenly fly through open windows when hunting insects. These are often isolated incidences and don’t necessarily mean that there is a roost near the property. However, it does suggest that there is a colony within the local area and that means your home is susceptible to future infestation.

Why and How Bats Get In Homes | Skedaddle Wildlife Control (2)

Bat droppings found on window sills are a sure sign of bat activity around your home

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Bats, like all wildlife, look for a place that offers protection and a comfortable temperature where they can live and thrive. Unfortunately your home satisfies both requirements. Bats, depending on the species tend to reside either in your attic or in your walls. There are two species of bat that can infest your residence – Little Brown Bats and Big Brown Bats.

Little Brown Bats are known for migrating back and forth between attics where they spend spring and summer and caves where they hibernate for winter. Unfortunately for Little Brown Bats, they have gone nearly extinct as White Nose Syndrome found in caves and mines has killed millions of them across North America.

White Nose Syndrome syndrome is caused by a fungal growth that attaches to bats who hibernate in caves and abandoned mines. The fungus attaches to bats and forcing them out of hibernation which causes them to expend winter fat reserves prematurely resulting in their death. Little Brown Bats are commonly associated with roosting inside homes and structures in rural areas.

If you live in a built up area (city or subdivision) it is highly unlikely that you will have Little Brown Bats living in your home.

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In contrast, Big Brown Bats are hearty enough to live inside buildings and homes year round. These bats don’t migrate to caves and mines for winter and therefore have not been exposed to the deadly fungus.

The majority of bat problems we see involve Big Brown Bats. Their colonies tend to be smaller than those of Little Brown Bats.

Finally, the answer to why you have bats is that they decided to establish a colony in your home because it provides a safe environment with stable temperatures for them to live, mate and raise their young. Bats only need a very opening to access an attic, any small gap or crack between building materials could be an entry. Regardless of the age or condition of the home, the potential for bat entry exists. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control sees bat problems in new and old homes alike.

How do they end up flying in my house?

It’s important to remember that bats who make their way into your bedroom or living room don’t want to be there. There’s no food for them eat (insects) and it’s not nearly dark or cozy enough for them to roost. In most cases, bats found inside the living space of the home have found their way there from attic by accident. But how do bats get lost?

As an attic cools down at night during the summer, cool outside air is drawn in through any cracks or holes, and the bats follow these air currents to familiar exit holes. It is very common for bats to find their way into the living quarters of homes, usually during warmer summer temperatures when we use our air conditioning. The cool air from your home can escape into the attic through very small cracks and holes, and the bats simply follow the currents, accidentally ending up in your living area. They do not want to be in your home, but are simply reacting to cool air currents on instinct. What they really want is a sky full of flying insects to eat. Sometimes the bats that enter the home are young ones trying to find their way outside for the first time.

Once bats find an entry in your residence, they use two locations as their living space, the attic and the walls. Most people believe that if they don’t see a bat in the attic, this means that they do not have an infestation. This is not true. Speaking for Big Brown Bats which are the majority of the infestations, the walls of your home are the preferred living location. The reason why they prefer the walls instead of the attic is temperature.

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The walls maintain a stable temperature way better than the attic where, especially in the summer months, it can get really hot. Bats are very sensitive to temperature variations, and these variations drive them up and down the walls as they try to find a suitable temperature. When this happens bats sometimes get lost inside your walls and they end up in your living space.

We always see a spike in bat calls whenever the temperature rises quickly over a short period of time. The sudden change has sent the bats inside the walls of homes scrambling downward in search of more comfortable conditions. Invariably some will travel too far downward and become lost.

The main location where lost bats end up is the basement and especially unfinished sections of basements. Because all the pipes go up and down through the walls of your house there are gaps between the floors and bats use them to end up in the basement. The air ducts that run throughout your home give bats the chance to end up just about anywhere.

NEVER try to catch a flying batyou are likely to injure it severely and it may even bite in self-defense. Sometimes in the summer, young bats, which are inexperienced flyers, will become exhausted before finding their way out. They may try to land on a wall or curtains, or they may crash land on furniture or the floor.

Understanding basic bat behavior helps us realize what causes them to enter the living quarters of our homes. Bats are very sensitive to air currents, and the cool air which enters an attic after sunset is what triggers the bats to exit the structure and feed each night.

(Video) Are Bats in My Home?

Protect your home from bat invasions by calling Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control today!

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FAQs

Why is a bat trying to get in my house? ›

Why do bats come indoors? Generally, it happens by accident through an open door or window, or because they are dwelling in other parts of a home and make their way into living spaces, Ms. O'Keefe said. Bats that do make appearances in our homes really aren't interested in being there, said Merlin D.

What to do if bats are in your house? ›

Close interior doors and give the bat a way to get outside. If the bat doesn't exit on their own, it is best to wait until they land to try to catch them. Important: Never try to handle a bat with your bare hands. Wear thick work gloves—but not cotton, as most bats can easily bite through cotton.

Is it good to have bats around your house? ›

Bats can greatly reduce the population of mosquitoes and other bothersome insects that ruin your backyard activities, such as moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, midges, and mayflies. A single bat can consume more than 1,200 mosquito-sized insects per hour, usually eating 6,000 to 8,000 bugs each night!

Are bats in a house a problem? ›

Bats are frequent visitors in both old and new houses. They are small, harmless mammals that do not cause any damage within your house.

What smell will keep bats away? ›

Bats don't like the smell of mothballs, white phenol, cinnamon, or eucalyptus. Install bright lights to help deter them. Bats also don't like objects that reflect light, so you can hang strips of aluminum foil, mirrors, mylar balloons, or even old CDs.

How do you figure out where bats are getting in? ›

QUICK EASY TRICK HOW TO FIND BATS - YouTube

Will bats leave on their own? ›

Small bat colonies may move on their own, but bigger colonies are likely to stick around until you get rid of them yourself by making the area undesirable. Our homes provide bats with warmth, shelter, and often food, especially in urban areas where their natural habitats are often destroyed.

Where do bats hide in a house during the day? ›

Check high first, behind curtains and wall hangings. Check low, on the floor under items (bats can crawl). Generally bats can be anywhere, and they can fit in holes with diameters of 3/8 inch.

How long can a bat live in a house? ›

If there is no food or water, a bat trapped in a house will die within 24 hours. Even after it is dead, you should not touch or go near the bat.

Should I be worried about a bat in my house? ›

While bats themselves can often carry diseases like rabies, the most dangerous risks from having bats in your home come from their droppings, which can host a wide variety of dangerous (and even deadly) diseases and parasites.

Do bats come back to the same place? ›

Do bats come back to the same place? Some bats leave for the winter, but most hibernate in their nest. In April, these same bats return to their nesting places. If the bats have a nest in your home, they will return to the same spot, year after year.

Do bats bite humans while sleeping? ›

If you find a bat dead or alive in your home, especially in your bedroom in the morning, there is a possibility that you could have been bitten while you were asleep. This risk applies to anyone sleeping in the area, including an infant or a pet.

Does one bat in the house mean more? ›

One random bat in the house doesn't always mean anything. Most of the people that call us have had at least two or three instances of bats in the house over the last few years though. Multiple bats in your house is a very strong indication of an infestation. Most bat colonies found in houses are maternal colonies.

Do bats build nests in houses? ›

Bats don't make holes to get into buildings; they use entry points we leave open. Small openings or narrow gaps high on houses allow bats to enter. Bats may also enter under loose-fitting doors, around windows and through gaps around conduits and utility vents. Successfully evicting bats can be challenging.

Will Bright lights keep bats away? ›

Bright lights can indeed be an effective deterrent against bats. They don't like bright, artificial lighting. If you know where they like to enter and leave your building you can place bright spotlights there to shine 24/7. This could help discourage them from taking roost in the future.

How do exterminators get rid of bats? ›

Since bat pesticides and bat extermination are illegal, pest control companies use a process called exclusion. Exclusion is designed to seal the primary exits that bats use with one-way doors. This allows the bats to leave safely without permitting them to return.

Do bats hate light? ›

It is well established that bats are sensitive to light while hunting at night. While some species are attracted to artificial light sources because of the insects nearby, most bat species generally avoid artificial light.

How do you find a bats nest in your house? ›

Check your attic for droppings. You may also see stains from bat urine on the walls or ceiling. Bats are nocturnal and leave the roost to feed at night. You may hear small squeaking noises or scratching sounds coming from the walls, attic, or chimney as they crawl to leave the roost at dusk and return at dawn.

What time do bats come out in the evening? ›

Bats are largely nocturnal, meaning they are most active after sundown. Specifically, little brown bats emerge from their dark roosts two-to-three hours after dusk to feed. After feeding, they return to their roosts to sleep out the rest of the night and day hanging upside down.

Can bats come through air vents? ›

Bats are very good at finding and accessing home vents. Sometimes, they'll even fly all the way through the vent and into your building! Luckily, keeping bats out of your vents is relatively easy: just invest in vent covers. Vent covers fit over the end of your vents outside and prevent animals from flying inside.

Is there a trap for bats? ›

Bat traps are used by scientists to capture and study bats. Some bat removal companies utilize bat traps to get bats out of homes. While, bat traps may be necessary, they should not be used as a matter of practive to remove bat colonies from homes.

Where do bats go in winter? ›

Bats choose places like caves, mines, rock crevices, and other structures with ideal temperature and humidity for hibernation. Places where bats hibernate are called hibernacula. Many species of bats move between summer and winter habitats.

What is a natural bat repellent? ›

Essential Oil Spray – Mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, cloves, and peppermint essential oils are all touted as ways to repel bats with their strong smell. Others say to mix 2 cups of warm water with a few drops of essential oil and a half cup of sugar.

How do you scare a bat out of hiding? ›

Rather than rushing after it, shut off the lights and ceiling fans. Make sure you leave the doors and one or more windows open, and the bat will get a good chance to fly out on its own. If the bat is in the attic or chimney, you will need to seal the gaps because the bat needs just a small space to crawl inside.

Can a bat crawl under a door? ›

When a bat is seen, seek to enclose it into as small a portion of the house as possible. If he is in your bedroom, close the bedroom door, and place a towel at the base (bats can crawl under doors).

Are bats harmful? ›

Bats play key roles in ecosystems around the globe. They also can carry diseases, including rabies. The best way to protect yourself and bats is to stay away from them and get medical care if you come in contact with them.

Can bats chew through walls? ›

However much you may have heard through various sources the fact remains that, bats can chew absolutely nothing as in they do not chew through walls, wood, wires or any other related building materials similar to rodents and mice do.

Can bats live in your walls? ›

Some species of bats prefer to live in houses - the same houses that people occupy. Bats live in walls and attic spaces because they make great places to hibernate or raise their young. Occasionally, a bat will inadvertently get inside the living quarters - such as a bedroom.

Do bats bite? ›

Bats do not bite unless they are provoked. Even the occasional rabid bat seldom becomes aggressive. However, since bats are a rabies vector species in most places and, like all wild animals, can bite to defend themselves, it is crucial to take all necessary precautions to avoid a potential exposure to the virus.

Does one bat mean an infestation? ›

One random bat in the house doesn't always mean anything. Most of the people that call us have had at least two or three instances of bats in the house over the last few years though. Multiple bats in your house is a very strong indication of an infestation. Most bat colonies found in houses are maternal colonies.

Do bats bite humans while sleeping? ›

If you find a bat dead or alive in your home, especially in your bedroom in the morning, there is a possibility that you could have been bitten while you were asleep. This risk applies to anyone sleeping in the area, including an infant or a pet.

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

They like hiding in the dark corners of the house. The attic is the first place to check if you suspect there is a bat in the house. The attic is warm and is one of the darkest and most secluded areas, making it the perfect shelter for bats. Secondly, the garage is another place where bats like to hide.

How do you get a bat to come out of hiding? ›

The easiest way to release a bat back into the wild is to trap it in a box or container. Start by waiting for the bat to land (likely a place it can hang). Quickly place a plastic container or cardboard box over the bat. Then, slide a piece of cardboard or thick paper under the box and release the bat outside.

What is the best way to get rid of bats? ›

If you are permitted to help bats relocate, there are eight ways to go about it.
  1. Close up any entry points. ...
  2. Use natural repellents. ...
  3. Add a bat house to your yard. ...
  4. Remove bats food source. ...
  5. Install bright garden lights. ...
  6. Install a sound machine. ...
  7. Clean the area the bats have been in. ...
  8. Call a professional.
5 Aug 2022

How long can a bat live in your house? ›

If there is no food or water, a bat trapped in a house will die within 24 hours. Even after it is dead, you should not touch or go near the bat.

Do bats build nests in houses? ›

Bats don't make holes to get into buildings; they use entry points we leave open. Small openings or narrow gaps high on houses allow bats to enter. Bats may also enter under loose-fitting doors, around windows and through gaps around conduits and utility vents. Successfully evicting bats can be challenging.

What happens if a bat touches you? ›

If you touch the bat (or think you or your pet or child could have touched the bat), call Public Health immediately at 206-296-4774. Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin.

Will bats come out with lights on? ›

Bats do not like light and they will avoid it as much as it is possible. They will not come out in the light unless they are really starving and they need to go out for food. The main reason why bats will avoid light is predator avoidance.

Is there a bat season? ›

Bat maternity season, the time when bats give birth and raise their young, runs through Aug. 14. During that time, it is illegal to block bats from their roosts. If bats are excluded during maternity season, flightless young can be trapped inside the structure and die.

Should I be worried about a bat in my house? ›

While bats themselves can often carry diseases like rabies, the most dangerous risks from having bats in your home come from their droppings, which can host a wide variety of dangerous (and even deadly) diseases and parasites.

Do bats return to the same place? ›

Some bats leave for the winter, but most hibernate in their nest. In April, these same bats return to their nesting places. If the bats have a nest in your home, they will return to the same spot, year after year.

What month do bats come out? ›

Bats begin hibernating when the cold weather drives the insects away, typically around October and November, and emerge from hibernation in March. Bat hibernation patterns can vary by region, based on seasonal temperature differences across the country.

Is there a trap for bats? ›

Bat traps are used by scientists to capture and study bats. Some bat removal companies utilize bat traps to get bats out of homes. While, bat traps may be necessary, they should not be used as a matter of practive to remove bat colonies from homes.

Do bats hide under beds? ›

Bats can fit into some very small spaces. Just because you can't find the bat anymore doesn't mean it isn't in the room. It could be under the bed, behind a curtain, in your clothes, etc. By not knowing where the bat is, you or a loved one could accidentally grab the bat while handling something else.

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