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How to Get Rid of Bats

May 10th, 2024 | 6 min. read

By Louis Greubel

A bat resting on a wooden beam. It appears to be looking directly into the camera lens. It's standing on all fours.

Maybe you’ve heard them. Maybe you’ve seen them. But however you’ve been made aware of their presence, one thing is clear: if bats have invaded your home, they have to go ASAP.

As a homeowner, a bat invasion can be scary and frustrating. You’re left wondering how they got in, what kind of damage they’re causing, whether or not they’re a threat to your health and safety, how to get them out, and how to keep them from coming back.

If any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, don’t worry — we’re here to help.

At HY-C, we manufacture several wildlife and pest control exclusion solutions under our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION brand. We work closely with experts at the National Wildlife Control Operators Association, and a number of our employees have even taken their bat management course. In this guide, we want to tell you exactly how to handle your bat problem.

We’ll explain how bats get into your home, several common signs that bats are present, and whether or not you should try to tackle the problem yourself. And most importantly, we’ll tell you how you go about getting (and keeping) them out of your home.

By the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll understand exactly how to handle a bat invasion from start to finish.

How Do Bats Get in Your House?

Though bats vary in size across the country, their wings can make them seem a bit bigger than they actually are. Bats really are just about the size of a mouse, and they can fit virtually anywhere a mouse can fit (with the added advantage of being able to fly).

Though it’s not out of the realm of possibility for a bat to get into your home from just about any opening or crack, some points are more common than others.

Bats are sensitive to air currents and circulation. It draws them in. As a result, they tend to enter homes in three common locations:

  1. Gable vents
  2. Ridge vents
  3. Dormers

Gable Vents

A bat crawling its way up and into a gable vent. Other bats can be seen who have already bypassed the vent.

The gable is the top, triangular-shaped portion of an outer wall of your home above which the roof comes to a point. Usually your attic space is on the other side of a gable end.  Unventilated attics are prime spots for still, stagnant air, so contractors often build gable vents to allow for circulation. You can very easily spot these vents on most houses.

Gable vents typically come with some kind of hardware cloth or bug screen pre-installed on them to keep critters out. The problem, though, is that this layer of protection is pretty weak. Most critters can simply push past it — bats included.

Ridge Vents

A black and white GIF of a bat accessing an attic through a roof vent at night.

The ridge is the part of your roof where the roof comes to a point. It’s the highest point on your roof. Again, to ensure proper attic ventilation, many homes are built with a ridge vent system that allows air to circulate throughout the attic.

Remember, though, that a bat is as small as a mouse. They can easily squeeze past a ridge vent and make a home in your attic.

Many companies make barriers to protect ridge vents from bats and other critters, but all it takes is one slight bend or deformity in the barrier to allow access to an entire colony of bats.


A black and white GIF of a bat accessing an attic through a gap in a roof dormer at night.

A dormer is a structure that juts out perpendicular to a roof, usually containing a window. Dormers are aesthetically and architecturally pleasing, but the nature of how they’re made very often leaves cracks and gaps for critters to slip into.

Once a bat gets past these gaps in the dormer, they’ll have access to your attic, the inside of your walls, or maybe even the rest of your home.

Signs of Bats in Your House

Oftentimes, bats sneak into your home undetected, and you won’t discover the issue until an entire colony has made a home in your attic. The earlier you identify the initial permeation, the easier (and likely cheaper) it will be to address the problem.

So, how can you stay vigilant and detect bats in your home from the get-go? Usually, there are four things to look out for:

  1. You’ll see a bat — obviously if you spot a bat on or in your house, that’s clear evidence that they’re living with you.
  2. You’ll hear a bat — keep an ear open for bats’ characteristic squeaking and chittering. You also may hear fluttering, rustling, or scratching in your walls or ceiling.
  3. You’ll smell a bat — bats excrete just like any other animal. And like any other animal, it stinks. Be on the lookout for a bad smell that doesn’t go away on its own.
  4. You’ll find bat feces — bats usually defecate as they hang from the ceiling. As a result, their droppings are usually in one small area (typically in an attic) about the radius of a beach ball.

This is a more advanced wildlife identification technique, and we don’t recommend trying it yourself. But bat poop (also called guano) is different from mouse or rat poop in that it usually crumbles under pressure rather than feeling squishy or sticky.

Also, bat feces tends to sparkle when it’s crushed due to the iridescence of undigested bug parts typical to a bat’s diet.

How to Get a Bat out of Your House

A group of four bats squeezed together inside the wood joists of an attic.

At this point, you may be wondering, “Can I just take care of my bat problem on my own?

The answer is a strong, emphatic, “No!” This is true for a number of reasons. For one, bat removal often requires working from heights, which is inherently dangerous and better left to professionals.

For another, bats track several serious diseases like rabies or histoplasmosis. In order to keep you, your family members, and your pets disease-free, bat invasions are better left to the pros.

Finally, you very likely don’t know much at all about the diet, mating habits, migration patterns, or social behaviors of bats, all of which are vital to removing them successfully. All of this is to say that bat removal is absolutely better left to professionals.

Finding the right pest control expert to address your wildlife issue is a complex topic in itself, but let’s imagine you find the perfect operator to remove the bats from your home. How will they do it?

This is a bit of an oversimplification, but the removal process usually involves three steps:

  1. Assessing the extent of the problem
  2. Coaxing the bats out through one-way exits
  3. Sealing the entry points after all the bats are gone

Let’s take a look at each step of this process through the lens of a wildlife control professional.

1. Assessing the Extent of the Problem

Two bats hanging off the side of a wooden joist on a home.

Before we even begin, it’s important to note that any worthwhile wildlife control operator will never trap a bat. Instead, they’ll identify entry and exit points and install one-way doors over them (but more on that in a bit).

To start tackling the problem, your wildlife control professional will need to identify how many bats there are and where they’re getting in from. Before they do that, though, they need to think about what time of year it is.

In the United States, most bats rear young during June or July. As a result, there may be newly born bats in your attic that can’t fly yet. No good wildlife control operator will remove adult bats during this time as the young may get left behind. In fact, there’s an old expression about bats in the pest control industry: “June or July, let ‘em fly.

Also, removing bats when it’s cold out is something that wildlife control operators like to avoid, simply because the bats won’t want to leave.

2. Coaxing the Bats Out through One-Way Exits

Even if bats spend a lot of time in your house, they need to come out eventually for food and water. The key to getting and keeping them out is to find all the entry and exit points the bats are using and install one-way doors over each of them.

A plastic, one-way bat cone installed on the side of a brick home right under the roof.

These doors go by many names — bat valves, bat cones, one-way doors, etc. Whatever they’re called, though, they all work the same way: they provide a point through which the bat can leave but not come back in. The bats can slide down and out of the exits, but they won’t be able to fly or climb back up them.

Bats climbing their way down through one-way bat netting.

Another older technique still employed by some veteran wildlife control operators is called bat netting. The principle is the same: a bat can slide out through and escape under a net, but they don’t have the dexterity to lift it and get back in.

Whatever solution your operator uses, your bat problem essentially becomes a waiting game: allow the bats to leave one by one through these one-way exits until all of them are gone. It’s a war of attrition, so be patient.

3. Sealing the Entry Points after All the Bats Are Gone

After your operator has evacuated all the bats, the final step is to plug any of the holes they may have been using to get through. In many cases, this process simply requires metal flashing and a lot of caulk.

Depending on the level of expertise of your wildlife control operator, though, you may want to ask them about using wildlife exclusion devices. A few of our own HY-GUARD EXCLUSION wildlife exclusion solutions work perfectly for keeping out bats.

A man installing a black galvanized steel HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Roof Vent Guard over a static vent on a roof with black shingles.

As we’ve noted, roof vents are a popular entry point for bats, and you can seal them off with roof vent guards. These sturdy steel covers are forged from metal mesh and bolt directly onto your roof. Despite their small size, bats won’t be able to squeeze past them or break their solid steel frame.

A HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Pest Armor Panel installed over a round gable end vent on a stone wall.

Your operator may also want to consider Pest Armor Panels. These cut-to-fit mesh sheets are made from tight-mesh steel and can be installed over dormer gaps and gable end vents. Their steel construction is much more robust than bug screen or hardware cloth, ensuring bats can’t enter anymore.

What to do after Your Bat Problem is Fixed

That’s just about everything you need to know about bats in houses. By now, you should understand how they get in, how to identify their presence, and how a professional wildlife control operator will go about evicting them from your home.

But what should you do after the bats are gone?

It’s a great idea to get ahead of any other future wildlife issues to which your house may be subjected. After all, if bats managed to get in, other animals can probably access your home, too.

A good place to start is taking a look at the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION product offering. This comprehensive selection includes roof-to-foundation solutions designed to keep out common nuisance wildlife like bats, rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, insects, and more.

The better you understand your home’s vulnerabilities, the better equipped you’ll be to keep animals out before they can even get in. Learn about HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products today and make sure your home stays safe, secure, and animal-free.

Louis Greubel

Louis earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus in rhetoric and composition from St. Louis University in 2017. He has worked in marketing as a content writer for over 5 years. Currently, he oversees the HY-C Learning Center, helping HY-C subject matter experts to share their decades of home solution products experience with homeowners and sales partners across the country.