When people tell me they have bats in the basement, I tell them that they have a REAL problem on their hands!

Why Are Bats in the Basement Bad?

The thing is, if you have bats in your basement, it’s indicative of a bat infestation.

Bats prefer higher elevation and tend to enter a structure from the top, such as through the roof or the chimney. By the time they’re occupying the basement, it typically means that they’ve populated the attic and the walls first.

Many people mistakenly try to seal the basement, thinking that will stop the influx of bats there. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough, because those bats aren’t coming in from below—they’re coming in from above.

what to do about it

Bats are a health hazard and a drag on property values, so I recommend you look into bat exclusion if you have any bats in your home. Like we mentioned last week, it’s the off season for most bats (who are either hibernating or migrating), so you’re not likely to see bats in the basement for a while yet.

But it’s still important to remember what having bats in the basement represents when bat season comes around again in a few months! Never hesitate to call us if you have questions!

Your local bat removal expert,

Michael Koski

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  • stewart robinson

    June 10, 2021 | Reply

    hi we live in sw. wis. my question is i had a bat in my upstairs bedroom flying around, i preceded to the first floor turned on my front door light (to attract bugs) opened the door and waited. the bat came down and flew out the front door... 3 days now and i was awaken by a crash in the basement a bat flew around crashing in to the stuff we had on a shelf, bottles were knocked over and broken.. we heard some activity in the corner of the basement.my question is if we open the basement door at dusk would the bat fly out. or more flying in??? the funny thing it always starts around 3:00 am. thanks

    • Tori Bruce

      June 10, 2021 | Reply

      Hello, It sounds like you need to talk to a professional. Has bat work been done on your house in past few years? Any recent exterior work? Have you checked the attic? Bats don't want to fly into your home - unless they've been excluded from the attic and they are trying to figure out how to get back in. If no exclusion has been done - then you have a colony living in the house, and occasionally one gets lost on its way outside to hunt bugs.

  • Nicole Mastin

    September 2, 2020 | Reply

    I have had a bat in my house now twice. 1st time I swore it came thru from the basement door and hung itself in a corner of my living room. Got that one out and less then 2 weeks later another was flying thru my house when I woke at 4:30 am. I live in Ney, Ohio and this happened in August. From what I read seems I might have some problems. My sons room has the door to the basement in it and he is 11 and trys to keep it shut but the cat pushes door open then seems next day there will be a bat. I dont know what to do.

    • Tori Bruce

      September 2, 2020 | Reply

      I agree, one bat can be excused as a mishap, but when it becomes a pattern, it usually indicates a problem. The fact that your son's room is so connected to the problem spot, is a reason for real concern. I advise having someone with specific experience dealing with bats come out to do an inspection. If you have more questions or want more information, please call our customer service line 877-264-2287.

  • Darlin D. Aviles

    September 2, 2020 | Reply

    This is a very helpful article. Thanks for sharing your tips on how to get rid of bats.

  • Dora Allaire

    September 1, 2020 | Reply

    The apartment I moved into has history of 1 bat flying into apartment every August...any ideas of why...and thoughts of infestation...landlord plugged some holes before I was here and apparently they were bat free for 5.years...but this year again 1 in my apartment in August..professional thoughts??? Ty

    • Tori Bruce

      September 1, 2020 | Reply

      Hi, Bats can of course fly in through an open window or door but your "August pattern" sounds more like there is an infestation somewhere in the building. August is an extremely active time of year for bats. All the little pups that were born earlier in the season are becoming hunters themselves and might be out and about for the first time. Your landlords efforts to plug holes may have worked for a while, but building maintenance or weather could have created an entry. Bats have a long lifespan and are instinctively vigilant about returning to where they were born every year. It's hard as a renter to have much control, but you can look around your apartment for any gaps (bats can fit through VERY tiny spaces) and try to seal them. This would be ethical because your apartment is not their route out. But if your landlord is plugging holes on the outside, he needs to do his homework because it is illegal and inhumane to trap the bats in.

  • Maricela Bustamante

    May 24, 2020 | Reply

    So, I live in Nebraska, I moved back about 4 years ago. We originally bought the house about 10 years ago but I just moved back... Over the last 2-3 years I have been randomly woken up in the middle of the night to a bat in my basement bedroom. I can hear them occasionally outside screetching and all of the walking on my ceiling, which is tile boards.. the house is made of brick. Is there anything I should be doing to prevent them from coming in... I have managed to catch them in a box or something and release them outside but unfortunately, my car has injured them or killed them before. What do you recommend?

    • Tori Bruce

      May 25, 2020 | Reply

      Hi, the regular appearance of bats inside the living space is a clear indicator that a colony of bats is living in the house with you. They are either in an attic, ceiling or wall. An inspection followed by an exclusion and bat proofing would be the solution. If you'd like to talk to our customer service office please call 877-264-2287.

      • Rudy

        August 10, 2022 | Reply

        A bat came in my side door and went into my basement. I have a unfinished basement some with no ceiling. I tried locating the back with a flashlight but haven't seen or heard anything.. leaving the side door open is not an option it's too many Critters and rodents in my neighborhood that may come in.. what can I do to get rid of it. How long can a bat survive in a basement.

        • Tori Bruce

          August 11, 2022 | Reply

          I'm sorry! Sometimes local animal control will come to help. A bat cannot live for very long without food and water (likely 4 or 5 days). If you end up locating the bat after it's too late, remember to still wear gloves when handling it.

  • Jennifer Cox

    March 4, 2020 | Reply

    I have a bat in my basement. ? I live in northwest Ohio. Being that it is early March is it too soon to releast it outside?

    • Tori Bruce

      March 4, 2020 | Reply

      Hi, it can be released - it will find it's way back to its roost if it is healthy. Please wear gloves and if bit keep the bat for testing.

  • Serra

    February 10, 2020 | Reply

    Hi! We purchased a house back in October, it was completely gutted and we renovated the entire thing, top to bottom. There were no walls when we came in, we redid all of this, as well as re-insulated the entire attic, and there were no sign of bats anywhere inside. (There was a slight issue of one flying in through a window though, which was an event) Now that the house is fully renovated and livable, there's a bat in my basement. Im not quite sure how he got in, and this is the first time we've noticed any bats in the house whatsoever since everything was redone. Could they have stayed somewhere in the basement during the renovation? Or could they be coming in through another way such as the cold air vent or chimney? Im positive these are both sealed up, and it's the middle of winter so I don't think anythings chewed through those two areas. Is there also a way I can get him out of here where he won't get hurt? (And preferably where I won't get hurt either)

    • Tori Bruce

      February 15, 2020 | Reply

      Hello, Animal Control is going to be the safest bet for both the bat and you. If that is not an option, sometimes the local fire department or police department will come catch the bat for you. It is highly unlikely the bat(s) have been living in the basement (not impossible - they do go into caves and that might be like a basement - but usually a bat in the basement followed a pipe chase or similar from the higher portions of the house (attic, ceiling, walls) and then emerged into the usually-less-finished basement.

  • Brianna

    November 26, 2019 | Reply

    Hi! I'm renting an apartment in an old building in Terre Haute, IN. I moved Aug 2019 and have already had two bat's in my apartment within these few months. I know they came from the crawlspace which is open to the small basement because I have access from my apartment. I can also hear one under the floor and sometimes in the wall! Just like you said, my landlord thought sealing the basement windows would fix the problem. I'm worried the bat should already be hibernating and wasn't sure if I should try to catch/release him if he's ever in the basement where I can reach him OR if I should wait until Spring. I don't want him to die. In the meantime I'll definitely be sharing this with the landlord so he can check out the roof and any potential openings!

    • Brianna

      November 26, 2019 | Reply

      Also, if they can only live without food/water for a few days, yet I hear a bat maybe once a week (over the last two months) does that mean there's maybe more down there or that they aren't hibernating?

    • Tori Bruce

      November 27, 2019 | Reply

      Hi, Sorry you have a bat issue in your new (new to you) place! It sounds like you're on the road to figuring it out. My guess would be you have a small colony there and yes, they should be hibernating or entering their state of torpor now with this cold front. So my advice is, if one ends up in the house again, try to catch and release it. (Unless there is any chance that it was in contact with any humans- its better to test a bat for rabies than give everyone shots!) As far as sealing up the outside... waiting until spring would be best for the bats, BEFORE maternity season, and the ethical way requires one way doors so the bats can leave but not get back in. We have a very knowledgable staff if you have more questions: 877-264-2287. If you continue hearing a lot of noise in the walls through winter, I would investigate if you might have another type of critter in there too.

  • Ashley

    August 15, 2019 | Reply

    Hi , two nights ago there was a bat that woke us all up from our sleep around 3:00 am . It kept flying around from upstairs to down stairs , and then , eventually we didn’t see it anymore once we finally came out of ours rooms from being trapped in them for 30 mins . We don’t know where the bats keep coming from this is the second bat within 2 months that has ran us out of ours beds in the middle of the morning hours . We have a good idea they are coming from the attic but after the first one we stuffed things under the space between the attic door and floor because we seen that was a big space for it to just crawl from under there and be out of the attic . So now this one just a month later we are confused about how it got into our rooms . Could they be coming down from the attic and through the walls and coming into our rooms through the vents in the walls ? And last question , because the other night all of a sudden we didn’t see it anymore could it have went into my basement , if so how long will it survive down there , it’s been 3 days already ? The laundry room part of the basement is lighted , a light bulb stays on down there but the other parts is really dark but it’s one big open space down there not an finished basement either . Help !

    • GetBatsOut

      August 15, 2019 | Reply

      Bats seldom come into the living space of a home or building through the obvious spots. They can squeeze themselves through very small openings and always keep us on our toes. If there is a colony living in the attic, the only way to assure they do not access your living space is to do an exclusion and bat proofing so they can't access the home at all. It's impossible to tell how they got from the attic into the living space. Bats can only live a few days without food or water which they likely won't find in your house. One thing you need to keep in mind is that if a bat is found in a room where someone was asleep and the bat is not captured for testing, you should seek the advise of your doctor. They may recommend rabies shots. If you have additional questions, please call our customer service at 877-264-2287. We would be happy to discuss your individual situation.

  • Sue

    July 22, 2019 | Reply

    I live in an older home and it has been over a year since I saw the second one ever in my basement. I had someone search for it for days but we never found it. I was just downstairs doing laundry and saw one flying about. It scared me half to death. I left the light on in the basement as I darted upstairs. Our temperatures outside have been between 98 and 110 for the last three days during extreme humidity and heat this week. I had someone seal the chimney last year meaning any small openings that could be found around the outside of the chimney. I am petrified to go back down in the basement. Could this be the same bat a year later? I would’ve thought that it would’ve died from hunger? I honestly am considering moving which is a great inconvenience and I don’t want to give up my home. How long can a bat hide or hibernate in my basement, if I have glue traps hanging in my basement might the bat end up stuck to it? Why don’t I hear any bats ever squealing in my basement? And my last question is are bats as afraid of humans as some of us are afraid of them?

    • GetBatsOut

      July 22, 2019 | Reply

      Bats in the basement is an indication of an entrenched and large colony living in your home. If all you did last year was seal up the chimney, those bats moved down the wall and got right back in. Once bats have established a roost, they are very insistent about getting back to it. They can fit in a very small hole and likely found another one. My guess is that you still have a colony living in the house with you. Our bat removal process is an all inclusive solution to seal up the whole house so this very thing doesn't happen. So to answer your questions: 1 - No, it's not the same bat especially this time of year. 2 - Bats need to feed nearly daily. They can only live approximately 5-7 days without water or food. 3 - Bats can get stuck in glue traps like anything else. It's very inhumane and highly discouraged as bats are protected and you're not allowed to kill them. 4 - Bats are quiet animals. Some people hear them, some don't. Most of the time the noisy ones are the babies. Those are likely in the attic, not the basement. 5 - Yes, bats are an animal of prey and are very scared of you. They don't want to be around you any more than you do them.

  • Meade Skelton

    June 27, 2019 | Reply

    Hello! I live in Virginia, and most houses here do not have basements but some do. A few years ago I found a bat in our basement. It was a small brown bat. The bat was on the floor. It wasn't moving very well and seemed injured . Unfortunately, we did not call or test for rabies. My father got a pair of gloves and a towel and removed the bat and put in a garbage bag. We have never seen any bats since then. Could an infestation be possible? Or was that just a loan bat? Our cat has been had all her rabies shots.

    • GetBatsOut

      June 27, 2019 | Reply

      Rabies symptoms would have already set in for you and/or your animals so I wouldn't be concerned about that. I would recommend having any others found in your home tested should it arise again. You can look for signs if you are concerned there is an infestation. Read this blog to see what you need to check for: https://www.getbatsout.com/3-signs-bats-living-home/

  • Marcella conti

    May 13, 2019 | Reply

    In the past 50 years I've had about 5 or 6 bats in my home. I never knew how they got in. However, within the last six months I've had 2 small bats that showed up in my basement. I have no clue how they got in there. I just discovered one this evening. I closed the basement door. If I open a basement window in the morning will the bat fly out in daylight. Also do I have an infestation.

    • Tori Bruce

      May 13, 2019 | Reply

      I'm sorry to hear about your bat problem! There are many factors to consider when determining if there is an infestation or not. If you can call our customer service number (877-264-2287) during business hours, we'd be happy to talk with you more and determine how big or small your bat problem may be. I hope we can help!

  • franklin bartlow

    February 2, 2019 | Reply

    Hello I recently purchased a house in pa and it's winter here now negative degrees out but I was laying in bed watching tv when a bat came flying into the room I have no clue where it came from but my attic door is closed the house was only 50 degrees when I moved in and now it's 70 I just hooked up a coal stove in my basment so I guess my question is what are the odds of only having one bat

    • GetBatsOut

      February 4, 2019 | Reply

      The odds are about 50/50. Winter time bats in the house are more likely to be a colony hibernating in your attic or walls, but it isn't a guarantee. Call our customer service for a free phone consultation.

  • Bill Kovacs

    January 18, 2019 | Reply

    Hi, I have seen a bat or 2 in the basement (never more than 2 together), as caught on a video camera. Its Jan, I noticed that 1 or 2 were flying around this week. I have caught approx. 4 or 5 over the past 6 years, and always rule it out to be an odd occurrence, but to see them again this week in the basement has me concerned, Being Jan, is there a way to determine if there is a much bigger issue? I wouldn't expect that they fly outside this time of year, and have never seen any flying around the house in the summer, but have not purposely looked for them at sunset either. Any advice for next steps? Thank you

    • Tori Bruce

      January 19, 2019 | Reply

      Hello Bill, I agree, that is concerning. We would be happy to give you a free detailed consultation if you call our customer service department. 877-264-2287. I hope we can help.

  • Alton johnson

    January 4, 2019 | Reply

    I found a bat in my basement. Does that mean i have an infestation

    • GetBatsOut

      January 7, 2019 | Reply

      We would probably need more information on your situation. It is an indication of an infestation, but there are other factors to consider. Feel free to call and discuss it with my customer service department. 877-264-2287

  • sudha

    December 6, 2018 | Reply

    Only 3-4 days back we saw something flying in the house from front door and disappeared in the house . two days later i saw a bat flying in the basement. we closed the door . A day later i went in basement and put bright light bulbs and opened the basement door. and looked around for the bat but could not see anywhere . Any suggestions ??? I live in Holland ohio

    • GetBatsOut

      December 10, 2018 | Reply

      It's pretty cold there right now. The fact that bat was out at all is a bad sign for the bat. There are really only 3 scenarios that come to mind. 1 - The bat found a spot to go to sleep and is now hibernating until spring. 2 - The bat had white nose syndrome and is dead or dying. (WNS is not something you or your family can get. It is only harmful to the bat.) 3 - It was a species of bat called the big brown. They are well known for waking up during hibernation, taking a short stretch (fly) around, and going back into hibernation. Either way, you most likely won't see it again until spring if it's even still in the basement. Be cautious if you are reaching into a dark area down there for now, especially if it is a cool area.

  • Concerned but not freaked out yet

    June 15, 2018 | Reply

    Hi, I’ve lived in my house for ten years now and have NEVER seen a bat....until this morning. Went into my basement for laundry and heard a noise, looked over my shoulder and saw a bat approximately 15 feet away; it was flapping it’s wings and latched onto the wall. It was pretty close to my exterior entrance (large set of Bilco doors). I quick ran upstairs, out my back door, around to the Bilco doors and opened them up. I waited a few seconds, then went back inside (with the Bilco doors still open), grabbed a flashlight and went back down to the basement. Right as I turned the corner I’m pretty sure I saw the bat flying away out of the opened Bilco doors. Whole thing freaked me out. I got home from work/errands tonight and poked all around my basement. Didn’t hear or see anything unusual. Now, a few days ago I got home from work and realized I forgot my house keys. So I entered my house through those Bilco doors and then up through the basement. Thing is I forgot to go back out and shut them. They were left opened until the following day. What do you think the likelihood is that this was an isolated incident and the bat entered through those Bilco doors when they were left opened? Tips on how to find other less obvious signs of bat presence?

    • GetBatsOut

      June 20, 2018 | Reply

      It's definitely possible this was an isolated incident. There are definite signs you can look for. Check out this blog post: https://www.getbatsout.com/3-signs-bats-living-home/

  • Amanda

    June 8, 2018 | Reply

    If we found one bat in our basement last night does this mean we have an infestation? There is a broken window that my husband taped bc a rock that the lawn mower hit cracked the window. But it is duck taped.

    • GetBatsOut

      June 12, 2018 | Reply

      It could, but doesn't necessarily mean that. I wouldn't be super suspicious of a broken window at the basement level with a bat. Bats like to enter through high, small places. Bats have to fall to fly so they roost up high and they like small openings so predators can't follow them through. If you are concerned you have an infestation, do a twilight watch to see if bats fly out of the roof line area at dusk. Some people also hear them in the walls and attics, but not always as bats are fairly quiet.

  • Brenda M Rice

    June 4, 2018 | Reply

    I HAVE A BAT IN MY BASEMENT AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET IT OUT.

    • GetBatsOut

      June 4, 2018 | Reply

      Here's a quick guide you can follow: https://www.getbatsout.com/5-ways-remove-bat-house-office/

  • Kinley

    February 10, 2018 | Reply

    Hi I'm 15 years old. my bedroom is in the basement there was one time I was in bed and about 1:00 am I heard scratching on the wall. I see a little tiny figure move across the back of my shelf so I shine my flash light to a see what it was and hears a high pitch scream and it did that many times so I go upstairs and sleep. later a few days after my dad hit a few places with a stick to see if there was anything but it didn't work and nothing showed up for quite a while. But then just last night I hear the scratching again at 11:45pm so I look around and see at least two figures fly over my head I'm super worried there are bats in my room what should I do? I have a huge fear of bats and I'm to scared to sleep in my room. If this is any helpful information we have a side door that leads to the basement and it has a bit of a space under it. Could that be where there comeing from?

    • GetBatsOut

      February 16, 2018 | Reply

      Bats usually access a roost through high places. They aren't very good flyers and can't take off from the ground. They have to fall to fly. If there are bats, the bottom of the door is most likely not the culprit. It sounds like there is a possibility of a bat infestation, but I can't say for sure without doing an inspection. Have your parents call us at 877-264-2287 to schedule. I'm sorry I can't offer you more assistance.

  • Tasha

    December 10, 2016 | Reply

    I will try to make this as short as possible. In July of 2013, my husband an I purchased our first house. In September our bat problems began when one was suddenly flying around the living room during a house warming party. We chalked it up to accidentally flying in and let the bat out and went about our business. Two days later the same thing happened again. This time we checked out our house and conducted a bat watch the next night with both of us at opposite sides of the house right before dusk all the way until it was dark out with no luck. We did not have another bat in the house until October of 2014. I had just had a baby and was coming downstairs to make a bottle in the middle of the night when I saw one flying in the kitchen. We called a local number for help and got the voice mail and no call back. We continued searching for solutions. This did not happen again until the summer of 2015 when we spotted a bat in our bedroom. When my husband tried getting it out, the bat disappeared and we never found it which terrified us. We finally contacted someone and had them come look at our house. They thoroughly checked the entire house inside and out including the attic. However, they refused to check the basement saying that they cannot get that low. They ultimately told us that all of these incidents were freak accidents and that we might check to see if we have accidentally left a window open. After objecting, these people told us that they could not help us. The very next day, we woke up and went about our day normally. That afternoon close to 1:00 I was doing the dishes and looked up to notice a bat hanging from the kitchen window asleep. My husband caught the bat so that we could get it tested like the expert recommended. We called that expert and told them the incident and they agreed to come back and look that evening before dusk to see where they are coming out at. They never showed up and then did not answer when we called. We went to get the bat tested at our health department. The bat was still alive. They refused to test it and told us that they only test if someone has been bitten. The last incident occurred in February of 2016. As odd as it sounds I woke up to two bats flying around the living room. I opened the front door and let them fly out. Since then we have had two incidents where we have heard loud high pitched squeaking and we prepared for one to make an appearance, but never did. But most recently two nights ago my husband was in the basement and heard high pitched squeaking in our basement walls and noticed a couple of spots were they could possibly get in. We now have plastic sectioning off our furnished basement with the rest of the house. I really could not make this up if I wanted to. I have read resource after resource and I know there is a certain way you have to exclude them so that they are not trapped in our house. This is why we have not done this yet ourselves. We really need some help. It has been about a year since we have last seen one, but the stress has become very overwhelming. I hope that maybe you could assist us.

    • GetBatsOut

      December 12, 2016 | Reply

      Hi Tasha, we'd be happy to help. I have your email address listed here. I will have our customer service department reach out to you to go over more specific information. Many of our staff members have experience with bats in the basement, you're not alone! Many people feel unlistened to by "professionals" they call in. These people don't specialize in bats and don't usually know what they're talking about as bats are completely different than other nuisance wildlife. We hear stories like yours all the time, unfortunately. With a baby in the house, this is the last thing you need. We'll be in touch soon!

  • Sara Guzman

    November 18, 2016 | Reply

    We have a bat problem. 2 nights ago my cat caught 2 bats in our basement. We have had trouble with them for a couple of yrs or more. What should we do?

    • GetBatsOut

      November 21, 2016 | Reply

      Hi Sara, that's very concerning that your cat is catching bats in the basement. For starters, please make sure your cat is up to date on its rabies shots. Secondly, if there are bats in the basement, that usually means there is a pretty large infestation. I would strongly recommend you get a professional in to look at the problem. As long as you are in the US, I have technicians that can help you. I will have our customer service department reach out to you via the email you provided. If you would like to speak with them, please call us at 877-264-2287. If you have any more specific questions, please let me know.

  • Diane

    August 28, 2016 | Reply

    If i leave open the basement door going into the garage and the garage door open for a few hours in the evening do you think it will fly out ? We think it came in through the furnace/ac vent.

    • GetBatsOut

      August 29, 2016 | Reply

      Yes, bats can sense air flow. They want to be outside. Turn on all the lights in the basement and turn off the lights outside. It will gravitate to the dark and the fresh air.

  • Jenae

    August 23, 2016 | Reply

    One of your clients stated they file a claim against their home owner's insurance. For what reason would someone file a home owner's insurance claims for bats? Was it a new home construction that should have already been properly sealed and wasnt, thus bats were getting in? I just was wondering how or if I can file that kind of claim.

    • GetBatsOut

      August 23, 2016 | Reply

      Hi Jenae. There are actually many scenarios that a homeowners insurance may cover bats in your home. Did you download our insurance guide yet? It's free. I recommend reading it over and seeing if your situation fits? Here is the link for it: https://www.getbatsout.com/bat-removal-insurance-guide-download/

  • becky k

    July 29, 2016 | Reply

    This is the fourth bat in my basement.we just had the eve's closed because squirrels were living in there.i don't know how they are getting in the basement.i can only guess the side door,but that many?

    • GetBatsOut

      July 29, 2016 | Reply

      My guess is that when you sealed the house for the squirrels, you also sealed the bats in. They are trying to find an alternate route out of the house and that is how they are ending up in the basement. Most likely they are making their way down the interior of your walls. This is just an educated guess and not set in stone. I would suggest getting someone out ASAP to check if you have more bats in there. They will either start filling up your house or they will die and start to stink. It sounds like you need to open one of those holes back up and let them out. FYI - squirrels often chew holes that bats will then exploit. If you have holes from squirrels, there is a good chance you also have a bat infestation.

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