A woman thinks as she looks at three types of bat deterrents

What is the Best Bat Deterrent?

What is the best bat deterrent? Do bat deterrents work? Can I let bats live in my attic? You may ask these questions if you’ve seen bats locally or around your home. While bats play a vital role in our ecosystem, having them roost in your house/attic can lead to numerous problems. From structural damage to health concerns associated with bat guano, there are compelling reasons to deter bats from making your home their own. So, what is the best bat deterrent?

Bat Deterrents 

Ultrasonic Bat Deterrents

Ultrasonic bat deterrent devices are usually the first results in an online search for “What is the best bat deterrent?”. These devices emit noises at a super high frequency, which bats will hear but humans will not. The purpose is to irritate and confuse bats and to interfere with bats’ echolocation sounds that they use for navigation and communication. Imagine you are in a maze, and a friend is shouting at you to help you find your way. Then, someone else comes into the maze and calls “over here” repeatedly. It would be confusing and irritating, right? That’s the idea behind ultrasonic bat repellents. 

ultrasonic bat deterrent device on a wall

Chemical Bat Repellents

Many chemical bat repellents are also available; these use strong chemicals that are released into the air to irritate the bats. Unfortunately, these substances are not humane – they will cause some harm to the bats. For example, many chemical bat repellents use naphthalene, typically found in mothballs. This causes discomfort to the bats’ respiratory functions. They are designed to cause such irritation that the bats will leave to search for an alternative place to live. Unfortunately, these products are hazardous to bat health and human health. As bats are a protected, valuable species, and our client’s health is always of paramount importance, we advise against using these products. 

Natural Bat Repellents

Natural Bat Repellents are a far safer alternative to chemical bat repellents as they use essential oils to repel bats. Products /oils used include spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus, and cinnamon. These scents are considered unpleasant to bats and are widely used in the hope that they will deter bats and other insects safely and humanely. 

Mint essential oil container with pipette

Do Bat Deterrents Work?

Can any of the above purchases guarantee you a bat-free home? The short answer is no. Although many bat deterrents are marketed as the best solution for keeping bats away, they are not guaranteed to stop them from roosting in your home. The above products are designed to “repel” – to annoy the bats so that they will stay away. However, repellents may not work at all, and if they do irritate the bats sufficiently, the bats may still find a way into your home and just avoid the area near the repellent. Due to environmental changes and processes like deforestation destroying natural habitats, more bat colonies are being driven away from natural shelters and looking for homes in other structures. If the bats find an entrance to your home that provides protection and warmth and is near a regular food source, they will likely choose to stay. That being the case, is there a need to deter bats, or should you just let them create a home within your home?

big brown bat colony in an attic above a house

Do I need to deter bats?

Keeping bats away and removing them from your home is essential for several reasons. Firstly, bats can expose you to severe diseases. Bats in the US can carry rabies; rabid bats are reported yearly across the US states, and thousands of people receive post-exposure rabies shots. Rabies is a serious illness; it is still untreatable once symptoms develop, so vaccinations must be received promptly after exposure. Rabies shots are costly, and the process is highly stressful. Another health concern is bat guano – which can harbor fungal spores called Histoplasma. When inhaled, these spores can cause Histoplasmosis, a serious respiratory illness. These factors make it vital to keep bats from living in your attic or home. Bats will also cause significant damage to your home. Bat guano and urine are a toxic combination that can erode through even strong materials. The waste can also attract other pests. So, yes, we should deter bats from living in our buildings. But, if the marketed “bat deterrents” aren’t guaranteed to work, what is the best bat deterrent?

a woman receiving a rabies shot to her arm after bat exposure
histoplasmosis creating cough
Bats coming out of a roof

Bat-proof your Property

The best way to deter bats from roosting in your home is to ensure there is no way for them to get in! This means bat-proofing! Inspect your property thoroughly, look for any holes through which bats could enter, and seal these up. And we’re not talking holes the size of a bat. Bats are incredible creatures – due to their flexible wing membranes, they can squeeze through tiny gaps, as small as 3/8″ – that’s the diameter of a dime! You can use caulk, expanding foam, grout, and wood for the sealing. A word of caution: this work can be dangerous. It requires working at all levels to go over every inch of your home, including your roof, to seal gaps. So, only do this work if you are confident you can do so safely and have suitable PPE. If you require assistance, a bat removal specialist can help. At Get Bats Out, we have man-lifts, and our technicians are qualified for rope access work. This means we can reach all areas of any structure, so if your home or commercial property is tall and difficult to work on, contact us, and we will be happy to help. Even if you decide to use one of the bat-repellant devices or techniques mentioned before, you should seal up your property, as this is the only proven way to keep bats out of a home. 

A bat removal technician bat-proofing a house

Stay bat alert.

Finally, staying alert to signs of bats will help you ensure your home stays bat-free! Bats are drawn to areas with a reliable food source – usually insects such as mosquitos – so if you live near lakes or other still water, bats may be particularly attracted to your home. Stay vigilant to signs of bats such as guano, staining on walls, and scratching noises. Outside lights attract insects, so where possible, turning off exterior lights is a good idea. In addition to bat-proofing your home, ensure windows have screens fitted so that bats cannot enter that way. Follow these tips; hopefully, you will keep bats away from your home! As always, let us know if you have any questions or need help with bat removal! 

 

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Your Local Bat Removal Specialist,

Michael Koski

Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael Koski

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