If you are reading this article, it probably means you have a fuzzy little, winged mammal flying frantically inside your house. Don’t panic! Most bats are pretty harmless and not vampires. It turns out they are just as terrified of you as you are of them!
There are several things you can do if a bat enters your home, but it is important to remain calm as you help it find its way outside. Simply turn off lights, turn off ceiling fans, and close doors to keep the bat in one room. Then open the windows and remove screens to give the bat a way to escape.
Now that you are breathing normally, your heart isn’t pounding in your throat, and everyone else is clear of the bat, let’s take a closer look at what you can do to help this little creepy creature of the night get back outside where it wants to be.
How to Get a Bat out of Your House
Bats do not want to be inside your house, just as much as you want the denizen of the night out. It will escape at the first chance it finds, but with all the lights and sensory overloads, it will be very confused and terrified. What can we do to get it out?
As a quick disclaimer, while most bats are harmless, some can be rabid. If you are bit or clawed by a bat in any way, please contact a professional immediately.
1. Evacuate the Room the bat is in
First things first, if you haven’t done so already, remove everyone from the room the bat is in. The bat will fly around at the highest point in the ceiling in frantic circles as it tries to find a way out.
2. Turn off lights and ceiling fans to help the bat
Next, make sure ceiling fans are turned off and lights are turned off. Ceiling fans can be especially dangerous as they can injure the bat pretty seriously, making it difficult for them to escape. Turning off the lights will help the bats find a way out as bats are nocturnal and can see very well in the dark.
3. Close The Bat Into One room
Make sure the bat is closed off in one room as it will be easier for it to find a way out and more safe for you. When a bat gets into a house, it did not go there intentionally, and all it wants to do is get back out into the night air.
4. Open windows and remove screens to give bats a way out
After closing the bat into a room, open any windows and remove any screens. With this help, the bat can find its way out without any help from you at all!
A reminder from Good Living is to not try to net it or catch it. Batwing bones and membranes are fragile, easily damaged, and very difficult to repair.
5. Resist the Urge to Smack the bat out of the Air
Bats get a bad rap as spooky creatures set out to drink blood, get tangled in your hair, and be all-around frightening pests, but that’s far from the truth! Think of a bat as a tiny gerbil with wings that eats its body weight in insects and especially mosquitos every night. Bats are truly beneficial at keeping nuisance insect populations in check.
Compared to humans, most bats are tiny, and they do not want to attack something that is so much bigger than they are. If they are handled, they most likely will bite in retaliation.
6. Call a Professional to help the bat escape
Initially, we had wrote a guide to actually walk you through getting rid of the bat yourself. However, it really ins’t the best idea for untrained individuals to remove a bat themselves.
Your absolute best bet is to call a professional animal removal service or the county animal rescue. Keep in mind though that they may not be able to come out immediately depending on their particular hours and business practices.
This is my preferred method as will lead to the best and most consistent results.
Does One Bat In The House Mean More?
Just because one bat accidentally crashed your party doesn’t mean you have an infestation. Most of the time when a bat enters a house, it probably came from an open door or window just like birds do on occasion. But it shouldn’t be cause for alarm!
If you regularly get bats inside your house, there could be a problem. Bats might be inside the eaves or overhangs of your house, or they might be inside your attic.
If you are noticing droppings inside your house, strange stains around windows or on your ceiling, an unexplained odor, or if you see bats entering or leaving your home, then you probably have bats roosting in your house. If any of these are the case, please call a professional bat removal service.
To learn more, take a look at this article Can Bats Do Damage To My House? to see the real damage bats can do.
Is it Safe to Sleep With a Bat in Your House?
If you have a bat in your house and it has invaded your bedroom, you should try to follow the above actions to remove the animal from your house. If you called a professional but they can’t come out until the following morning but you still need to sleep, what can you do?
You don’t want to sleep in the same room the bat is in. Keep the bat closed off in a room, away from all other people, children, and pets. While the bat will not search a person out to bite them, it is a wild animal.
First, discuss this with the pest control company you’re working with, but generally yes, you can still sleep in your house if a bat is inside as well, just don’t sleep in the same room as the bat. Make sure there are no exits or entries into other rooms of your house so the bat can’t move throughout.
What to do if You Find an Injured or Dying Bat
If you happen to see an injured bat outside, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Don’t touch injured wild animals, and call a professional service to find out if they can do anything. If the injured animal is inside, you should still call a local veterinarian to see if they can do anything for the animal or if they can supply you with a bat rescue that could help.
What to do if You Find a Bat inside During The Winter
Bats hibernate through winter, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never see them during the colder months. Sometimes they will wake up and move around if they get too warm or too cold, but mostly they want to sleep the cold months away.
1. If it’s Warm Out, Send the Bat on its Way
If the temperatures outside are above freezing, you can release the bat outside by opening nearby windows and keeping lights on. This will invite the bat to find a different, warm place to overwinter. Just not your house! If you can, watch to see where it flies off to. If it goes into your attic, you should call a professional because it may have friends inside your house.
2. Don’t Send the Bat into Freezing Temps
Don’t release the bat into below-freezing temperatures as it won’t survive. It is also not good to keep the animal for more than a day in captivity. If you have found a bat inside your house, and the weather outside is going to stay below freezing for some time, you should call a bat rescue and rehabilitation center. They should be able to come care for the little critter for you.
How to Prevent Bats from Entering Your House
Bats like to occupy empty holes in trees, caves, or in some cases, the inviting attic space of your house. It’s dark, warm, and offers protection from predators, and if they can find a way in, you may find yourself hosting a small colony of 20-40 bats.
The best way to prevent bats from entering your home is to deny access to attics, eaves, and soffit. Use a screen to cover attic vents, attic fans, or any other vents, and chimney screens should be outfitted on your chimney.
Do a thorough check of your home’s exterior. If you found an unwanted flying visitor inside, there could be a hole somewhere outside that let the bat in.
1. Caulk or Plug any Holes
Holes big enough for your pinky finger could be big enough for bats to enter. Plug any holes you see on the exterior of your house with caulk or putty, especially along the roofline, or around gutters.
2. Inspect Window Screens
Check around your house and make sure all your window screens are in place and are not damaged. While you’re doing that, also check around doorways, garage doors, or inside sheds and storage buildings. These are all places that bats can hang around.
How to Keep Bats Away from Your Covered Porch
If you notice bats starting to hang out under the roof of your covered porch, place something along the edges of the roof that will move in the breeze.
According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, bats will most typically use things like porches and overhangs to roost. This is where they’ll sleep and digest regular food they’ve eaten. To keep them off these areas, you can use things like streamers, balloons, and CD’s that will give off a reflection or be an inconvenience to the bat, causing it to stay away from that area.
Set up a Bat House
Now that the bat inside your house has been taken care of safely and humanely, you know there is a bat population around your area. Since bat populations are in decline, and they are so beneficial to our environment, (just not when they are trying to occupy the same living space as yours) you should think about setting up some bat houses.
You can make your own bat house, or find convenient, premade bat houses like this BIGBATBOX-Bat Houses for Outdoors from Amazon. The BIGBATBOX is highly rated, offers a pleasing design, is easy to install, and has two chambers to house more bug-eating, environmentally beneficial bats.
Bat houses offer ideal places for bats to roost during the day, raise their young, and most importantly devour real blood-sucking menaces: mosquitoes. Not to mention, bat houses give bats a place to stay away from your residence.
That’s A Wrap!
Bats are not out to harm anyone purposefully. All they want to do is go out at night, eat some insects, and come back to their own families. They don’t want to scare you, attack you, or bother you in any way.
They have had a bad rap, but bats are truly beneficial to the environment. Most bats eat insects, some only eat fruit and nectar, and some even help to pollinate plants. They are not horrific bloodthirsty monsters, bats are just misunderstood nocturnal animals.
Close encounters with bats are almost always by accident. Remember to stay calm most of all, and contact a local area professional who will be most knowledgeable about your specific situation.
If you want to keep bats away for good, take a look at our guide: 8 Scents That Bats Hate (And How to Use Them)!
Chambers, S., & Allen, N. (2002). Create roosts for bats in your yard.
Sullivan, L. (2000). Bat Problem Management. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ).
Curtis, P. D., & Sullivan, K. L. (2001). Raccoons. Wildlife damage management fact sheet series. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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