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How to Get Rid of Bats in the Ceiling

June Enright

Dark, warm places like the insides of ceilings make ideal homes and hideouts for bats. Though bats are not vicious and will generally not attack humans, bats in your ceiling can create odors, their urine and feces can cause structural damage and the animals may carry rabies.

Bats are not generally dangerous, but can be nuisances.

Therefore, it is important to get rid of bats if you find them living in your ceiling. Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of bats without killing them.

Tip

Avoid trying to rid your ceiling of bats during the summer. This is when baby bats are young and cannot fly. This can present two problems: One, parent bats may be more aggressive and less likely to leave; and two, if they do leave, they may leave behind their young, which can die without the support of their parents. Bats are vital to ecosystems as they eat large amounts of insects. Removing bats without killing them allows an important part of the food chain and balance in the local environment to continue.

Warning

When checking your roof for openings or cracks, make sure ladders are secure and that you have the proper safety equipment.

  1. Visually inspect your house for exiting bats. At dusk, stand outside of your home and make note of where bats are exiting. This will let you know how they are getting in—information you will use to keep your house bat free.

  2. Drive the remaining bats out with bright lights. Bats do not like bright lights and like to hide in places like ceilings, in part because they are dark. Shine bright lights into the ceiling space to agitate the bats and encourage them to find a darker place.

  3. Lay down fiberglass insulation in the ceiling to make the space uncomfortable for bats. Fiberglass is painful to bats, so if they do come back, they will not stay.

  4. Corners, loose shingles and eaves are all be places where bats may enter your home.
  5. Seal off the bats' entrances. Check for cracks in your roof that might be entrances for bats. Common entrance spots are the edges under eaves, loose fitting shingles and openings near vents. Use caulk or wood patches to close these openings so bats do not get back in.

  6. Call an exterminator or animal control specialist for an inspection. Bats may have left behind droppings and remnants of their nests, or there may be younger, weaker or more stubborn bats left behind. A professional will be able to clean up after the bats and make sure that no other animals remain.