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Bat-proofing the house

Help the bats go out and not come back in
Image courtesy of yolocounty.org

Bats are important creatures to have around. They gorge themselves on insects and help with pollination. But if they can’t find a safe, warm, and dry place to sleep and have babies, they might decide to move in with you.

Rob Mies is the executive director of the Organization for Bat Conservation. He says bats can get into a home through an opening as small as the size of a nickel.

"The typical points of entry would be the peaks of the house, usually where flashing has come loose or maybe some siding has some little openings," he says. "They also like to go into the attic vent. Depending on the type of roofing material, sometimes they’ll go underneath cedar shakes."

Bats prefer the attic or walls on the warmest side of the house. However, that isn’t necessarily where they come in. Sit outside, and about 15-minutes after sunset, watch to see where the bats are flying in and out of the house. Once you figure that out, put up an exclusionary funnel or flap that allows them to get out, but not back in. Leave it up for about a week and then seal the opening.

Mies also recommends putting up a bat house so they have somewhere to go.

"What happens to a lot of homeowners is that they’ll figure out where they’re coming and going from the south side. They’ll put on this one-way flap, the bats will come out, and then they’ll find another spot on the east side. And then they’ll find another spot on the west side," says Mies. "So, it’s really important to give them a bat house before you start doing the exclusion, that way they’ll move into the bat house and not into another spot in your house."

Mies says to only do bat exclusions in spring or fall. In the summer, baby bats could become trapped in your home, and winter exclusions could trap hibernating bats.

More tips for combatting the bat in the house

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