Filed under something you never want to hear your child come tell you after going into the attic. “Mommy, you know how you like bats? (True, I do like them outside for mosquito eating purposes). Well, there’s a couple in the atttic-thingy with the lines.” I knew we need to figure out how to get rid of bats in our house.
Warning: If bats aka what Mr. Serious calls “flying rats” make you squeamish or squirm, you might not want to keep reading. There are pictures of real, live bats!
Sweetheart, that’s a lot more than a couple bats.
So, I started googling and trying to determine exactly what to do with the bats.
The bats that are living in our house, but not all the way in our house. Thankfully, there is a small screen separating that vent from the attic, so they weren’t getting past this space. But, they were pooping on the side of the house.
And on the ground, too. (No, that’s not all guano. It’s mostly moss that grows on our back patio because the builders put cement in a spot that never gets sun, so it’s a fun power washing cycle.)
Right, back to the bats. Turns out, you relocate them. And then you block off the spot so they can’t get back in.
Was I necessarily averse to them hanging out there, no. Not as long as they couldn’t get into the house. But, the issue is, they could get through the screen, and their poop is very toxic. So, they don’t get to stay.
Another option was to wait for them to leave at night and block it off at night. But, that means bats and the dark and I couldn’t get anybody to commit to it. And we didn’t have a ladder that was long enough.
So, I called in the experts.
They said the most they had ever moved was 5 bats. That’s like nothing-burger. This was a whole group of bats. And, what do you call a whole group of bats? A colony! I would definitely say our 25+ bats (when the expert came out) were a colony.
What you’ll need to get rid of bats
Getting it done
I wanted to do it myself. But, Mr. Serious said that wasn’t a good idea. That’s probably for the best. But, it wasn’t cheap to have the Bat Man (that’s what I’m calling the guy that removed our bats) come out.
He told us, very simply, he reaches in, grabs a couple sleeping bats at a time, walks them down and places them on a nearby tree so they are happy-ish when they wake up. (Here’s where I confess to not knowing if this is the most humane way of removing bats. This was the option I was offered, so we took it and it seemed pretty humane.)
This plan was all good until the bats got really, really ticked off. They made a terrible screeching noise and started biting. Remember those gloves? They came in handy!
And, I ask, if bats eat mosquitos, why the heck do they have those vicious looking teeth?
Please notice there are other bats in his hand, too.
He took the bats over to a nearby tree and let them hang. They didn’t seem to like it this time as they started wiggling around.
About this same time, Bat Man went up for another handful of bats and they started waking up. Slowly they started flying off the tree, the ground and out of the house. Which was a little funny watching from the ground, but not so funny to Bat Man.
I imagine it was a lot like how they fly off when they wake up at dusk as there was a mass exodus of bats from our house. I’m not really sure where they went. And I’m seriously thinking that a neighbor had a bat issue and didn’t tell us, and they moved to our house. We let our neighbors know that we were effectively relocating a ton of bats.
You can see one of the escapees here.
Once the bats were all gone, Bat Man used a vacuum to make sure all of their droppings were cleaned up.
Keeping them out
The most important thing to do once the bats were out is to prevent them from free-loading again. Over the outside of the attic vent, we had some stainless steel wire mesh placed and secured with an industrial strength staple gun. No more bats.
This process to get rid of bats cost us $450. With how many bats we had, Mr. Serious said $20/bat wasn’t bad.
However, since most of them flew away, I’m not sure that the cost was really warranted. I think we could have borrowed an extension ladder, purchased protective gloves, some wire mesh and a staple gun and taken care of it for a lot less.
I looked into purchasing a bat house and actually spoke to a bat expert. She however, said:
If you don’t have a bat house up already, it’s not really an option. However, if you want to offer an alternative home for when the bats become active again in the spring, it can’t hurt to try to put one up. You can’t just move bats to a house and there is no guarantee that they’ll use it. But it’s worth a try.
So, at this time, we didn’t pursue purchasing a bat house. I figure with how many mosquitos we have in our backyard, we would need a ton of bat houses and hope they would take up residence.