How to get rid of bats in your house

Read on to discover dos and don'ts of bat removal and an easy guide to how to get rid of bats.

Updated

Flying bat against a blurred background: How to get rid of bats in the home

Key steps 

  • Ensure you do have bats and not rats or birds living in your home.
  • Make sure you don’t break the law when removing this endangered species.
  • Exclude them by allowing them to fly out and not return. 
  • Use reflective objects like baubles or mirrors to scare bats away.
  • Keep bats away with natural scents they hate like eucalyptus or cinnamon.

Whether it's a single confused bat or a whole flappy family living in the attic, having bats in the house can be a little unsettling. Here we’ll provide an easy guide for how to get rid of batsensuring you don’t break the law when doing so.

Bats are a helpful, non-harmful endangered species in the UK. If you have bats in your roof, make sure you know the rules around how to treat bats before trying to get rid of them.

Found bats in your attic? Dos and don’ts of dealing with bats

Before we show you how to get rid of bats, there are a few important things you should be aware of.

  • DO contact a professional. Whilst it is unlikely you will ever face an ‘infestation’ of bats, it’s wise to contact a professional to ensure that you remove bats in the roofsafely and appropriately.
  • DO aim to remove them before the mating season. This will prevent one or two resident bats from turning into a whole family.
  • DO prevent their entry. Make sure that you close up all areas they could use to get back into your home once you have removed the bats in your loft.
  • DO make sure you are well-informed about bats. Whilst some species of bats can produce harmful excrement, UK bats have no known health risks associated with them.
  • DON’T break the law! Bats are a protected species and there are rules surrounding their removal. For full details, you can find information on legal bat protection on the GOV website.
  • DON’T capture a bat in your house. There are ways you can remove bats from your home using our guide below, and capturing or harming bats is against the law.
  • DON’T use pesticides or poison. Bats are not pests. In the UK they are a form of pest control themselves as they love to feast on bugs! Other creatures like rats are pests and do need to be dealt with more urgently. Read this article to find out how.

How to get a bat out of the house: Easy steps to remove bats in the roof and keep them out

  1. Make sure it is bats! You can check if it is bats living in your home and not a pest such as mice or rats in a number of ways including:
    • Listen out for chattering, especially at dawn and dusk when they are heading out to hunt.
    • Check for bat poo. Although it looks similar to rodent droppings, after a small amount of pressure is applied the bat poo crumbles to dust.
    • Organise for an official survey to be completed.
  2. Locate their entry points. Bats need to be able to get in and out to roost inside but hunt outside. They are not large in the UK so only need small holes in the brickwork, roof tiles, or chimneys to be able to set up home in your roof.
  3. Never trap them, simply exclude them. Bats are not a pest and are helpful, not harmful, in the UK. If you are sure you don’t want them in your home, however, the easiest way to get rid of them is to remove the entry points to your home. Allow them to fly out, but not return.
  4. Consider using a home remedy as a bat deterrent. There are a few different easy, natural or cheap options to prevent bats from wanting to stay. These include:
    • Hang up Christmas baubles. Bats are scared of shiny, moving objects and so will be too frightened to live in your loft.
    • In the same way baubles are scary, mirrors will also have the same effect.
    • Use natural oils such as eucalyptus, which bats do not like the smell of.
    • If you are not a fan of the smell of eucalyptus oil either, you can use cinnamon instead.

Ultimately, bats in your loft are not a pest; they do us a favour eating bugs and tend to only visit at certain times of the year. To help this endangered animal, consider whether sharing your home with them is such a terrible idea after all.

Originally published