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 15 May 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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

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Whether it's a single confused bat or a whole flappy family living in the attic, or a maternity roost in your roof space, knowing how to get remove bats in the house may be something you're unfamiliar with. Here we’ll provide an easy guide for bat removal and ensuring you don’t break the law. For further guidance on bat protection and regulations, read the GOV website for more information.

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.

Dos and don’ts when 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, always contact a professional to ensure that you remove bats in the roof safely and appropriately.

  • DO aim to remove them before the mating season. Bats breeding places are protected, so sorting out the removal of bats before the mating season will prevent one or two resident bats from turning into a whole family, as well as following regulations.

  • DO make sure you are well-informed about bats. Bats are misunderstood creatures to the general public. 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 legally protected species. If you need help or advice in your home contact the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228. You will get free advice, information, and help.    

  • DON’T capture a bat in your house.

  • 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.

For further information on what to do if you find a bat, follow the Bat Conversation Trust's advice on how to approach the situation.

Zoomed in image of a bat

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

If you find bats living in your house, it is best to call the National Bat Helpline for advice. With bats being a protected species, taking to right steps in removing them safely is very important.

  1. 1

    Accept you may have to live with bats. If you find a bat living in a loft or basement, it may be roosting there, so it is unable to be removed. Always seek professional advice in these circumstances.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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. This can only be done once the breeding season is over in order to stick with Government guidelines.

  4. 4

    Never trap 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. 

  5. 5

    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.

Can bats damage my property

While bats play a crucial role in the ecosystem by controlling insect populations, their presence can potentially lead to property damage. Bats often roost in dark, secluded spaces such as attics, barns, or abandoned buildings. Their droppings, known as guano, can accumulate over time and cause odors, stains, and even structural damage. The acidity in bat guano can corrode building materials. In addition, bat droppings can host fungi, such as Histoplasma, which may pose health risks if inhaled. It is important to address bat infestations promptly and seek professional assistance to safely and humanely exclude bats from your property while ensuring their conservation.

Ultimately, bats are not a pest. They do us a favour eating bugs and tend to only visit at certain times of the year. As an endangered animal, consider whether sharing your home with them is such a terrible idea after all.

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