How to get rid of bats in the house

We’ve got everything you need to know if you’ve got a bat in the house or simply want to make sure you never do.

Updated July 25, 2019

Cactus in front of an open window

Key steps

To get rid of bats in your home follow these key steps:

  1. Assess the situation so you can give a full report.
  2. Call a trusted wildlife organisation and explain what’s going on.
  3. Avoid handling bats, and always seek healthcare advice if you have any direct contact with them. 

Need to know how to get rid of a bat in the house? Bats are beautiful little creatures but few people want to share a property with them. Luckily there are some straightforward ways to deal with this surprisingly common problem. We’ve got everything you need from tips on how to get rid of bats in your roof to advice on stopping them from nesting in your home in the first place.

Using an effective cleaner like Domestos Thick Bleach on your household surfaces will help keep them insect-free, making your home much less appealing to bats. 

What to do if there’s a bat in your house

First things first, never handle bats directly. These nocturnal creatures can harbour a number of different diseases so it’s important you don't expose yourself to any risks. Even if you find a sick or injured bat, don’t take it in or try to offer any food without any form of protective clothing. Instead, you need to contact your local wildlife organisation who will come with specialist equipment.

How to get rid of bats

Now that you know you can’t handle bats in the house directly, what should you do if they nest in your home? 

  1. Check the whole building to establish how many bats there are. This will give you an idea of the size of the problem.
  2. Pay close attention to your rafters and the ceiling as these areas where bats like to sleep.
  3. Open the windows and doors of your house to give them an opportunity to fly out (this works best for single bats rather than nests).
  4. Call the experts if you have a large amount of bats nesting at home or can't get any lone visitors to leave through doors and windows.

Sometimes the particular location of the bats can affect how they need to be managed. Here’s a quick Q&A on getting rid of bats from different locations:

  1. How to get rid of bats in the roof: this can be tricky since you might not know they are there until there’s a whole colony - including baby bats. Call a local wildlife organisation. They will either come and deal with it themselves or direct you to an appropriate expert.
  2. How to get rid of bats in the ceiling: you’re more likely to notice a bat on your ceiling than in the roof but the way you manage it is very similar. Shut any internal doors, so the bat can't get the run of the whole house, and open any external windows and doors to see if it will leave of its own accord. If it doesn't leave, call experts to help you remove it.
  3. How to get rid of bats in the garden: bats in your garden might be slightly easier to deal with because they are likely only temporary visitors. Ensure there are lots of easy ways for them to get out of the garden by reducing any netting or overhead coverage.
Bats can harbour nasty diseases. Seek healthcare advice immediately if you get any scratches or bites. 

How to stop bats from coming into your house

Want to prevent a bat infestation? The key thing is to give bats no incentive to nest there. Here are some tips:

  • Keep all doors and windows shut. Especially when it’s dark out.
  • Make sure screens fit tightly to doors and windows. Bats can enter through holes as small as 9.5mm in diameter.
  • Plug any holes around the outside of your home with hardware cloth or weatherproofing strips.
  • Swap your outdoor light bulbs with yellow lights that attract fewer bugs. These are a primary source of food for bats.
  • Install stainless steel chimney caps to keep bats from entering.
  • Keep your fruit fresh and never leave it lying around. Especially anywhere in the home where a bat could get in.
  • Clean your home regularly, including emptying your bins of household waste and food scraps, to attract fewer insects and fewer bats who feed on them.

Now you know how to get a bat out of the house you never need to cohabit with these little creatures again. Remember it's important not to try and tackle this problem on your own as bats may carry disease. Call your local wildlife organisation for advice if you are worried about bats in your home.

Originally published July 17, 2019