How Safe is Your Home From Bats?
Is your home safe from bats?
Bats have a funny ability to get inside the smallest cracks and crevices and make your home, their home. They only need an opening the thickness of a pencil, and they’re inside.
The good news is that bats won’t chew a hole into the side of your home the way a mouse or squirrel might. They will, however, try and exploit any existing little hole they can to get inside and get cozy.
Here are a Few Tips you can do to Secure your Home from Bats
The first thing you want to check for is any gaps larger than the thickness of a penny around your house. This includes all of your all drip edges along the roof eaves, the ridge vent, soffits, valleys, chimney flashing, and dormers. These are all very common places where bats can get in.
When houses are built, they are built so that the house can breath, as well as be water tight.
A tightly built house isn’t necessarily safe from bats. They can often access the house through these ventilation points.
Other common areas in otherwise tightly built homes are where it “naturally” is open, such as where the eaves of a dormer roof ties into the main roof.
Secondly, bats are unable to chew holes through wood and other housing materials. This means that all of the holes and cracks you found during your inspection can be safely sealed up to keep your home safe.
It’s a good practice to try and locate the primary and/or secondary main entry points the bats are using to gain access into your home. Leave these points alone until the end! You don’t want to trap the little guys inside and cause yourself more aggravation.
Seal the rest of the house, all those cracks and crevices, with silicone sealant, foam, hardware cloth, wire mesh, or sheet metal.
Sealing a home is not hard, but it can be VERY labor intensive!
Third, it’s time for eviction.
Now the house should be sealed tight, except for the main entry points which were left open.
Read this before Removing Bats from your Home!
All states have a period when bats can not be removed from a building!
This occurs during mid-summer for us here in Maine. From, generally, June 15-August 30, bats are not allowed to be evicted from buildings.
The female bats are having their pups at this time, and the young pups need time in the maternal colony to grow and then learn to fly.
Evicting mothers, but leaving the pups to die is not only inhumane, but highly detrimental to bat populations.
Just to emphasize this point, do not evict bats during the summer birthing period. You’ll wind up seriously hurting the local bat populations, as well as causing bigger problems for yourself when you have lots of young pups inhumanely dying in your walls.
Check with your local Wildlife Control operator, or with your local State Wildlife Department for recommended times when bats in your area are likely nursing young.
If it is Summer, the best course of action is to seal the house almost completely but allow the bats to come and go. Once the young are flying in the fall you can safely use an excluder to get the bats out of the home.
An exclude is a one way door that allows bats to leave your home, but they can not get back in. There are commercial excluders available on the market.
You can easily make some at home with old window screening, rolled up sheet metal, or old caulking tubes(which are probably left over from sealing the house up. You did seal the house up right?)
Lastly, the other convenient option is waiting until late Fall or early Winter. Most bats will leave your home to winter elsewhere. Some times they don’t, as is the case with the Big Brown bats. They like to overwinter in homes.
If they have left though, you can easily seal the entry points and make your home safe from bats. When they return in the Spring, the bats will be unable to get inside your home due to all the work you put in the previous summer.
You can rest easy knowing your home is safe from bats.