I have a bat in my basement, and I hope to get rid of it and keep it
from returning. Any thoughts?
I wouldn't mind building a bat house for the backyard - I just want to
get the critter out of the basement and keep him out (though he has
eliminated my "cave crickets" during his stay...).
Thanks for your advice!
The usual method recommended for removing a bat from the main floor is to wait
until nighttime, turn off all the lights in the house, open the front door,
and turn on the headlights of your car in the driveway. Supposedly the bat
will find its way out. Never tried it, don't know if it really works.
Perhaps if you turn off all the lights in the basement, and turn one on
upstairs, the bat will come up out of the basement. Close the basement door.
Then proceed as above.
To keep it from returning, you have to find out how it got in your house in
the first place, and close that opening. It's quite possible that it flew in
through an open door.
I assume he (or she) comes and goes at will. Likely leaving at night
and returning in the morning? Find out where they are getting in and out.
Likely a much smaller hole than you thought possible. Wait until they are
out and then block it.
Personally I would try to build some kind of nest box around the spot
where it comes in and hope it likes the idea. It has done you a favor by
eliminating the crickets and in many parts of the country this time of year,
blocking it outside is likely to result in its death from the cold.
We have had bats in our soffits for the last several years. They can
get in and out through a hole like a mouse. I have heard several ways
to get rid of them but haven't tried any.
You do need to know how it gets in and out. If you find the area, some
say mothballs hung in cheesecloth won't allow the bat to detect the
smell of its opening. Or, and this is what I might try, hang some
clothover the opening so the bat can escape but when it tries to
return, the cloth keeps the opening closed.
Like you, I kind of like the bats around during the summer.....we have
very few mosguito problems around here. We normally have around 15-20
flying around at dusk.
I plan on building a bat house this spring before the ones around here
I had one of those a few years ago in the spare bedroom. Stayed for about
four months. Tried everything: mothballs, loud noises, being naked. Nothing
I finally told the wife her mother had to visit other relatives for a while.
IMO, they sometimes get in through the door - particularly if there's
a light over it. Or, that may just be wishful thinking. We've had
two that I know of, over 15 years. I find a tennis racket works well
- they can't see it coming.
I found a bat in my house, what should I do?
Most bats found in the house are harmless lost juveniles. However, even lost
juveniles can have rabies. As far as positive rabies results go in
Wisconsin, bats are the most common species. It is important to avoid being
bit or scratched when capturing or removing a bat. If you have been bitten
or scratched, the bat should be captured, brought to a veterinarian and
submitted for rabies testing. In addition, it is recommended that if a bat
is found in a residence where persons have slept or have been mentally
impaired (drinking, drugs), it should be tested whether a person is aware of
a bite or not. In most rabies related deaths in the United States, victims
killed by a bat rabies strain did not recall being bitten or scratched.
Testing fees for human exposure in Waushara, Green Lake, and Marquette
Counties will be paid for by the Health Department. Typical symptoms of a
rabid bat include, but may not be limited to, activity during daylight,
erratic flight, and weakness. Do not handle a sick bat!
What is a safe way to get a bat out of my house?
First, try to isolate the bat to one room. Turn on all the lights and open
the window. In due time, the bat will usually leave on it's own without
handling. If you must handle it, I recommend covering the bat with a coffee
can or similar, then sliding a piece of cardboard under the can and release
the bat outdoors. DO NOT release the bat if you suspect it has come in
contact with humans or pets in your home.
How do bats get in my home and what can I do to stop them?
There are professional bat exterminators that can help. Most often bats come
in through chimneys and vents, loose window screens, plumbing runs lacking
caulk, and through holes in soffit and fascia. Bats can enter a crack as
small as 1/4of an inch. Entries should be screened off with cloth or
fiberglass screening, plugged with silicone caulk, steel wool or permanently
repaired. One primary hole should be kept open until bats exit for the
evening, then it can be temporarily closed with a wad of aluminum foil or
steel wool. Repairs should be made after dusk when the bats have left their
roosts and are out of the home. Also be aware that flightless young may be
present between mid-June through early July. Juveniles are usually able to
fly in about 3 weeks. To find an entry, make observations at dusk to view
where the bats are exiting. You should also be able to see droppings and
stains from these areas.
Do mothballs discourage bats?
Naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene may repel colonies in tight areas will
little ventilation. However, the application concentration rates were high.
Sometimes these vapors can be irritation or dangerous to humans.
I heard that bats are beneficial. Will putting up a bat house keep them from
roosting in my attic?
Bats are beneficial. They catch mosquitoes and other insects from about a
half hour past sunset to about an hour before sunrise, stopping only
occasionally to rest. Putting up a bat house is a good way to see these
creatures in action. However, the bat house will not prevent bats from also
using other areas to roost. A bat house will only add an additional roosting
and breeding site. Some bats in Wisconsin are very anti-social, seldom seen,
but are common. They will roost solitarily. Many of us have seen these on
dead or downed oak trees in Waushara County. Brown bat species are more
social and will tend to use a box. A colony may contain a few dozen,
although they will tolerate many more.
I want a bat house and understand that bats can carry rabies, is there
anything else I should worry about? Histoplasmosis, from the fungus
Histoplasma Capsulatum, can be contracted by breathing spores from the dust
of bat feces. Respirators, protective clothing, and rubber gloves should be
worn while working in or near bat roosts. If the roost is in an attic,
stained insulation, boxes or clothing items should be discarded, and
surfaces contaimined with urine or feces disinfected. You may use 5% bleach
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