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the bat specialists
Step-By-Step DIY Guide:
How To Get Rid Of Bats
Removing Bats From An Attic Or Building -Intro
So, you want to know how to get rid of bats, huh?
Easier said than done. Even professionals that do this for a living can have problems with bats. Something I want to make clear right off the bat (pun intended) is you will NEVER find an easy fix to a bat problem. Referring to the many gadgets and repellents for sale online. Bat removal can only be done effectively by performing a task called “live bat exclusion”, which is the process I will be teaching on this DIY guide.
If you opt to hire a pro, which I HIGHLY recommend, go through my USA Directory/List Of Local Bat Pros.
Note that bats are protected on both State and Federal levels. If you plan on going Rambo with your shotgun, you will likely be getting a knock on your door by the authorities. Be humane!
Another concern is Maternity Season. If there’s a good number of bats in your home then it’s definitely a “Maternity Colony” made of female bats and their babies. To prevent blocking the young bat pups inside the structure and the resulting odor, you must avoid doing any exclusion work between May-20th (when mom bats give birth) & August-15th (when the pups can fly.)
If you manage to get this process done right, you can without a doubt save a lot of coin! But don’t get your hopes up. To put it bluntly, you won’t have a chance of getting rid of bats unless you follow every detail I go over, along with being meticulous in the work you perform.
Okay, let’s get into it, shall we? By the way, my name is Luke. I am a certified bat removal professional.
The Bat Inspection
Locate the main entry point where bats are going in and out of the home. The bats may use one or several gaps to slip in. The entry can be spotted by observing guano pellets below/around an entry point. The guano will often be stuck on siding. There may also be black or dark gray grease stains around the hole. Stains around the entry are from bats body oils. Locating the entry is a MUST. Whenever there are no visible signs, do a night watch on your home at dusk till 10 and you will see where the bats are flying out. Bats are quick; keep your eyes peeled!
Get The Materials You Will Need
Once it’s known where the bats are entering the structure, run off to Home Depot and get your materials.
Hardware cloth (wiring) either Quarter Inch or Half by Half. You are going to use this both for creating the exclusion device and also screening open gaps that require too much sealant. Buy a bigger roll. Also, get Gorilla Tape.
Next, get some Silicone/Caulking. I recommend buying caulking that is Clear for aesthetic reasons. Buy a whole 24 pack. To install, you’ll need a Caulking Gun. Using the tubes of sealant that are Clear will prevent your home from looking like a spaceship when you finish. Get the clear, your wife will thank you… If you don’t, prepare for liftoff in 3… 2… 1… Which reminds me, DO NOT USE FOAM PRODUCTS!!!
A staple and screw gun are going to come in handy. If you don’t already have them, buy them.
In order to cut the wire you bought, you’ll need a good pair of Metal Sheers/Snips.
Let’s not forget a ladder. You’ll be doing work on the roof and safety is cautioned. If you are working on a steeply pitched roof, you should invest in a rope harness. The Goat is another unique roofing support tool.
3 STEP PROCESS ON HOW TO GET RID OF BATS
Step 1: Exclusion/Sealing Work
To disable bats from reentering the home after step 3 you must seal the entire house, pretty much every little nook and cranny, except for where the primary entry points are located. The last thing you want to do is seal the entry point without first completing the exclusion process. You might force the bats into your living space if you do that!
Sealing is where most of the work is going to be involved. And when I say seal every nook and cranny, you really need to get in there, or else this is not going to work… Seal every gap 3/8in’ or larger. Even if you THINK you do a good job, there can still be issues with bats finding a way around your work. You must be highly detailed. Remember when I said you need to be meticulous to achieve success? It’s no joke.
Gable ends, dormers, junctions, chimney flashing, soffit runs, fascia board, around windows, be sure to seal every little thing! Even if a hole appears too small for a bat to enter, seal it up anyway. You must also screen-off any gable vents.
Step 2: Make Your One-Way “Bat Vales”
One-way bat valves or tubes are what exclude the bats from your house. The one-way functions so bats will be able to pass through the device at dark, and when they come back during the early morning hours they cannot reenter. At least that’s the idea! One-ways can be purchased online or constructed from wire, which I explain how to concoct next.
You can make a one-way bat cone by cutting a strip of wire 15in’ by 10in’ and folding the piece into a circle to produce the “cone.” Make the tip a bit wider than a golf ball, and the base should be twice as wide. Once your bat funnel is formed, cut 2 long strips of Gorilla Tape and wrap 1 around the tip & the other you will place 2 inches away from the base, toward the center.
Next, make four perpendicular cuts into the wire at the base. The idea here is to make 4 flaps of wire on the end of your bat cone. The flaps are utilized for securing staples, screws, and other fasteners while you are installing the device over an entry point.
If you don’t want to mess with making an exclusion device from scratch, you can always order a device online. It’s a controversial topic among professionals as to what makes the best device. All you need to do is type “bat cone” into Google and you’ll see a variety of products pop up. Here’s a link to a reliable retailer: http://www.batcone.com/
Step 3: Install One-Ways’ Over The Entry Points
Carefully install the base-end of the device over the spot where bats are coming in and out. Remember the “Flaps” I was talking about? Bend them outward from the device and this makes for easy installment against wooded siding with staples. Against material like shingles & a plastic soffit, you will need to use screws to secure the device. The application of the one-way device will vary based on working conditions.
You may need to install several one-way funnels on a home depending on the number of potential areas bats may be entering. Generally speaking there will only be a single entry point, but I advise to the side of caution. Place a valve over any hole that looks suspicious.
Make sure there are no holes or gaps around the base of your one-way funnel. This is crucial because the bats will slide around the device if there are any gaps around it. I will often put some sealant around the base of my funnel after it’s installed with staples/screws. This ensures there are no gaps around it for bats to slip through. If you try this, please be careful not to get any sealant inside of the funnel. The bats will get stuck and die. The device can also become congested with bats, causing a proverbial roadblock or clogged drain.
When there is no doubt the bats are gone, you can remove the funnel and seal the entry with wire and/or sealant. Leave the funnel installed over the entry point for at least 2 weeks. This is to ensure all of the bats make it out successfully and unharmed.
Now, Let’s See How You Did!
You’re going to realize that you’ve come a long way and have done A LOT of work to get to this point. If you haven’t busted your balls doing all the bat exclusion work, then you didn’t do it right. NOW, the moment of truth. At dusk, watch your one-ways’ and watch the bats come fluttering out of your device. Email me some pics if you get any good ones! I can also offer some personal advice, to an extent!
Confirm The Bats Are Gone: Once you finish the exclusion phase spread a tarp in the attic. Monitor it every week for any new bat droppings on the tarp. If droppings continue, you still have bats. If the droppings stop, then you are bat free! For now.
If The Bats Come Back
Since you’re an amateur at this, frankly the bats coming back would not surprise me. Prove me wrong, I want you to! But, if indeed the bats return, you either need a professional (who is likely going to charge you more money at this point because they need to remove your work in order to install their own), or you can evaluate the situation again by doing continuous night watches, finding the new entry point, and restart from step 1. Want my advice if the bats come back? Hire a professional. At this point, BATS WILL RUIN your home & attic insulation.