How To Get a Bat Out of Your House

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: January 6, 2022
Image Credit Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock.com
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Forests and wooded areas are the natural habitats of bats. However, these amazing creatures sometimes find their way into homes. So, how do you get a bat out of your house? Are there techniques available to get rid of this animal without hurting it?

Read on to find out how to get a bat out of your home. Also, learn about the different types of damage they can do inside a home and the typical ways they get in.

How Do You Know There’s a Bat in the House?

Of course, actually seeing one is the easiest way to know you have a visitor! A bat inside a house wants to remain as high off the ground as possible. So, they are commonly seen flying in attics or near the rafters in a home with high ceilings.

Droppings are another telltale sign that one is in the house. Its droppings look a lot like mouse droppings. They are similar in appearance to dark grains of rice. But a bat’s droppings are a little bigger than a mouse’s droppings.

If you have this little animal in the house you’re likely to hear it making sounds. For instance, if you have one in the attic you may hear fluttering wings or high-pitched squeaking noises. Naturally, you’re going to hear more noise at night than during the day.

What Damage Can a Bat Cause?

Though these animals are small, they can cause a certain amount of damage to a house. For one, a bat has claws that can scrape the siding on a house as it tries to get in through a hole or gap in the structure.

Bats leave behind droppings that can contain bacteria or disease. This requires a special type of clean-up to safely remove them from an attic, garage, etc.

Bat in the attic
Bats roosting in the attic of an abandoned house. Bats can easily get into a house through open spaces.

Hermann Moller/Shutterstock.com

How Do Bats Get Inside a House?

One typical way they get inside a home is through a chimney. These animals can also get into a house through a piece of loose siding or the space between the outside and inside walls of a home.

Most bats are very small, and some can wiggle through a space that’s just a few inches wide.

How Do You Get a Bat Out of Your House?

Though it takes a little bit of patience, it’s fairly easy to get the animal out of the house without hurting it. The main thing to remember is these animals use echolocation to navigate their environment. Knowing this about bats can help you to get one out of your house without hurting it.

First, put your dogs and cats in another room. The presence of barking dogs and other large pets is going to make the little animal anxious. Also, use a calm, quiet voice so the bat doesn’t become agitated. Yelling and trying to chase the bat is going to make it more difficult to accomplish the goal of getting it out of the house. Next, turn off the lights and close the doors to contain the animal in one room. Open one window in the room so the animal has an escape route. The airflow from the window is likely to prompt it to fly outside. If this removal tactic isn’t working, you can help to direct it toward the window.

Get two bedsheets and another person to help you. Ask the other person to hold up the bedsheet on one side of the window while you do the same on the other side. This creates a tunnel for the bat to move through in order to escape through the window. The animal will use its echolocation to determine the shape of your homemade tunnel which will help it to understand how to get out.

How Do You Get a Bat Out of the House at Night?

It’s a little easier to get one out of the house at night than it is to get one out during the day. This is because bats are more active at night.

If the bat in your home doesn’t leave through an open window, it’s necessary to capture it. For this removal method, you need a cardboard box or a plastic bin. Also, find a flat piece of cardboard that fits over the open end of the box or bin.

It’s a good idea to wear protective goggles, a hat, long sleeves, and heavy gloves. Though you probably won’t come in physical contact with the bat, these animals can carry disease. So, it’s best to have protective gear.

Slowly approach the animal and place the box or bin over it. Then, slide the flat piece of cardboard over the open end of the container. This is how you’re going to carry the bat outdoors so you can put the box near a tree, take the cover off and get rid of it. The animal is going to be disoriented and it will probably take a few minutes to leave the box. Be sure no dogs or cats are in the area, so the bat is not at risk of injury.

As a note, it’s best to capture this animal when it’s at rest on a surface. Trying to capture a bat while it’s in flight can cause this animal great injury.

How Do I Get a Sleeping Bat Out of the House?

Trying to get rid of one during the day is tricky because it requires waking a sleeping bat. When a sleeping bat is disturbed it’s likely to become confused and maybe even aggressive.

You can try to put a box or container over the animal and take it outside after nightfall. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable trying to capture the bat, there are wildlife experts that specialize in bat removal. They know how to remove a bat without hurting it. Plus, wildlife experts can advise you on how the bat got in and what to do to prevent another winged visitor.

Does One Bat in the House Indicate More?

The presence of one bat in a house doesn’t necessarily indicate more. It depends on the situation.

Sometimes females climb into houses in order to have babies in an attic or garage. In other instances, an individual bat may unintentionally enter a home through a chimney or open window.

The number of bats in an attic or other area depends on how appealing the environment is to the animal. A dark space where bats can come and go easily is going to be an attractive place to take up residence.

Bat flying in house
Flying Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in the wooden attic of a city church. This species is known for roosting and living in urban areas in Europe and Asia.

Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock.com

How Long Will a Bat Hide in the House?

A bat that can’t find its way back out of a house is likely to die. The animal doesn’t have access to food or water in a home and may severely injure itself flying into walls looking for an escape.

How to Keep Bats Out of Your House?

One way to keep them from flying into your home through your chimney is to install a screen at the top. This prevents many other animals such as birds, squirrels, and chipmunks from gaining access.

Check the condition of the siding around your home. This allows you to repair gaps and holes, so bats don’t have a way in.

You can discourage these animals from coming near your home by keeping tree branches trimmed so they don’t grow close to the walls of your home.

What Do Bats in the Ceiling Sound Like?

A bat that has found its way into a ceiling or attic is going to make fluttering sounds. You may only be able to hear these when your home is quiet. They also make high-pitched squeaking sounds.

Will a Bat Leave on Its Own?

It’s possible for the animal to escape from a house the same way it got in. If this animal climbs into a home through a gap beneath an eave, it may go out the same way. But most of the time, a bat that gets into a home becomes disoriented and needs help finding its way back out.

Next Up: Dust Mites vs Bed Bugs: What’s the Difference?

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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