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I don't think many people are going to consider bat prevention unless they already have a bat problem. However, if you want to completely solve your bat problem, and never have another bat problem again, you clearly need to prevent any bats from ever getting into your house / building again. Here are some tips for totally bat-proofing your house so that it will remain bat-free forever.
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We'll assume first that you've already gotten the bats out of the building. If not, you absolutely must do so before you do any preventative work! Please read my many other articles (linked below, or click the bat image to the left) to learn how to get rid of the bats first, before you do the prevention work.
First off, you need to do an inspection of the house. Every last inch of it. Pay particular attention to roof edges, areas where soffit meets roof, fascia boards, loose tiles, vents, chimneys, and basically any place in the architecture where there might be a hole or a gap that bats can squeeze into. They can fit through areas smaller than you imagine - 3/8 of an inch, so be sure to check everywhere. Most of the areas will be at least 8 feet off the ground, and preferably two stories up, for the bats.
I've found that doing the sealup work at night really helps. You can wear a head lamp and really get a good look into all the little nooks and crannies. Plus, when you do the bat work, you can see the bats flying out, and back in, to the various openings, and this will give you more information about where to seal. Read my article on bat exclusion at night for more information.
On this commercial building with loose trim, the bats were able to enter and exit at will. They prefer long open gaps like this - it's an easy way to get in and out of the roof area, and they know that the tight gap is safe from larger predators, such as rats or snakes. Once we got all the bats out of this building, we had to seal off the loose trim board. In some areas, sealant was the best way to go (seen on the left) and in some areas, we were able to drill and bolt the metal fasica to the concrete, using steel screws. What areas can bats enter a house or building through?
Tile roofs can be very challenging. Some companies install netting over the entire roof, as seen to the right. However, a good sealup job with polyurethane sealant in every last gap and crack can keep the bats out permanently. What materials keep out bats?
People have asked me if any bat repellent or ultrasonic high-pitch sound machine can prevent bats from using an area. Absolutely not. Those products are fraudulent. I once went to a hotel that had purchased eight of those noise devices, and installed them on fancy poles pointing at the hotel. Didn't do a thing, of course, except annoy the guests who have higher hearing ranges. If you want to know how to keep bats away, the only answer is by physically preventing them from entering holes, gaps, and cracks in buildings. It's that simple! Of course, in many buildings, it's a HUGE challenge to actually seal off all of those openings. Everything You Need to Know (and Buy) for Bat Exclusion
The bottom line is that this is very detail-oriented work. Experience matters, and I do highly recommend calling a professional who has done many bat jobs to expertly and properly seal the whole structure against any bat entry. 5 property modifications that will definitely keep bats out
I have written several other detailed articles:
How to get bats out of the attic
Remove bats flying inside the house
How to get bats out of the chimney
How to inspect your house for bat entry
Bat prevention methods
A Bat's Calendar
Noises Bats Make When They Are Living In Your House
The author, David, is a bat removal expert with over 500 successful bat control jobs under his belt. I want to stress the importance of proper bat removal, and the value of these animals to the ecosystem. I've witnessed dozens of failed do-it-yourself bat jobs over the years, and it is not pretty - dead bats, horrible odors, rabies vaccinations, and so on. Bat removal work is not easy - I trained for two years learning, and even then, it took many jobs and hands-on training before I was competent. I highly recommend that you consult my list of wildlife control companies on the home page, and hire a professional to come out and look at your bat problem. Get a few quotes if you must. Read more about Choosing the right company to get rid of bats. And remember, do not perform any bat exclusions during the summer maternity months. For more general information and links, go to my main bat removal page.
One other thing I must address regarding bat prevention is repellents. They absolutely do not work. Read about Ammonia repellent for Bats for example.
Light and sound machines are also ineffective. Read Bright lights & loud noises for bats — does any of it work?
Customer Bat Email: Hi, my mother sent me a link to your blog because I have bats! I think your blog and all your photos are great. We live in Canada though. In the interior of British Columbia. We have tried everything to get rid of the bats. Hanging netting off the roof (it gets blown off), moth balls 9I understand the exact concentration to rid the attic of bats is at a rate toxic to humans!), lights, loud noises, and a favorite - smudging a can of dried cow manure. This actually really worked the first two times we did it. After that, the bats just ignored it. Oh yeah, we have tried burning insect coils and actually spraying insecticide directly on the bats (I hate that one - and I don't think it works anyway.) The bats leave in the winter, but every spring and summer they are back. We live in a log house, with a tin roof. Any suggestions? Would a bat house help? We have two small bat houses away from the house, but I have read about a really big bat house project (I think in Mississippi) big enough to house around 1000 bats and have thought of this to try to attract them away from the house. I, like you, like the bats, but not in the house. We have cats that catch them if they can and they do get into our bedroom on occasion which is always lots of fun. I can't imagine having an eradication team out here every year, but we have to do something! Where would a colony of bats live in the wild? Can you give any suggestions? Brenda
My Response: Well, of course you need to seal up the house so that no bats can get in again! You don't need a "bat eradication team" out every year. Just seal the house up properly once, and your problem is forever solved! You have to use sealant and seal shut every last gap and opening and nook and cranny - it'll also help insulate against those balmy Canadian winters! Read Bat entry holes: What they look like and how to find them. Oh, and please don't spray insecticide on bats. They are good animals. Wait until the bats leave this winter, be sure that none are hibernating in the attic, and get to sealing! As for a bat house, read Are Bat Houses Really Effective in Preventing Bats in the Attic?
Customer Bat Email: During the 30 years we have lived in this house, every summer we have had about 1 or 2 bats wake us up in the the middle of the night doing loops over our head. This happened again last night and I don't like it. We open the windows, leave the bedroom, and shut the door. We have had an exterminator come, and he said they don't live here; one just comes in on its own. He checked the whole house carefully and could not discover how they come in. It's an old house with a terra cotta roof and two attics. Chimneys and stove vent were checked. He could see no entrance. Any suggestions?
My Response: The fact that you have bats getting into the house every summer, and the fact that bats almost always only get inside when there's a colony somewhere in the attic or walls tells me that this is your case. You don't know it, because the animals are relatively quiet, but somewhere you've got a group of bats living in your house. Watch the house at dusk, and you'll definitely see them flitting out at some part of the house. You ought to hire a professional bat expert - NOT AN EXTERMINATOR - to remove the bat colony and seal the house up so that no more bats can get in.
Article topics include: How to prevent bats from entering the house. How to keep bats away from a building or house. How to keep bats out of a house or home. Bat prevention methods and techniques to prevent bat problems.