Bats in house eaves

Asked June 15, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

We have bats, about 70 of them in the eaves of our house and need them to relocate since we are painting the house. What are our options?

Clark County Washington wildlife damage management human-wildlife issues bats

3 Responses

I'm a little unclear about your post. Are you stating that the bats are just loafing ON the house? Or are the roosting INSIDE the house? Note that inside means, the bats have penetrated the exterior surface of the building.

The bats are inside the eaves.

Bats Determining whether bats are housed in your home requires an inspection, unless you have a bat in your living space in the winter time then you have proof you have a hibernating bat in your house. Inspections can be done in two ways. 1. A bat watch. Around dusk on a clear night watch your house against a lighted sky and look for silhouetted bats flying out. Ideally, people should be stationed at the four corners so the entire structure can be viewed. Keep watching till too dark to see. Do this for several nights. Second way is to inspect. To learn the fundamentals visit http://www.icwdm.org/Inspection/Course/Default.aspx The only sure fire way to eliminate bats from a structure is through the use of one way doors and exclusion. Exclusion should not be done during May-July (in North America the ditty goes June-July let them fly) as working at this time may result in flightless young dying in the structure. See also http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=654 Don’t bother with mothballs, ultrasound etc. as they have questionable effectiveness and/or are potentially dangerous. Basic information on bat control can be found at http://icwdm.org/handbook/mammals/bats.asp and at http://icwdm.org/wildlife/bat/bat.aspx This information will include tips on rabies protocols. Additional disease information covering guano and rabies can be found at http://www.icwdm.org/diseases/default.aspx Bat houses http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=473 Tips for finding a qualified professional as well as organizations (not screened and no endorsement is implied) visit http://icwdm.org/VendorsService/default.aspx Guano cleanup Use caution with guano cleanup as improper work can pose risks to the cleaner and the occupant. Information on histoplasmosis and cleaning techniques can be learned at http://www.icwdm.org/diseases/default.asp#HISTOPLASMOSIS Odor Issues Bat urine/guano can emit a strong and unpleasant odor. Here are some strategies to deal with it. Always remove (using appropriate personal protection) as much as the contaminated material as possible. Ensure that structural materials don’t need to be replaced as bat guano/urine can degrade structural materials.

  • Encapsulate: Treat entire attic with a sealant. This building also had a fire and the treatment was for that. But that attic looked and smelled new once treated. It was sprayed on and had a rubber like feel once dry and all beams etc were covered. Encapsulating was a term used often by that contractor. The WCO said “you would never know bats or a fire had ever been an issue.” Scrape surfaces and seal with Kilz to seal contaminated surfaces.
  • Improve ventilation. One solution to odor problems is to dilute it to the point it can’t be smelled. Perhaps an attic exhaust fan to pull the odor away from the living space.
We are always looking for images (if you can safely take them) of wildlife damage to help us in our educational mission. Tips on how to take good photos can be learned at http://www.icwdm.org/Photos/shootingphotos.aspx We prefer high resolution, (3 mg or higher). Send to svantassel2@unl.edu Please include permission to use the images and where and when the photos were taken. Month/year is fine as is county or city and state. Disclaimer: As with any activity, remember that animal damage control comes with its own risks and problems which can include but are not limited to legalities, health threats, and personal liabilities. Be sure to follow all state laws governing wildlife and make sure you have a thorough understanding on how to resolve the animal damage complaint. My advice is only as good as your understanding of me and my understanding of your situation. If you have any questions be sure to write back.