Wildlife Education - Information and Advice for the Safe Removal of Bats from Attics

Bat Poison To Kill Bats in the Attic

How To Kill Bats With Poisons, Fumigants, and Pesticides - People try many different methods for ridding their homes of bats, such as traps, poisons, and fumigants. Since there are no poisons or fumigants that are made specifically for bats, some people will try things like rat poison. Rat poison doesn’t work because bats eat flying insects, not pellets that are lying on the ground. You have the same problem if you attempt to use arsenic or another poison; the bats aren’t going to eat it. The only way to get the bats to ingest a poison would be to poison the insects they eat, but of course the insects will die from the poison and the bats aren’t going to eat them.

Bat Spray - Any spray fumigants that might actually kill a bat, such as DDT or RoZol, are not legal for use in the U.S., and are just as harmful to humans as they are to bats. I've heard of a couple of cases in which people have tented their house with Vikane Gas, which is used to nuke all insects - this resulted in disaster, as bats made their way into the living quarters, some died, some not, some bit the inhabitants afterward, and in one case, a $30,000 fine was issued by the state wildlife commission for and wanton destruction of wild resources. I list more bat fumigants on my bat extermination page.

Use of bat pesticides (well, there are none, legally and technically) or poisons is immoral, but most of all, flat-out ineffective! You wind up with worse problems than you had before you started! NEVER hire a company that uses poisons or pesticides for bat control. That would be grossly ignorant. In fact, if you hear of such a company, email me or report that company to your state's wildlife commission or the Environmental Protection Agency. Seriously!

Disposal And Dead Bats
If you successfully manage to poison or fumigate some or all of the bats, you still have a big problem. Either you have to dispose of the contaminated bat bodies, or you have to deal with the stench of them rotting in your home. In addition, you would have to continue your poison/fumigation attempts nightly to get rid of all of the bats in the colony, because they may not all be in the roost at the same time, and not all of them would die. Not only is poisoning or fumigating bats time consuming, costly, and hazardous to your health, it is also illegal to kill bats because they are a protected species. The only way to legally and humanely remove bats from your home is by live bat exclusion. Luckily, this is FAR EASIER, and much more effective! And cheaper! It's a no-brainer.



Exclusion
Exclusion involves putting a one-way bat exclusion device on the bats’ entry points. Once the bats exit through the exclusion device, the valve or flap closes so that they cannot get back in. The bats are not harmed as they exit the device. Some bat exclusion devices use pipes fitted with a one-way valve. The pipes are smooth, so the bats can’t get hung up in them as they make their way down the pipe. Once the bats exit, the one-way valve closes, and the bats can’t crawl back up the pipe and into their roost.

Netting is also used for bat exclusion. Netting allows for multiple bats to exit at one time, and a flap fitted at the bottom of the net prevents the bats from getting back in. Other exclusion devices are made from plastic and are in the shape of a cone or funnel that will allow the bats to leave but not re-enter. The exclusion devices will need to be used for several days to ensure that all of the bats have left the roost. After you are sure that no bats remain in the roost, then the exclusion devices can be removed, and the entry points are permanently sealed. Without sealing the entry points, the bats are certain to return.

Seal The Area Off
The method for sealing the entry point varies according to where it is located. If the bats are getting in through a loose board or piece of siding, then sealing may be as simple as nailing or bolting the board or siding firmly in place. If there are cracks or gaps somewhere in the siding, at the eaves of your home, or where the chimney meets the roof, then a liquid sealant can be used. Caulk, polyurethane sealants, and foam sealants can all be used for these types of cracks or gaps. The sealant is squeezed into the crack or gap to fill it, and when it dries, the crack or gap is permanently sealed.

For areas that can’t be sealed off completely, such as at the top of a chimney or a vent, netting can be used. Polyester netting is one type of netting that can be used for entry points that can’t be permanently sealed off. The netting must have holes that are smaller than 3/8 of an inch, because bats can squeeze through holes that small. Metal mesh netting can also be used. Netting can be purchased in any size and can then be cut to fit wherever you need it. It can be attached using clips or nails. You must be certain to seal off every potential entry point to prevent the bats from returning.

When To Perform Exclusion
Live bat exclusion can only be performed during certain months of the year. It is illegal to perform bat exclusion during the bat maternity season, which is roughly April through the end of August, depending on location and the species of bat. Baby bats are unable to fly for several weeks, which means that they don’t leave the roost and are dependent on their mothers for food. If live bat exclusion is performed during the maternity season, only the mother bats are removed. That leaves the babies stuck inside the roost without food. It is inhumane, and illegal, to prevent the mothers from getting back inside to feed their babies.

HELP: If you need professional help in solving your bat problem, please click on my Hiring Advice and 2013 Directory of Bat Removal Professionals serving every city in the USA.

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Please be kind to bats! They are valuable animals, not aggressive, and they are vulnerable!
If you have any questions about bats in attics, just email me at david@batsintheattic.org