What Bats WantTo understand why bats are coming into your home, it helps to learn a little about their lifestyle. Bats make a living by flying around at night, eating insects caught on the wing. During the day, some species sleep in trees while cave bats sleep in caves or similar structures. During winter, cave bats hibernate in their roosting spots, and tree bats migrate south. To put it simply, bats want insects at night and a safe hiding place during the day.
3 Common Myths Spread About BatsUnfortunately, several erroneous rumors have circulated about bats over the years. Here are three false assumptions:
- Bats want to steal fruit from your trees. While there are fruit bats in other parts of the world, there are none in North America.
- Bats will get tangled in your hair. Bats can maneuver their way through thin tree branches and around other small obstacles, so it is unlikely they would run into an object as large as a human head.
- Bats will suck your blood. There are no vampire bats in North America.
If You Build It, They Will ComeBats will hunt anywhere there are flying insects like moths and mosquitoes. If you have lights around your home that attract insects, bats may venture close to enjoy an easy meal. When the weather is wet or cold, bats may seek temporary shelter in your home. Young bats who have recently gained independence may also wander in accidentally. Once inside, a bat may realize that your home has all the features it needs to start a family. Since your home is warm and dry, free from predators and has a high enough elevation that a bat can “drop and fly” upon waking in the evenings, why wouldn’t the intruder want to stay?
How Bats Gain EntryBats almost never fly through an open door or window. They are much more likely to crawl in through a tiny opening. Some of the common entry points include:
- Chimneys: Even if you have a cap, it can become damaged during high winds or storms.
- Openings at the top of the house: Any small hole can provide an entry point to your attic.
- Fascia Boards: Bats are notorious for squirming in under these wider boards that hold up your gutter systems.
- Tiny gaps or breaches: Any opening ¾ of an inch wide or even less will do it. Bats are tiny animals and can fit through a hole the size of a penny.
3 Common Bat Removal MistakesIf bats have taken up long-term residence in your home, you need professional help. Widespread errors people make when trying to remove bats on their own may include:
- Killing traps are inhumane and illegal. Live traps are ineffective because bats will just find their way back to your house.
- Deterrents like mothballs and ammonia are extremely toxic to human health, and essential oils do little to discourage bats that are already established.
- Poison is not an option since it is virtually impossible to poison the flying insects that bats eat.