Fix-It Chick: How to evict bats from your home

Bats are great when they are flying around the yard eating beetles, moths and other pesky insects, but things are not quite as copacetic when bats start hanging out inside your home. The good news is, evicting bats from a home or attic is easier than you might think.

Step 1: A lone bat or two flying through the home does not indicate an infestation. Bats inadvertently may fly down an uncapped chimney or in an open door or window. They can slip through cracks or crevices as small as 3/8″ wide in search of a roosting space. If a bat problem is suspected, exit the house at dusk and watch for bats leaving the home. An infestation of bats can often be identified by the accumulation of guano or urine near roosting areas or entry sites. Thoroughly inspect the home for active and inactive entry points.

Step 2: Once entry points have been identified, seal up all the secondary points that are not currently active. Caulk around windows and doors, seal around chimneys, cap pipes, and cover vents with aluminum screening. Do not seal up active entry points.

Step 3: Most bats nest and raise babies between June and August. Wait until the chance of nesting babies has passed before proceeding. Create a simple exclusion device by hanging a swath of fiberglass screen over the entry point. Mount the screen by attaching it to a piece of wood above the hole. The screen should protrude 2″ to 4″ away from the hole and hang 18″ or so below the hole to allow bats a seemingly unobstructed exit point. Secure the sides of the screen to the building surface with duct tape or staples to create a funnel-like exit point for the bats. The bats should be able to exit the home freely by crawling past the screen, but they will not be able to fly back into the opening.

Step 4: Make certain the device is working properly by watching bats exit the home at night. Wait a few days to be sure all of the bats have left the premises. Remove the exclusion device and seal up the entrance points with appropriate patching materials. Unlike other invasive pests, bats will not chew or damage homes to get back inside. They will look for new entrance points, so be diligent about sealing up cracks and crevices throughout the year.

— Have a home improvement question for the Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at