Serving the Greater Houston Area Since 1963!

By James Stuart

I am not a bat (chiroptera) expert. I know that bats are the only mammals that can fly, people think they are good for the environment because they eat bugs, and that you definitely don’t want them to live in your house. Along with rabies, bats cause all sorts of problems involving parasites, piles of feces, and diseases.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

How do you tell if you have bats in your home? You will see them leave from the same place every evening. As the numbers increase it becomes more obvious. They also leave rub marks around their entrance where the oil in their fur collects dirt. If they are allowed to increase their numbers they will start to stink and make noise.

Getting bats to leave your home and keeping them out is not terribly difficult but it does require a systematic approach, detailed inspection and exclusion work.

You definitely want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

One proven method is to first seal all but one exit and then place a tarp over the entrance/exit so that the bats are forced to travel down to the bottom edge of the tarp to exit. When the bats return they don’t know to crawl under the tarp to get back to the original exit hole. They give up trying to get in pretty easy and fly off to live somewhere else. If you have good access to the attic area, smoke from a few burning leaves at dusk will encourage them to fly off. Most people keep the tarp in place for several days to make sure they are all gone. After they last bats are gone seal the last hole.

Bats can crawl through a ½ inch gap or hole so you need to be thorough. The most common entrance on homes in this area is where wood trim meets brick or stone. These areas are sometimes difficult to foam or caulk so you might need to hire a pro. Another fairly easy fix is to fold screen so that you can push into gap. Sometimes a combination of all methods are best.

Sealing your house properly in advance is of course the best thing you can do. At Stuart’s Pest Control, we know about bats. Like us on FaceBook.