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When you have set up your home just the way you like it, the last thing you want is a pest entering the house and setting up camp. The most common animals that tend to do this are raccoons, rats, and possums. However, it is not uncommon to have bats enter your attic space and set up a colony either for maternity season or for hibernation in the winter. So you must both understand why bats do this, how they get into your home, and how to prevent them from doing this in the first place.
While you may think that bats only live in dark caves and abandoned mine shafts, many bats make a home in built-up residential areas too. The reason why they will enter your home is rather simple. It is a safe space that shelters them from the elements and potential predators. Plus, thanks to the heat within the house rising to the roof, this space is ideal for remaining warm and dry during the harsher winter months.
This can be a rather tricky question to answer simply because there are so many possibilities. A bat can enter a home through a gap that is as small as 3/8 of an inch in width, meaning that any small opening is a potential entry point. The most common entry points tend to be vents, roof caps, loose brickwork, or missing roof tiles.
So if you are aiming to prevent bats from entering, we would suggest checking these potential problem areas to give yourself the best chance of keeping them out.
The simple answer is no but it can sometimes help. The reason why a bat will always choose your home over a bat house is because of the security, warmth, and abundance of space that an attic space will provide. However, that is not to say you shouldn’t build a bat house. It is a wonderful thing to do and allows bats to safely roost. If your home is well boarded up, the bats will choose this as the next viable option and you will have done a good deed for the animal kingdom and indeed for the ecosystem around your home.
While boarding up all the potential entry points is key, you can also do other things to make your home unviable to a bat. Here are a few preventative measures that you can use to make sure bats look elsewhere to set up a home:
Remove any water sources from around your home if possible. Cover decorative ponds or water features for example.
Hang objects around the roosting spot that will unsettle the bats and drive them away. Things such as Mylar balloons, aluminum foil, or wood chimes.
Just be aware that exclusion techniques can be a bad idea during maternity season as mothers will abandon their young if they deem the colony inhospitable. This will lead to dead animals in your attic leaving a foul odor and the potential of rabies.