What can I do to keep bats out of my barn?
For many rural property owners, bats are a real nuisance. Historically, these flying mammals dwelled in caves, and barns are a more attractive alternative. Not only are barns warm and dry, they are safe from predators, meaning they are the ideal place to roost or spend the night. Unfortunately, bats are very sociable animals, meaning that if one discovers your barn, more are likely to follow. Therefore, it is imperative that you make your barn as unattractive a place as possible for bats, to discourage them from infesting it. Here are some tips for keeping nuisance bats out of your barn:
Seal off unnecessary exits
Many barns are somewhat dilapidated, with holes in the ceiling or walls. Bearing in mind bats are very small animals, they can easily take advantage of these gaps to enter your barn in their masses. Therefore, if you are suffering from a bat infestation, this should be your first port of call. For many of the smallest holes, expanding foam filler can be enough, which can be bought easily online or in any hardware store. However, it is less effective for larger openings. To plug these larger gaps, you could nail wood or other materials. Alternatively, you could seek help from a professional, as they often have useful equipment such as ladders. Sometimes, even pest control companies provide bat proofing services.
Give the bats more attractive options
It may seem counter-intuitive to actively encourage bats to roost in your land, but unfortunately, if they find your property, they are probably here to stay. However, mounting bat boxes in various places will allow the bats an even more attractive place to sleep. After all, the bats themselves are harmless; in fact, they can help reduce harmful insect populations. However, once they are in your barn, they can cover it with feces, causing a mess and a powerful smell.
As long as you have concentrated your bat populations in certain areas, these problems will not affect you, and you can have a bat-free barn. Bat boxes are mass-produced, so they can be purchased easily. Alternatively, if you have some spare wood, you could make your own. Make sure to provide the bats with a sizeable hole big enough for them to fly in and out with ease.
Use specialist bat repelling equipment
Bats are enough of a problem for plenty of companies to develop specialist technology that makes an environment unsuitable for bats. Due to their nocturnal nature, bats have very bad eyesight. Instead, they rely on the method of echolocation to avoid objects and catch their prey. In short, echolocation is the emission of constant, high-frequency sounds. Bats are evolved to be able to interpret the echoes the sounds make and locate solid objects producing said echoes. For this reason, bats are very sensitive to sound, especially high-frequency noises. Too much high-frequency irritates them, enough to force them to move away from the noise. Therefore, you can buy speakers that you can move to where you know the bat infestation is. Once turned on, they emit high frequency sounds at a constant rate. These pieces of equipment are often battery-powered and rechargeable. If you leave the machine running overnight, you should be able to return to your barn in the morning and find it bat-free. A bonus is that the noise that is emitted is so high frequency that it is too high pitched for the human ear. This means that whilst the bats may be suffering, you will not hear a thing.