Bats in the house? Do’s and dont’s on removing them

Jul 19, 2021, 5:40 PM
how to deal with bats in your house - bat roosting in a tree...
Reports of bats roosting in homes tend to go up in the summer when their babies, called pups, are learning to fly. Photo: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’ve found bats in your house — or even your belfry — recently, you’re not alone. Young bats are out and exploring their world, which can sometimes include your attic.

This time of year, these nocturnal animals take up residence in homes all over Utah as bat babies, called pups, leave their roosts and learn to fly.

Remove bats humanely and carefully

Kimberly Hersey of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources joined Inside Sources on KSL NewsRadio to talk about removing bats safely and humanely.

Hersey said dangling or blowing objects can deter bats outside your home. If you have bats roosting outside your house, perhaps under the roof or gables, place a balloon or streamers — anything that can hang from a height and blow in the wind, such as old CDs.

She also said you should never touch a bat. Wear thick gloves instead. Bats can carry rabies.

“If you were to have any situation where you think you were scratched or bitten, contact the health department and they would help you through that,” she said.

Bats in your house? Here’s what to do:

If you suspect there is a colony of bats in your attic, you will need to contact a local, permitted wildlife nuisance control company for help. The DWR will coordinate with that company to authorize the removal at specific times of the year that won’t harm the pups.

If you already have bats inside your home, make sure none of them are trapped inside before you start filling up the holes and sealing cracks. Pups separated from their mothers will die, Hersey said.

“You end up with an angry mothers trying to get back to their pups. And that’s oftentimes where we see situations where you get bats and living areas, which we always want to prevent,” she said.

Hersey recommended waiting until mid- to late August before removing bats. That way, the pups can fly out on their own. Put up a one-way device in your house so the bats can exit but can’t re-enter.

“Leave it up over a few days and seal it up,” she advised.

Bats feel safer up higher

Hersey said if you remove a bat from your home, release it into a tree or some high object.

“Most bats can take off from the ground, but it’s a whole lot easier to take off from a tree. Plus, you know in a tree they can hang out there for a little bit and be out of the way so no other animals can get to them,” Hersey said.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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Bats in the house? Do’s and dont’s on removing them