How to Get Rid of Bats in the Garage
While bats prefer spending their days napping in dark caves, human proliferation has given them alternative cave-like residences. To bats, your dark and silent garage is a great substitute for their natural habitats.
This is why more and more homeowners have to deal with bats in the garage or just hanging on their roof rafters. As the urban sprawl grows, the problem will get more prevalent as we encroach into the bat’s natural habitat.
Even though bats will generally stay out of your way during the day and help hunt pesky bugs at night (unless they’re fruit or vampire bats), you still have to contend with the droppings and the unexpected wing flutter now and then.
We understand why you are so focused on getting them out of your garage. Don’t worry. We have a couple of tricks you can use to remove bats from the garage.
How to Permanently Get Rid of Bats in My Garage
There are a couple of commercial and home remedy techniques to get rid of bats in your garage. We will look at techniques that make your garage a less hospitable place for the bats instead of killing them.
Obtain a Removal Permit if Necessary
Before starting the process, check with your local authorities to determine if you need a permit to disturb (let alone remove) bats from your residence. Some places have stringent animal protection rules that you must follow to ensure you don’t harm different animals when relocating them.
For instance, the federal government has some protection. Additionally, different states have specific rules that dictate what you can do to bats you find in your house, garage or tool shed.
Some bats are endangered, and protected doesn’t mean you should let them turn your garage into a roost. Bats are mammals and carry communicable diseases that infect humans. For instance, they are rabies vectors, and their droppings spread a wide range of diseases.
Hiring a professional pest control company is the best way to stay legal and ecofriendly when handling big bat colonies.
Bat Proof Your Garage
Start by examining your garage during the day to find any ingress points the bats use to leave or enter the garage. While the garage entrance is the biggest culprit, bats can squeeze through vents, cracks, and other open ducts.
If you find any other openings other than the main door, you must close them to prevent further entry.
You have two options here:
Installing One Way Doors
One-way doors in the exit holes allow the bats to leave but make it hard for them to come back in. You can create makeshift one-way doors using plastic sheeting.
- Get some stiff plastic sheets and cut them to the exact size and shape of the hole you want to block
- Staple the top half of the sheet onto the area around the opening and leave the bottom half unstapled
ProTip: If you see the bats struggle to leave but can’t make it past the sheets, wait until the following day and remove some staples to make it easier to leave.
This will make it easy for the bats to leave since they want to but harder to come back in.
Blocking the Holes at Night
An easier alternative would be blocking the holes at night when the bats are out hunting or gathering. Since they’re nocturnal, they tend to leave the roost when darkness kicks in.
Take a day or two to monitor when the bats leave before springing the plan into action.
- Use some fine wire screen mesh over the entry and exit points
- You could permanently block the holes if you don’t need the ventilation or it’s a damaged part in the wall
- You could also install the wire screen over your eaves and other openings that could give the bats access to the garage
Keep the main garage door open in the evening and early night for two more days to ensure any struggles leave. You don’t want to trap and starve any bat inside your garage.
Installing Bright Lights
Since bats are nocturnal, they don’t like bright light. They seek out the darkest caves or parts of your garage to hang out during the day because they’re dark and cozy.
Detering them should be as simple as setting up blindingly bright lights. If you can’t get floodlights, install as many bulbs as possible and even add more on extensions. Be keen not to overload the power outlets you use.
Since bats hang upside down when sleeping, handing the light from the ceiling or a high place ensures it will land straight into their eyes.
If the bats still find a way back into the garage after blocking the holes they use to sneak in, they will find the place too bright for their liking. They will slowly move out over a couple of days as they find out that their favorite ‘cave’ is now too bright for their liking.
Heat Up the Place
Another simple home remedy to getting rid of bats is heating the place. Bats thrive in warm damp places that reminisce of what they get in caves.
Heating your garage and drying it up will make the environment unbearable for them. Apart from chasing the bats, a dry and warm garage will be less susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot.
- If you don’t have AC in your garage, find a couple of space heaters.
- Ensure that the power outlets in the garage can support the power draw of the heaters
- Identify the spots where the bats roost and set up the heaters facing these spots
- Turn on the heaters and shoot for 100 degrees F. You don’t have to heat the place to unrealistic temperatures
- Sustain the high temperature for around three to five days to get the bats gone and keep them away
If your garage was very damp and musty, consider finding out where water was seeping in. Dampness can lead to problems more severe than an annoying bat infestation.
Add Some Essential Oils
Lastly, you could throw some essential oils into your arsenal to repel the bats. There are a couple of blends specifically made for the job.
If you can’t find any, you can make your cocktail by mixing the following essential oils in equal proportions.
Add the mixture into the water in a spray bottle to dilute and spray it all over the garage at night after the bats leave. This extra step will make the garage less appealing to the bats hence encouraging them to find another place to call home.
Provide an Alternative Home
If you have a big property, for instance, a farm or a large estate, consider relocating the bats to another place you don’t mind having them infest.
This could range from a dingy concrete building mimicking a cave if you are keen on conservation to a cheaper laid-back wooden bat house you can hang in different property spots.
Can I Trap or Kill the Bats in My Garage?
There is no point. This will be much effort that is potentially harmful. First of all, bats carry communicable diseases. Keeping interaction with them or their droppings as low as possible will reduce the chances of infection.
Secondly, they are superb navigators making trapping or smacking them harder than you think. You could spend hours before giving up or being lucky enough to scathe a single bat.
Thirdly, chances are killing or harming the bats is explicitly forbidden in your permit or by your local laws. You could stand to pay a fine or spend time in jail if caught.
Also, killing bats, especially endangered species, is bad for the ecosystem. Play your part. Help them move on alive. Under no circumstances should you kill or injure them.
Lastly, bats are intelligent and can read between the lines when you want them to leave. Making the garage inhabitable will have them moving along sooner than you think. It’s easier and safer, making going after the bats to kill them an unreasonable solution.
What Attracts Bats to Your Garage?
Bats come to your garage if there’s food or it is an ideal nesting place. Keeping the garage clean, airy, and well-lit is a good way to deter bats.
Cleaning will get rid of insects and other food sources. Additionally, it will make the place less dingy and damp. Coupling this with lighting up and heating the place will make it more of a house, and bats don’t like houses. They’re cave dwellers.
Top food sources for bats are:
- Insects like mosquitoes, beetles, moths, and other crawlies or flying insects
- Fruits like bananas and mangoes
Additionally, start using your garage more often. No one likes noise and distractions when sleeping. Bats are not excluded. Find a use for your garage that will make the place busier during the day, and this will help get rid of the bats naturally.
Where Do Bats Hide in the Garage?
Bats like dark and removed places without any interference. They will hide in the tightest spots with clutter and some spots to hang upside down.
This makes it very hard to spot them in the garage. When finding their hiding spots, look for areas behind the garage door, on the rafters, in the ceiling, between garage walls, and any stray furniture or fixtures you have stashed in the garage.
Does One Bat Mean There’s a Colony in the Garage?
Did you find a single bat hanging out in your garage? You might be convincing yourself you’re lucky it’s not an infestation yet and even encouraged to let it be.
Sometimes, a single bat might be just that. One bat that didn’t make it back home with its colony found the closest convenient place to spend the day before moving on.
It could also mean that other bats have left for the night and that a single bat stayed home for reasons not known to us.
A single bat found your garage comfortable enough to spend one or more days in means that a colony will love it too. Consider going throw the bat proofing and detering procedures outlined above to avoid an infestation.
Moreover, since bats are small and can squeeze into very tiny nooks, you could be missing more hiding out in your garage.
While bats might not directly harm you, their potential disease vectors mean you should get rid of them as soon as possible.
Since they’re mostly protected due to their benefits to the environment, treat them humanely. Never kill or trap them in the garage to starve them. Ensure that they can freely leave the garage but make it harder for them to return.