Category Archives: How to Know if You Have Bats in Your House

How to Know if You Have Bats in Your House

Think you might have bats in your house and want to confirm it? 

If you think you might have bats in your house, attic or building, you could certainly have a potentially very serious problem … which could result in a potentially large expense to fix.  Getting rid of bats is sometimes perfectly simple and straightforward … and sometimes very expensive.  To get rid of bats, there is plenty that you can at least try to do, yourself.  And there is plenty that you can do to at least assist in the (potentially very expensive!) process of getting rid of bats, and help to keep your costs at a minimum. 

Certainly one of the first things you want to do is confirm that you really DO have bats in your house, home, restaurant or commercial building.  This will require doing a complete, and very detailed inspection of the inside and outside of the structure.  If bats actually ARE coming and going from your building, you’ll have to determine exactly how and where they enter and exit.

Look for Cracks, Crevices and Holes in the OUTSIDE of Your House

In the outside of your building, look for cracks, slits, gaps, splits, breaks, knot holes, deteriorated areas, etc, that go from the outside of your building completely through to the inside of your building.  Bats can get through extremely small cracks and gaps in buildings, even cracks as small as one quarter inch, or even smaller.

Be sure to inspect the outside of your building for cracks and gaps around the air conditioning and heating units, the chimney, the edge of the roof, the roof overhang, the valley of the roof, the roof eaves, the gable, and siding.  In short, be sure and check every area where walls come together, the roofs attach to the house, and around any structures or pipes that go through walls or roofs, like air conditioning ducts, dryer vents, roof vents, dormers, telephone or television cables, electric wires, gas pipes, lawn sprinkler systems, or any other areas which may not be completely sealed.  

Look for bat droppings, also called “guano”  During your inspection, be sure and look for bat droppings, referred to as “guano.”  Guano could look like small pellets, or like crumbly dirt and dust.  The droppings contain small pieces of insect wings in them, so can reflect light and appear “sparkly” in sunlight.  

Guano is certainly one definite sign that bats have been to your building, and may be living inside or underneath it, especially over night.  If you find bat guano, and especially if there is an accumulation of guano, you might want to consider contacting a professional bat removal service, as bat guano can carry diseases harmful to humans, and should be handled with the proper precautions.  

For example, in the process of removing bat guano, professional bat removal experts will likely wear respirator masks to protect their lungs from inhaling diseases potentially spread through bat guano.  They will also use other specialized equipment and chemicals to aid in the cleanup and removal of excrement.  

The guano will also help an expert to determine the type and numbers of bats that you have in your house, and the locations of their entrance into your home.  This information will be helpful to them in planning the most effective method to get rid of your bats legally, permanently and humanely.

Scratching or small “rustling” noises in your walls, ceiling or attic:  

Sometimes one of the first signs that you might have bats in your home is hearing small “scratching” or “rustling” noises that appear to be coming from the walls, ceiling or attic.  Bats are nocturnal creatures that sleep in their roost during the day, and leave their roost at night to fly, hunt and eat.  They have sharp claws with which to climb to “safe,” quiet areas where they hang upside down to sleep.  It is this coming inside at dawn, going outside at dusk, and climbing to their sleeping areas when bats might make noises loud enough for people to hear them.  If you hear scratching or rustling noises in your walls, ceilings or attics, you should definitely check into the situation.  If the noises seem to be more frequent at dawn and dusk, you may very well have unwanted bat guests.

Look for “rub marks”  

Another thing to be on the lookout for is called “rub marks.”  These are the marks that bats may make when they enter and exit your building.  When bats find a location that they like to enter and exit a building, they will reliably come and go from the same area, leaving indications of their presence.   A rub mark is a stained area, probably yellowish brown to black brown in color, where bats have been habitually entering and exiting your house or attic.  These marks might be slightly sticky, and have a smooth, polished appearance from the bats rubbing against these areas as they come and go.  

Watch for bats flying FROM your home at dawn, or INTO your house at dusk.  

Bats are nocturnal mammals, that roost during the day, and fly and eat during the night.  As such, they might be seen coming INTO your home at dawn, or leaving FROM home at dusk every night.  If you actually SEE bats entering and exiting your house, this will confirm that you have unwanted bat guests.  This will also be very important information that either you, and / or the bat removal service, will need to get rid of bats.

Look for Cracks, Crevices and Holes the INSIDE of your house

After you have thoroughly inspected the outside of your house, you’ll want to go inside your house and inspect the same areas that you inspected when you were outside.  Note especially cracks, crevices, and ALL other small holes that are open to the outside.  Inside your house, look for any and all areas where you can see daylight through to the outside.  Look carefully for rub marks, and especially look and smell for bat guano and urine

Use Your NOSE and be attentive for bad odors  

One way of knowing that you have a bat removal issue is when you are able to smell bat excrement, especially when you are inspecting the inside of your house, attic, or building. Even a small accumulation of bat guano and urine will produce a very unpleasant odor as they dry and chemically break down in attics, wall spaces, and other areas where bats are living and excreting.  The smell of bat excrement is distinctive, robust and acrid, not unlike the smell of a dead animal decomposing inside your house.  In ore serious situations of bat infestation, where a group of bats, or colony, has taken up residence, this smell can often be detected by simply walking outside of a building.  

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