Bats – do you see them as cute, furry, flying creatures or a nuisance you want to get rid of?
It depends on your perspective, but if you have bats roosting around your porch, chances are you’d like them gone. They certainly won’t boost curb appeal!
Without a doubt, bats are some of the most interesting and beneficial creatures that can be found in the world as part of our ecosystem. They eat a lot of insects, which can help reduce pests around your porch or home.
But while we can thank them for snacking on those nasty critters that congregate around our porch area, they aren’t the most welcome guests because of their tendency to leave droppings and spread disease.
If bats have taken up residence on your porch, there are several things you can do to encourage them to move on. This guide will discuss the best methods for keeping bats away from your porch and how you can deter them from returning in the future.
Why Do Bats Like Porches?
Porches can be a great sanctuary for bats, providing an ideal combination of shelter, access to food sources, and protection from predators. Bats naturally seek out dark and enclosed environments with easy access to fresh air – your attic is a good example – but porches provide similar conditions without the risks that come with entering a human-used building.
Also, porches are usually built close to trees where bats can find food, such as moths, beetles, and other insects.
Because porches often feature overhangs or support beams, there are plenty of cracks, crevices, or gaps for bats to take up residence or simply hang out during the day.
It also helps that humans aren’t typically active in their porch space when darkness falls, giving bats less need to feel threatened by human activity.
Altogether it makes sense if you are a bat why a porch would be a good place to hang around!
Why Should You Keep Bats Away from Your Property?
The primary reason would be to protect yourself from one of the deadliest, if not most common, diseases, rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease that can be transmitted to humans and other animals. Taking measures to discourage bats from roosting on your property and making sure all members of your household are aware of the risks associated with coming into contact with bats is essential.
Bats can also be carriers of other diseases, such as histoplasmosis and bat-borne encephalitis. If this isn’t a good enough
Setting the nasty illnesses aside, bats can still be a nuisance due to the messes they make. Bat droppings, or bat guano, to be precise, contain fungi that can lead to respiratory issues when inhaled.
Bat guano will also corrode metal, damage roofing materials, and seep into insulation, leading to costly repairs down the road.
And if you’ve ever smelt bat urine, you know that it’s a smell you’d rather not have lingering around your porch – it’s also super difficult to get rid of.
Bats on Your Property: How to Spot Them
If you suspect that bats are using your porch as a roosting site, there are several things you can do to confirm your suspicions and take action.
One way to tell if bats are present is to look for their droppings, also known as guano. Guano is pretty easy to spot it’s black and looks like dried coffee grounds.
Many people don’t realize that bats are also active during the day, so they only need to look for them in the evening. During the day, pay attention to any nooks and crannies like crevices in a building’s facade. These dark cool areas make for great resting spots for bats.
Also, check out shady or wooded areas or low-hanging foliage, as these spaces give bats much-needed shelter from predators and the blazing summer sun. At night, take a flashlight and do some exploring around your property. Listen closely, too; many bat species make distinctive calls that they use to locate food or mates at night.
Now that you know how to identify them and why they like porches, let’s discuss some methods to deter bats from your property.
Tips to Keep Bats from Your Porch
Ah, the sounds of summer – kids playing in the backyard, neighbors chatting on the porch, and…the skittering of a bat looming in the shadows. If your summer nights are prematurely disrupted by a resident bat colony, there’s no need to panic! Preventing bats from hanging around your porch doesn’t require any supernatural abilities. A few simple preventative steps can help prevent a bat problem before it starts.
Keep Your Porch Lights Turned On
Bats aren’t a fan of bright lights, so keep your porch light turned on during the evening hours. This will deter bats from roosting in your porch area, as they prefer dark and secluded areas.
Find and Repair any Cracks on Your Porch.
Put your caulking gun into action asap to prevent bats from settling in. Bats can squeeze through incredibly small cracks, so look for any gaps around your windows, door frames, and vents to make sure your porch is sealed up tight.
Spray your Porch with Bat Repellent
There are several types of commercial bat repellents available on the market. Most of these repellents come in a spray form and contain natural ingredients like garlic – we all know from vampire movies how much bats hate garlic! – and various essential oils. These natural repellents are designed to create an unpleasant environment to stop bats from hanging out on your porch.
Put up Bat Nets
If you have an open-air porch, it might be an idea to invest in some bat nets. These are fine mesh nets that can be placed around the perimeter of your porch to keep bats out. You’ll want to ensure your bat net is installed tightly and secured with nails or screws so it doesn’t move when touched.
Install Bat Boxes on Your Property
If your porch is a bat magnet, a bat house can be a great way to provide bats with a desirable place to roost instead.
Bat houses offer a safe and warm place for bats to roost, and since they’re made specifically for bats, they discourage them from roosting in other areas of your property.
To install a bat house, find a spot on your property that is shady and has easy access to tall trees or buildings. The box should be placed at least 10 feet high and 20 feet away from any other structures.
By installing bat houses in your yard, you’ll be giving them the perfect place to hang out without getting into places they shouldn’t be!
Make an Effort to Eliminate Food Sources
Bats love to snack on insects, so make sure to eliminate these tasty food sources (for bats, anyway!) on your property. Cut back shrubs and trees near your porch, and trim the grass to keep insects at bay.
If you have fruit trees, be sure to keep them well-maintained and pick up any fallen fruit promptly.
Standing water is also an attractive spot for insects, so it’s best to keep the area around your porch free of any puddles.
You can also use a bug zapper or invest in some mosquito netting for extra protection. Taking measures like these will help discourage bats from hanging around your porch.
Purchase an Ultrasonic Repellent Device
There are several types of ultrasonic-repellent devices on the market, and most of them work by emitting an irritating sound that bats find offensive. These devices can be plugged into an outlet near the area you want to protect, and they will automatically emit a sound every time the bats come near.
It’s a great way to keep bats away from your porch without having to deal with any chemicals or messes. Simply plug it in and let it do its job.
Try Installing Reflective Devices
One way to keep bats from landing on your porch is to install reflective devices. These are small metal discs that are covered in reflective material. They can be attached to the eaves of your house or to any other structures near the porch.
These devices can be anything from shiny Mylar balloons to pie pans hung from the eaves of your roof. The theory is that bats will be deterred by the sudden movement or glare of these objects and will avoid entering your property.
However, bats can soon get used to these distractions and end up ignoring them. Therefore it is important to regularly switch up the devices and keep them moving, so bats won’t be able to get used to them.
Put Up Wind Chimes on your Porch
Summer evenings can be so romantic until… a bat intrudes on the scene! If you’re looking for an easy and enjoyable way to ward off the occasional bat visiting your front porch, by installing wind chimes.
Attach the chimes to the eaves of your house or to any other structures near the porch. The more noise the chimes make, the better they will work at scaring away the bats.
Be sure to hang them in a spot where they will be visible from all angles, so the bats won’t be able to sneak up on you unannounced!
Not only will these outdoor decorations keep bats away, but they’ll also bring a delightful sound to your summer gatherings. Best of all, wind chimes are easy to install in minutes, and their shimmery sound will add a lively touch to your outdoor ambiance.
Call in the Pest Control Specialists
If you’ve tried these other methods and those pesky wild animals (yep, they are animals!) are still coming around, it might be time to call in the experts. Professional pest control companies can provide bat removal services using humane methods and have the tools and knowledge needed to get rid of bats safely and effectively.
In some cases, they may even install specialized exclusion devices that physically block bats from entering your porch or home – an ideal solution for more severe infestations. Be sure to look for a pest control company with experience dealing with bats specifically, as this will ensure successful results.
What Smells Don’t Bats Like (Natural Bat Repellents)?
We spoke about bat repellents that you can buy online or at a home-improvement store, but there are also some natural bat repellents that you can make at home. Natural bat repellents will be safe for dogs and cats.
Grab some of these ingredients and start experimenting with different combinations to come up with the perfect pong that bats won’t like.
- Garlic – Bats will do anything to avoid garlic and its pungent smell. To make this natural bat repellent, take a few cloves of garlic and mash them into a paste. Then, add some water and mix it all together until you get a liquid consistency. Spread this mixture around the perimeter of your home or porch to keep bats away.
- Peppermint Oil – The strong scent of peppermint is another great way to keep bats at bay. All you need to do is dilute some peppermint oil with water and spray it around the areas where bats are likely to enter. This should help deter them from digging in and setting up camp on your front porch.
- Cinnamon – If you’re looking for a natural bat repellent that smells sweet, try using cinnamon oil or sticks. Bats don’t like the smell of cinnamon, and it will keep them away from your porch or property. You should be able to find cinnamon oil at stores.
- Mothballs -These are another great natural bat repellent. They have a strong pungent smell that bats dislike and can help keep them away from areas where they may be living or gathering.
You can also mix together essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella in a spray bottle and spritz it around your porch every few days to keep bats away. The combination of smells will create an environment that your local bat population finds unpleasant.
Why You Shouldn’t Try to Kill or Harm the Bats
Okay, so you might be thinking, “Why can’t I just kill the darn things?”
Well, here’s why: for one, it’s illegal. Most species of bats are protected under state and federal law, so if you harm or kill a bat, you could face fines and other legal consequences.
But beyond that, it’s just not a good idea. Bats are actually really helpful to have around. They eat a ton of insects, including some that are harmful to crops and gardens.
And, they play a role in pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds. So if you kill a bat, you’re not only breaking the law, but you’re also potentially causing more harm than good in the long run. It’s important to remember that just because we might not want bats roosting on our porch, doesn’t mean we should harm them.
If you find that bats have decided to make your porch their new home, don’t reach for the slingshot just yet! Bats are invaluable to keeping the insect population in check, so if you find a way to remove them without causing harm to yourself or the bats, then go for it.
But if they’re not bothering you unduly, then it might be best just to let them be.
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.....With a love of the great outdoors be it in the backyard, hiking or fishing
Steve loves to share his tips on how to get the best from your patio, yard or
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