Things You'll Need
Dustpan and broom
Deodorizing spray or vinegar
1/4- inch hardware cloth, sheet metal, plywood, mortar, aluminum flashing or plastic bird netting
Make sure all bats have exited your home before you permanently seal up entryways. If you suspect that some bats still live in your home, construct a one-way exit. You can do this by attaching a mesh screen funnel over exit holes, or attaching the end of an old pant leg around exit holes.
Do not poison the bats. Not only is it against the law in most states, but it will make the problem worse as you can potentially have hundreds of dead bats in your attic which further aggravate an existing problem. Bright lights, ultrasonic noise devices and electric fans are all effective at repelling bats.
Bats are usually welcome around homes because their sophisticated insect-tracking system helps them find and eliminate bothersome pests. When bats enter and roost in homes, however, they can become a nuisance. While bats are generally harmless to humans, their urine and feces have a strong unsavory odor that attracts insects and other bats into their roosting area. Once you remove bats and their waste from your attic, you must eliminate odors to prevent future bat infestations.
Wear a respirator and protective clothing at all times while working around bat wastes. Bat fecal matter contains a fungus called histoplasma capsulatum, which can infect humans with histoplasmosis. This infection may cause inflammation in the skin, bones, joints and/or lining in the heart as well as rashes and flu-like symptoms.
Lightly spray any bat droppings with water. Scoop up bat feces with a dustpan and broom and place it in plastic bags to throw away. Discard the broom after sweeping up the bat droppings.
Remove and discard any insulation or fabric contaminated by bat wastes. This will eliminate histoplasma capsulatum spores.
Mix a 1:20 solution of bleach to water and transfer it to a spray bottle. The bleach will kill any residual fungus and will also sanitize the area.
Spray contaminated surfaces with your bleach and water solution.
Spray deodorizing spray or vinegar on the area to cover up any lingering odors. The pheromones in the bat droppings will attract other bats to the area, so it is important to eliminate all odors.
Seal any openings in late winter/early spring to prevent bats from entering your home in the future. Use 1/4- inch hardware cloth, sheet metal, plywood, mortar, aluminum flashing or plastic bird netting to seal up any entryways 3/8 of an inch or larger.
Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.