Does Bat Repellent Work?

05.20.2005 - Many people seek an inexpensive and easy cure for their problems. Why not? If a pill can cure obesity, it sure beats diet, exercise, and liposuction, right? Magic diet pills sell fairly well. So does wildlife repellent, bat repellent included. Sellers of both "guarantee" that their product will work, and offer countless testimonials. Or your money back!

It's not unusual for me to arrive at a bat problem only to find that the homeowner has already attempted use of a magic bat removal product, oftentimes several. Shockingly, the very people who are gullible enough to buy one ineffective product are gullible enough to buy several. In other cases, reasonable people get fooled once, and then realize that there's no shortcut. Here's the thing about wild animals, bats included: Mammals and reptiles are not insects. You can't poison them. Not effectively, and usually not legally. Furthermore, repellents are just not effective. When an animal has established a home somewhere, it does not want to leave casually. If I sprinkled some moth balls around your front door, or inside your house, would you drive home from work one day, smell the mothballs, and simple turn around, abandon your house, and look for a new place to live? If it sounds silly for me to make such a comparison, it's not. You're a mammal, and in a lot of ways not terribly different from a bat. Many people are so ignorant about wildlife that they assume all sorts of ridiculous rules apply. Of course deer are frightened by the smell of human hair! Of course moles can't stand castor oil! Of course pigeons will shudder with fear at the sight of a plastic owl! - gimmicks like these are examples of how far humans have strayed from nature. I've worked with animals for many years, and usually when I want to predict an animal behavior, I simply ask, "what would a person do?". A person would not leave their home on account of an unpleasant odor (actually, a person might - spoiled as we are - but animals have to work to survive). Anyway, enough preaching about the stupidity and ignorance surrounding products like bat repellent and balding tonic. The point is that repellents don't work, and the only way to remove bats or any wildlife from a building is to physically remove them and permanently seal off the entry points they use to gain access to the house. Get them out + don't let them back in = no more problem.

In the above photo, taken on May 5th, I was on investigation of a large bat problem at a government facility. As it was late May, I was not going to actually do the work, since these Free-Tail bats were soon to give birth, and an exclusion could jeopardize the young. However, I was inspecting the situation, for an August exclusion. My post today was inspired by the fact that I found mothballs scattered throughout the roof and attic, "bat-scat" sprinkled everywhere (it's made of mothballs as well), fox urine squirted in the holes, high frequency sound emitters in the attic, and craziest of all, bags of hair hanging from strings. Chalk another one up for excellent government planning and efficiency. I gave them a reasonable proposal to solve the problem properly, with guarantee, but it seems that money was an issue, and I did not get the job.

During my inspection I took a look inside the crevices around the building, and saw thousands of bats huddled together in the gaps, such as in the above photo. Many people assume that bats hang about, out in the open. Free-tails sure don't. The cram and wedge into tight gaps, shoulder to shoulder, such as in this photo. You can see the concern in their beady little eyes. They know they're taking a look at the only effective bat repellent available: a trained bat exclusion professional. Brought to you by the council for bat removal professionals of America, your local bat 414, and the agency for opposition against bogus bat repellent products.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Bats page for tips and advice.
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It is understandable if you are desperate of ridding your property of bats or trying to prevent bats from colonizing your property. Many people opt for different types of bat repellents as they try to protect their dwellings from these winged visitors. Bat repellents take the form of chemical, audio and light, and home-made concoctions. Unfortunately, these repellents tend to be ineffective when it comes to getting rid of bats.

Why Aren’t Bat Repellents Always Effective?

The bottom line is that the use of exclusion devices is among the best approach to keep bats away from your property. The issue with using repellents is that unless they are used at the very earliest stages of colonization, they will be ineffective. This is so because the bats would have already grown accustomed to the location. They would have already picked the perfect roosting spot. While the repellent may give them some amount of discomfort, they would have grown so fond of their newly found dwelling place that they would rather bear the inconvenience of the repellent being used than to leave the dwelling area.

How to Truly Get Rid of Bats

As we have already established in this article, one of the best ways to keep your property free of bats is to utilize exclusion devices or techniques. These are effective because they allow the bats to leave the nooks and crannies in which they are hiding while blocking them from being able to re-enter.

While this is effective, it is highly recommended that you permit or employ a professional wildlife control service to step in and to do the dirty work for you. They will know exactly how to assess the environment, locate the areas where the bats are living and deploy the best possible techniques or devices to rid your property of bats. When using the exclusion device or the netting method, they will ensure that the bats are unable to return.

Another major benefit of outsourcing this type of project to a professional is that you are safeguarded from the potential health risks of handling bats or bat waste.

If you employ the services of a wildlife control expert and you observe them trying to use traps to rid your property of bats, you can be assured that these people do not know what they are doing. Traps are not usually effective. One of the main concerns of using traps for bats is that if they get into the cage, they will end up hurting themselves. It will also take a substantial amount of time to use traps on a large bat colonization.

The market is indeed saturated by a number of bat repellents. However, bear in mind that these are not necessarily the best use of your money when you are trying to rid your property of bats. Instead, seek assistance from a wildlife control company that will use exclusion devices.

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