Bat Repellents: Are They Really Effective?
It’s true that bats can be repelled. However, that can only be accomplished if one uses the right repellents. Unfortunately, not all repellents, even though they may be highly effective, are legal or appropriate.
Some jurisdictions prohibit the use of bat repellents, while other repellents are unusually cruel and harmful to use.
This article walks you through some of the bat repellent options available to you. Regardless of which one you choose, make sure it is safe for the creature and legal to use in your area.
Natural Bat Repellent
Bats can be repelled using a number of non-toxic, naturally available substances. These include:
- Clumps of human hair
- Strong-smelling animal secretions like Coyote urine
- Peppermint or menthol
- Cinnamon or eucalyptus
- Green tea
These naturally-grown products have powerful smelling properties that bats detest. So, while the bats will be deterred from roosting in places where these scent-emitters are found, they will not be in any physical danger – which is the humane way to deter these mammals.
Bat Repellent Sprays
If you have a long-prevailing bat infestation, or if bats have been calling their home in your attic for a while, you may need something much stronger than the made-at-home natural repellents discussed earlier. In such cases products like Pest-Rid and 4 The Birds Gel, which are:
- Commercially produced
- Readily available
- Easy to use and can cover a large area
- Non-toxic and non-lethal to bats and other animals
- Available as Sprays or Gels
may be the preferred bat repellents to use.
These products do not kill or injure the bats, but simply create an unbearable environment for the mammals, making it uncomfortable for them to stick around.
Like any product, using Pest Rid will deliver best results when you follow the manufacturer’s advice for use. The following are high-level instructions for using this particular bat repellent:
- Timing: Since bats roost in large colonies during the day, it would be unwise to try and disturb their habitat in the daytime. Instead, choose a time in the late evenings, when the mammals are out of their roost on a feeding excursion, to apply the repellent
- Applicator: Use any standard sprayer to disperse the fluid
- Coverage: Use the sprayer to dispense a quarter of each of the components over an area of approximately 125 Sq. feet
- Points of entry: Where there are points of direct entry into the roost (holes in the attic, openings in the garage), use the Gel form of the repellent at the openings to discourage the creatures from entering through those points of access
- Repeat: This process should be repeated every 30 days to ensure that the bats are thoroughly discouraged from returning to their roost
Pest Rid will produce a disagreeable taste and odour that bats find offensive. Since they are creatures of habit, the mammals may not immediately depart from their roost. However, they will eventually get the message and vacate their home.
'4 The Birds Gel' is a thick, sticky substance that comes in a calking tube. To apply it, you will need a calking gun as the applicator.
- Before applying, clean the surface thoroughly of debris and dirt
- Apply on ledges, windowsills, roof ridges and tree limbs where the mammals are known to frequent
- Do not apply in low-lying areas where children or pets can reach
In hard to reach areas, or entry points that cannot be properly caulked, use 4 The Birds Liquid with the help of a suitable spray applicator.
The effect is that the birds will stick to the repellent each time they come home to the roost, ultimately annoying them into leaving.
Electronic Bat Repellents
Bats use naturally-produced sound waves to navigate and communicate. There are electronic devices that interfere with these sound waves, disorienting the mammals and ultimately driving them away from their haunts. Some of these devices include:
- Transonic Pro: Available at any pest-control store, this battery powered device weighs around 3 lbs and emits signals in the range of 1,000 to 50,000 Hz
- ET Pest Control: This device transmits sound waves at various frequencies to disorient the creatures. It can be used by plugging it into any house-hold power outlet
Ultrasonic Bat Repellents
Similar in concept to their electronic cousins, ultrasonic repellents emit sound waves (read here) at much higher (ultrasonic) frequencies than the electronic versions. Transonic Pro also has an ultrasonic model that disturbs bat sleep patterns and interferes with their ability to communicate.
Other Types Of Bat Repellents
Other ways to repel bats, though some may be temporary, include:
- Scattering moth balls (Naphthalene Balls) in and around the mammals haunts and roosting grounds. Use this carefully as it can even be an irritant to humans, pets and plants
- Shine bright lights in areas where bats reside. Since they are nocturnal creatures, any bright light is bound to spook and dislodge them
- Containers filled with Ammonia will release vapours into the air that irritate bats into leaving. Caution must be exercised here as Ammonia can also be an irritant to humans and pets
- Insulating the attic and other bat-roosts with fibre glass can provide temporary relief from the pests. When in contact with the material, bats skin is irritated and they may stay away (temporarily) from entering the area
The method you choose to repel bats will depend on the place, its accessibility and the suitability of using each method. If you are unsure of how to deal with the issue, consult a qualified pest control professional.