Home > Mom's Life > Managing Your Home > Home Improvements > Battling Bats in Your Home

Battling Bats in Your Home

In This Article:

Page 3

Caulk It Up

In the Nick of Time

You'll need to match the caulk you use with the surface you're applying it to. Some caulks don't adhere to stain or paint that contains silicone, wax, stearate, or paraffin-based oil. Clear silicone caulk doesn't bond well with unfinished cedar siding or shingles. If you're going to paint over the caulk, choose a paintable caulk.

Seal up all small cracks and holes with caulk. Choose a high-quality product that will last a while. You don't want to do this more often than necessary. Be sure to pay special attention to joints and other areas where materials come together.

While you're at it, nail down any loose shingles or facings you come across, since bats can also squeak in under these.

Screen Shots

Mesh hardware cloth is the material of choice for closing up cracks or holes that are too large for caulk, and for protecting vents that must be kept open. Buy 6-millimeter(0.2-inch) screen and cut it to size-at least 2 inches bigger than the opening you'recovering. Nail it into place.

Sheet metal can also be used to cover larger openings, especially those that let the elements in. Again, cut to size, leaving at least a 2-inch margin all around. Nail into place.

Lights, Camera, Action!

As bats shun light, shining some into an infested attic may motivate them to seek darker digs. This approach works best in early spring when bats return from their hibernation sites, not after they've established a roost.

Lights must be kept on 24/7 and moved regularly to eliminate dark corners and shadows. If you don't, the bats will simply move to these areas.

Gimme Shelter

Perhaps the kindest, gentlest approach to bat control is to provide alternative housing for them. Installing bat houses on your property will not only encourage them to roost somewhere else than your house, it keeps the bats in the area where they can continue to hunt for yard and garden insect pests. It's a win-win for you and the bats.

Bat houses can be purchased at hardware stores and garden centers. The Organization for Bat Conservation, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving bats and their habitats, offers ready-made houses and plans for building your own.

If you decide to give your bats an alternative roosting site, you'll want to buy more than one bat house, as they need to be installed at various heights. It can take up to one year and sometimes longer before the bats will take up residence.

<< Previous: Page 2

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

st. patrick’s day

Celebrate the
luck of the Irish
with recipes
and activities.



10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks