How to Get Rid of Fruit Bats

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Although they subsist from fruits and flower nectars, fruit bats are still potentially dangerous to humans because they can serve as reservoirs of certain diseases, such as rabies, the Australian bat lyssavirus or even the incredibly deadly Marburg virus. Getting a fruit bat colony out of your attic, barn or chimney humanely is fairly simple and centers on making it unpleasant to live there. The same methods can also be employed on insect-eating bats.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 or more bat houses
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Animal repellent spray
  • Fiberglass insulation

Invite some of your friends over for bat-watching one night. You want to assemble a group to watch all around your house or barn to be certain of the exit point(s) for the fruit bat colony. Gather around the building an hour before sunset and wait for the bats to come out.

Erect a bat house near the exit point(s) used by the fruit bats. This will give them an alternative place to live when you start making their existing home unpleasant.

Install an exclusion screen over the exit points(s), if possible. The exits may be too large for this tactic, especially in a barn. This can be done very easily with a hammer and nails or drill, screwdriver and screws. These screens will allow the fruit bats to crawl out but make it hard or impossible for them to crawl back in.

Spray the area where the bats have been roosting with cat and dog or rodent repellent spray. An alternative tactic is to line that area with fiberglass insulation, which is scratchy and will irritate the skin of bats using that area.

Return after a week to see if the bats have vacated their old roosting space. Check it during the day when the fruit bats would be there, and then watch their exit(s) at sunset again just to be sure. Once you are certain the bats have been evicted, remove the exclusion screens and seal up the bat exits with lumber or brickwork as appropriate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid removing a bat colony in the summer months of June through August. It is very likely to have numerous young that cannot fly. Evicting bats during this period will not only be much harder, but also less humane.

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