18 answers

Bats on the Porch

Hi Moms,

Does anyone know of a way to get rid of bats? Bats have been spending the night tucked away in the corner of my porch by my front door. I have a big maple tree on my lawn with several bushes around my home. I live in a busy sub, but for some reason, every year I end up having some animal like a skunk, opposum, rabbits, ducks, raccoons, just to name a few, moving in on my property. It's kind of an ongoing joke with my neighbors because none of them have these issues with unwelcomed visitors, but it's not funny as it has cost us alot of money to get rid of some of them. This year, it's the bats. When I get up in the morning, there are several bat droppings all over my front porch, which is gross. I've tried leaving my porch light on at night, but that does not seem to deter them away. My city does not have animal control and hiring someone is costly. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

M.

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More Answers

M.,

It sounds like you need to change the environment around your house to deter the animals that are making their homes on your property.

What animals need on a daily basis is specific for each species, but it generally comes down to water, food, and a safe place to sleep.

If you have a fountain or pond on your property then the water source may be one thing that is drawing the animals in. Food for rabbits means a type of emergent vegetation such as shrubs and grasses. They also like berries, vegetables, and fruit. Do you have any of these types of plants, shrubs, or trees on your property?

You also mentioned a bat problem. First off, they are nocturnal and sleep during the day. If you do not see them during the day, then they are just visiting your front porch at night. By leaving your front porch light on you are drawing the insects to your porch and the bats most likely are following their food. Turn off all outside lights and make sure your windows are well covered with curtains to prevent your inside lights from drawing the insects to your windows.

If you do see the bats rooting on the ceiling of your porch during the day you need to make the place they have been roosting into an uncomfortable area to stay. Try hanging a wind chime, table place settings, or something noisy in the spot on your porch. A balloon is a great idea, anchor it so it will bounce along the ceiling of your porch in the corner they sleep in.

Something to think about: bats right now are becoming an endangered species due to a new fungus that grows on their noses while they hibernate throughout the winter. The fungus causes the immune system to use up the stored energy and the bats wake up out of hibernation before the end of winter. Most freeze or starve to death because they wake up before spring arrives and the insects have hatched or emerged from their own hibernation. Try calling your local MSU Extension office and see if they know of a bat rescue organization that will come out and remove the bats for free. Many volunteers are working hard to save these amazing mammals.

For some of the other animals that have been moving onto your property, you will want to put something under your bushes that crinkles as they walk on it. Try heavy duty aluminum foil staked down on the corners with rocks. The animals won't like the feel of the foil on their paws and the sound will startle them. Move the foil to a different area under the bush every week or couple of weeks to prevent the animals from adjusting to the new landscape.

Try setting your sprinklers to turn on near the bushes in the evening when most of the animals you described will be out in your yard. This will make your yard an undesirable place to be and they will eventually move out of the area.

Skunks are a smelly type of feline, so if you have any areas the neighbor cats like on your property, you need to find out what is drawing them to that particular spot and remove the problem plant, bush, home, water-source, etc.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me or your local MSU Extension office. The employees at the office will have other ideas to help drive the animals away and keep them away from your property.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

-C. Johnson

1 mom found this helpful

REmove the food source, remove the bats. You can spray you yard and shrubs for mosquito's during the day. If they don't have anything to eat, they will leave. Tempo is a relatively safe insecticide that is used in restaurants and once dry has no harmful affect on humans. We have used it and kept the mosquito population down.

I don't really know very much about this but you can build a bat house. Try googling it.

I too had bats on our front porch. Except for the droppings, they were harmless. Opening and closing the front door did not event startle the bat. We started out with one and ended up with two a few years later. Then suddently they just never came back. I think they are suppose to help get rid of mosquitos.

Hi! We had a Small Brown Bat roosting in our covered entryway for 2 summers in a row! We loved having him there! It was a great opportunity to teach my children about them- especially that they eat more than twice their body weight in insects nightly and that bats are an essential pollinator all over the world. We researched all different kinds of bats and had a great time learning. We have been sad that we haven't had one back the last 2 years! We wish one would choose us again. As to the droppings, I would just hose or sweep off the porch. No big deal.

This is a wild guess, but could you temporarily nail something like plywood over the "cubby" of your porch to make it a perfectly flat surface so there is nowhere for them to hang?

Good luck. I had an entire colony living in my attic after the airconditioning repair guy left a window open!

Your house sounds like mine...I've experienced squirrels in the attic, bats on the porch, rabbits in the hedge, yellow-jacket nests everywhere and now something in the garbage.

Here are some suggestions that have been given to me for bats:
*mothballs (didn't work for me)
*use a mylar balloon or foil in the area that the bat perches (I haven't tried this one, yet...I would like my house to look like a home, not a spaceship)
*spray ammonia in that area (started that last year, I've talked to people that it's worked for. It seemed to help last year, but they are back this year...need to start again and be consistent with it)

Good luck!

3 thoughts

1) Bats eat bugs that feed on us. Besides the droppings, they're good to have around.

2) Turn off the porch light, it's attracting their food source.

3) Turn on a light away from your porch. -Eagle Scout Dad.

Have you called Cranbrook to see if they have any advice? They have a bat exhibit and encourage folks to erect bat houses -- they're great for mosquito control. They might be able to guide you on how to get them to move.

M.,

I wish I had your current problem - we have been trying to get bats to move into our backyard for a couple of years to keep down the mosquitos. I would suggest that you buy a bathouse and erect it nearby, that way, they should move off your porch but you should still reap the benefits of having them eat the mosquitos.

Good luck

Try moth balls/cakes. I hate the smell but the apparently everything else does too. We had a family of squirrels living in our shed that were too smart to catch in a cage with treats. We ended up using just a "few" moth balls and they left. Just remember a few goes a long way,to wear gloves and maybe a mask. Just an idea.

Consider if you really want to get rid of them. Bats are not dangerous to humans, and if the only issue you are having with them is the droppings, I wouldn't waste money on removal. Bats are very effective at controlling mosquito populations (a single Big Brown Bat can eat up to 3,000 in a single night!)and don't bother people at all.

It is largely a myth that bats are more prone to rabies than other animals; in fact, they are less so. Only about 1/2 of 1% of bats will contract the disease, and these bats will show symptoms immediately (i.e. they won't be flying around...they'll be on the ground, which is why any bat found on the ground should never be touched).

Furthermore, bats do not do any structural damage, nor do they bite people or fly into their hair.

I'd say the best course of action here is to simply live and let live...and reap the benefits of free mosquito control!

i really can't help what ever they say will get them gone i guess i know moth balls work for skunks but i am not sure for bats. you might want to call animal control and ask what repelent they recommend. or the zoo might be able to help. a vet too. good luck i will love to hear how it all turns out.

you could call the city and at least ask them for advice.

Or see if your subdivision covers it.

Go online and see if there are sites for advice.
Call the DNR and ask them

M. ~
Bats a fabulous for helping to control the mosquitoes, so I wouldn't want them to go too far. But I could see not wanting them on the porch! Try putting a bat house up in your maple tree...they have to be 12 feet in the air (I think). Then you'll still have the benefits of them without them being quite so close.
D.

Hi M.,

Locally, contact ____@____.com. I do believe that is the local Bat Conservation group and they should help you for free if I remember correctly. Check out their site at http://www.batconservation.org/. You may want to consider putting up a bat house somewhere on your property for them to go to instead of your porch. Besides the obvious facts that many of them eat mosquitoes and other flying bugs it is also widely known that the bat droppings you find on your porch every morning are the best kind of fertilizer you can get your hands on.

Hope this helps - S.

How about building a bat house for them, away from your house?

Cost should be minimal and it would deter them from being on your front porch.

On the upside...did you know bats eat misquitos?

pour mothballs in a pair of old stockings and hang near the place they like to be. I'm sure the smell will drive them away. It worked when we had racoons... good luck.

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