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What is the best way to discourage bats from taking up residence in a house?

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    In the UK bats are protected. If you have any nesting in your house it's against the law to do anything to kick them out. If they leave then you can block up holes etc to stop them returning.
    – ChrisF
    Aug 15, 2011 at 20:07
  • I believe they are protected in the US as well. Aug 15, 2011 at 20:39
  • @ChrisF, it appears it may possible to get a special license to grant an exception to the law, at no cost (disclaimer: I am not a UK resident, I just found the link while googling the topic)
    – Kevin K
    Aug 16, 2011 at 2:46

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A pest control contractor supplied me with a box of a copper mesh material that could be stuffed into cracks that were serving as entry ways for bats (when they were known to be out). It looks somewhat like a very course steel wool, but in copper. It doesn't rust, so it doesn't discolor siding, and is flexible, but doesn't stay compressed if you squeeze it. It worked well for our place where bats were following the channels in our vertical siding into a cavity behind the fascia boards.

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    Never tried looking for it online before, but here it is: "Stuf-fit" Amazon link: amazon.com/Fly-DS8016-Stuf-Fit-Copper-Mesh/dp/B0001IMLTY
    – TomG
    Aug 16, 2011 at 0:44
  • Great idea. I've heard it's effective for mice (and probably any other mammal), because they would get sick from the copper if they tried to eat through. Aug 18, 2011 at 13:45
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    That mesh is great for keeping mice out. I don't see why it wouldn't also work for bats. After you stuff it in a hole, hit it with a bit of expanding foam. That will glue it in place really well.
    – mrog
    Jul 19, 2018 at 19:20
  • I've recently used it to close up a small space that mice were coming through. It seems to be effective.
    – TomG
    Mar 13, 2019 at 2:56
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I'd say the best way would be to find out where they're entering and close it off. If it's open for ventilation use something like a chicken wire that will allow the air to easily flow through.

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    Bear in mind that bats (depending on species) are a similar size to mice and can fit through the smallest of holes.
    – ChrisF
    Aug 15, 2011 at 20:07
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    ChrisF is exactly right; chicken wire won't do it, you'll need something like bug screen mesh for patio doors and windows.
    – KeithS
    Aug 15, 2011 at 20:42
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    Around here chicken wire describes a general type of wire mesh and not a specific size. Obviously the holes will need to be sufficiently small enough for bats not to get through.
    – Cody C
    Aug 22, 2011 at 19:53
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    hardware cloth.
    – mike
    Nov 2, 2013 at 4:10
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Sounds like a job for ... attic cat!

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(that would have been a comment, but the picture couldn't be passed up)

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    Sure, the cats keep out the bats, but then what keeps out the cats? I knew an old lady... Aug 15, 2011 at 15:34
  • @Alex: Attic dog, maybe? Eventually you'll have no need for Noah's ark, just figure out how to make the attic float. :)
    – BMitch
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:07
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It's hard to attract bats, most purpose bat houses go empty. Feel blessed you've got bats. You like mosquito bites? But you might consider building something to restrict them to a certain area of the attic.

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  • Bats are wonderful, but they can make a terrible unhealthy mess in the attic. It would be better to provide them with an outdoor bat box.
    – mrog
    Jul 19, 2018 at 19:18
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Without seeing your home it's hard to give an accurate reply. You mentioned the soffit and facia: we had an ever so small but big enough gap for both mice and bats to get in where the soffit and wall meet. We caulked all the way around the house on two levels. It was a lot of tubes but worth it.

If you have had bats in the attic and you get them out you also need to consider clean up of the insulation as their waste is toxic.

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  • Appreciate the edit, it is clear now.
    – BMNS
    Oct 9, 2014 at 1:26

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