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how do bats get into my house?
06/09/19

Bats make their way inside homes by squeezing through gaps around the roof. Many bat species can push their bodies through gaps no wider than a dime! After locating these gaps, they can either roost in walls or keep crawling until they find the attic.

To keep bats out, you’ll have to find the gaps they use to get in and patch them up. Bats can find different gaps all over a home, including up around your roof. If you want to reliably keep bats out, you’ll have to keep a close eye on each of these access points. These are the eight most common routes bats use to enter people’s homes:

Damaged Roofing

Bats frequently find their way into attics by squeezing past damaged or rotting shingles. Bats can squeeze through surprisingly tiny openings or even push through rotting wood to make their own openings.

Look for any damaged, cracked, peeling, or missing shingles on your roof. Patch up any openings as quickly as possible by resealing or replacing the shingles. Consider having your roof professionally inspected if you notice substantial damage.

Vents

Vents are the perfect roost for bats because they’re warm, sheltered, and secluded. Bats are very good at finding and accessing home vents. Sometimes, they’ll even fly all the way through the vent and into your building!

Luckily, keeping bats out of your vents is relatively easy: just invest in vent covers. Vent covers fit over the end of your vents outside and prevent animals from flying inside. You may have to replace vent covers once every couple of years.

Chimneys are infamously common bat roosts

Chimneys

Chimneys are infamously common bat roosts. Bats fly inside because they’re warm, protected, and easily accessible. Once inside, they might use chimneys as permanent homes and even raise their young inside. They might also fly down the chimney and into your home.

Chimney covers are just as easy to find and install as vent covers. They fit over the top of a chimney and keep animals out without restricting air flow. Just like vent covers, you’ll have to replace your chimney covers every now and then. Bats can work their way through damaged covers very easily.

Gaps in Framing

Your door and window frames go through a lot. Over time, frames frequently crack, warp, or otherwise begin to break down. When that happens, gaps appear between the frame and wall, window, or door. All kinds of pests use these gaps to make their way inside - including bats.

Check the outside and inside of your door and window frames for signs of damage every spring. Look for cracks, gaps, and other damage, and make sure the door and window sits in the frame properly. Use caulk to fill in gaps and cracks.

Bats squeeze under the fascia

Under the Fascia

The fascia board is the board mounted right where the roof meets the outer wall of the house. It’s a long, straight board that runs along the lower edge of the roof. It supports the roof trusses, the lower edge of the bottom tiles, and the rain gutters.

Over time, your fascia board may warp or become damaged. When that happens, bats may squeeze up and under it to access your attic or walls. Inspect your fascia for signs of damage and fix them ASAP.

Rotting Siding

Yes, bats can even use gaps in your siding to get into your home. Siding is a protective outer layer attached the outside of a building. It’s usually made of wood, but it can also be metal, vinyl, plastic, brick, or other materials.  

When siding is damaged, it could reveal small gaps and cracks. Bats could wiggle through those gaps and cracks and find access points into your home or walls. Siding naturally breaks down after enough time and exposure. Replace damaged, rotting, or worn siding periodically to help keep bats out.

Bats frequently find their way beneath the soffit

Gap Under the Soffit

The fascia board is where the roof meets the outer wall. The soffit fits under the fascia and extends over the overhang or eaves of the roof itself. The word “soffit” comes from the French Soffite (formed as a ceiling), and the Latin suffigere (to fix underneath).

Soffits tend to take a lot of abuse from the elements. When they’re damaged, they can easily fall away or start to dangle. Bats can crawl up through damaged soffits and make their way into your attic or walls. If your soffit looks damaged, you should patch it up ASAP. It might be possible to replace your soffit relatively easily.

Open Windows!

This one sounds obvious, but it happens more often than you’d think! Remember: bats only need a tiny gap to get into buildings. Even small gaps, cracked windows, or damaged segments of a screen might be wide enough to let bats in.

If you keep your windows open, especially at night, make sure your screens are sturdy and well-secured. Don’t leave unscreened windows open for extended periods of time, especially at night. Consider replacing your screens once a season, even if it seems like they’re not damaged. Close your windows whenever you’re out.

 

These are the common access points bats use to get inside homes, but they’re not necessarily the only ones. The best way to keep bats out is to look for cracks, gaps, or other weaknesses they could exploit. Keep a close eye on your attic and roof, and you’ll go a long way toward keeping bats out.

Of course, bats could always find their way into your home despite your best efforts. If that happens, give Varment Guard a call. Our experts can remove bats humanely and effectively. After we’ve kicked them out, we’ll make sure they can’t get in again.


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