How Much Does Bat Removal Cost?
Seeing bats swooping around the yard can be freaky, but what if they’re in the house? Professional bat removal costs range from $227 to $690, with the national average cost at $452.
- The typical cost to remove bats from a home is between $227 and $690, with a national average cost of $452.
- Bat removal costs will depend on the size of the colony, the location and accessibility of the infestation, the number of entry points, and the removal of guano, or bat droppings.
- A homeowner may need bat removal if they notice certain signs in their home, such as bat droppings, stains around entry points, an unpleasant odor, chirping and rustling noises, and the bats themselves.
- Homeowners may be able to handle removing a single bat in their home, but if the bat is in a difficult-to-reach area or if there is more than one bat in the home, it’s best to call a professional wildlife removal company.
Though bats are an important piece of the natural world, they can also spread diseases such as rabies. If bats are suspected in a home, prompt removal is necessary to prevent them from spreading rabies to residents. The removal of bat guano, or droppings, may also be necessary to sanitize the space in which they have been living. Bat removal cost typically includes the cost of an inspection and exclusion to rid the home of bats and ranges from $227 to $690, according to Angi and HomeAdvisor, though the removal of larger infestations can cost thousands of dollars. The national average for bat removal is $452.
Factors in Calculating Bat Removal Cost
As a result of a lack of habitat, bats may take up residence in attics where it is quiet and dark. The actual cost of bat removal from a home depends on the size of the colony, their location, the number of entry points, and the amount of guano that needs to be removed from the home. The earlier an infestation is caught, the easier it will likely be to remove the bats and restore the area to its original, sanitary state.
Many species of bats are considered endangered, so it’s important that homeowners take great care in their removal. This is most often done by exclusion, which encourages bats to leave the space and then closes up any entry points to keep them from returning. Because of laws that protect bats, they may be removable only during certain times of the year—typically when they are less likely to have young with them.
The cost of bat removal will largely depend on the size of the colony. Often, bats form maternity colonies during the summer months that consist of multiple mothers and their pups. In many areas, bat removal and exclusion are prohibited between May and August, when young bats are nursing and learning to fly. Once fall arrives, bat exclusion can begin.
A single bat or a small colony of up to 50 bats costs between $400 and $1,500 to remove. A medium colony, up to 200 bats, costs between $1,500 and $5,000 to remove. And a large colony, over 200 bats, costs over $5,000 to remove.
|Average Removal Cost
|$400 to $1,500
|$1,500 to $5,000
|$5,000 and up
Infestation Location and Accessibility
Where the infestation is located and how accessible it is both play a role in the final cost. These factors are difficult to estimate. For instance, an infestation located in an empty attic versus an infestation in an attic that holds generations of treasures may cost less because it’s easier to access the space. If the infestation is in the chimney or in the walls, homeowners can expect to pay more than if the infestation is in an attic due to the more complicated accessibility.
Number of Entry Points
The fewer the entry points, the better the chances of keeping the cost of bat removal services down. If there is only a single bat and the entry point is clear, the cost to remove the bat and seal the entry can be as low as $200 to $500. Infestations of 2 to 50 bats with multiple entry points will run between $500 and $1,500. And the worst-case scenario of a large infestation, between 50 and 200 bats or more with multiple entry points, can cost more than $8,000 to remedy.
Guano, or bat poop, looks like mouse droppings in that each dropping is about the size and shape of a grain of rice. But there is one important distinction—bat droppings contain insect parts that give the droppings a slightly glittery appearance when crushed. Guano removal is an important part of bat infestation removal because guano can spread disease, namely histoplasmosis, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can lead to fever, cough, and fatigue if humans come into contact with it.
Guano removal includes removing all bat droppings and thoroughly cleaning the area where the guano was found. Cost for guano removal depends on the amount that is present, but costs typically range from $600 to $8,500.
Additional Costs and Considerations
The cost of removing bats may not end when the bats are gone. The amount of bat cleanup that’s necessary to restore the home to its original state, along with bat habitat installation to prevent bats from returning, can also affect the final cost of professional bat removal services.
Dead Bat Removal
If a dead bat is found in the house, it’s important to remove it quickly. The U.S. Geological Survey recommends that the homeowner do this by putting on protective gloves and using a shovel or other tool to remove the bat without touching it, then placing it in a plastic bag and tying it before placing it in another plastic bag and tying that bag. The homeowner will then need to throw the bag away in the garbage, thoroughly clean the area with disinfectant, and thoroughly wash their hands when finished.
Homeowners can also call a bat pest control professional to remove the dead bat. This is a good idea to ensure the area is thoroughly cleaned and the bat is properly disposed of. But it’s also important if the homeowner suspects the dead bat is part of a colony that may be in the home. A professional may also be a good choice if there is guano present, as they can clean it appropriately. The cost for dead bat removal varies and may need to be paired with the cost for a professional bat inspection.
Bat Damage Repair
Damage caused by bats in the attic is largely due to the amount of guano they leave behind. Guano can accumulate quickly, especially if the infestation is large. It accumulates under their roosting areas, on the roof, and on the exterior walls. Bat guano along with the bats themselves leaves behind an unpleasant odor. If the guano is in the insulation, then the insulation will need to be removed and replaced to rid the area of the guano, urine, and odor. The cost to clean an attic averages around $200, and decontamination services cost between $1.50 and $3 per square foot. If the damage is severe and requires new attic insulation or drywall, the costs can range from $1,700 to $2,100 and $1,000 to $3,000, respectively.
Bat Habitat Installation
Bats, like any other animal, seek food and shelter in order to survive. Attics provide a warm place for them to nest and return to after eating and drinking. Wood rafters also provide a place for them to hang while they rest. To encourage bats to nest in areas other than the home, homeowners can install a bat habitat in their yard. This may be enough to keep the bats out of the house, and they’ll earn their keep by eating unwanted bugs and mosquitos.
Homeowners can find bat house plans online and build their own bat house, or they can purchase a ready-built one for between $200 and $3,000. Installation labor can increase the cost by $100 to $500, but this is a fairly easy DIY project to build and install. Bat houses need to be installed at least 100 feet away from the house and at least 12 feet above the ground.
Types of Bat Removal Services
Because bats are an integral part of the ecosystem, acting to control the bug population and to pollinate plants, bat exclusion is the preferred method over bat extermination when homeowners are dealing with a bat infestation. Hiring a bat exterminator isn’t the right way to go unless the bat is suspected to be sick or have rabies, and relocation is rarely used to remove bats. Before homeowners take any action, the area will need to be inspected by a professional to confirm the presence of bats, and then exclusion can be used to remove bats from the home.
|Type of Bat Removal Service
|$200 to $400
|$500 to $1,500
If a homeowner suspects a bat infestation, having an inspection is the first step toward removing that infestation. As with other wildlife removal services, an inspection can determine the presence of intruders and determine the best way to remedy the situation. This can cost between $200 and $400, and if a bat colony is found, this cost will likely be credited toward the cost of the actual removal.
Bat removal is most often done through exclusion—the process of encouraging bats to leave their roosts through one-way doors and then closing up any entry points. Bats can enter through openings as small as ¼ inch, so a thorough inspection and great care to seal the entry points are necessary to prevent future infestation.
Exclusion requires the installation of special one-way exit tubes in the space where bats are located. Once the tubes are installed, the waiting begins. Bat removal professionals may employ a harmless gas to encourage bats to leave. Then the exclusion tubes are removed and entry points are sealed. Exclusion can cost between $500 and $1,500 and sometimes more depending on the size of the colony, its location in the home, and state laws and regulations. Exclusion may not be allowed during the summer months, when nesting babies could remain trapped inside, so it’s best to work with a professional who is familiar with state and local laws.
Bat relocation is not typically the best option for removing bats from the home. In fact, it’s likely not even allowed. Since bats can’t be removed or excluded from their nesting area during the summer months, it’s best to wait until the babies have grown up enough to fly out on their own and then install a bat exclusion device and wait for them to leave before sealing up any openings.
Do I need bat removal?
Determining whether or not bat removal is required is much like determining if any other wildlife removal is needed—the basic rule of thumb is to look, listen, and smell. Signs of a bat infestation, such as bat droppings or stains around entry points, can alert homeowners that something is amiss. Unpleasant odors and unfamiliar sounds along with actual bat sightings can mean it’s time to learn how to remove bats from the attic or other areas in the home.
Otherwise known as guano, bat droppings accumulate under the areas where bats roost, typically the rafters in the attic. Their droppings are about the size of mouse droppings but more rounded on each end, and unlike mouse droppings, they are easy to crush and will likely reveal insect parts. Bat droppings can carry mold containing spores that can cause histoplasmosis, an infection that, while relatively harmless, can cause fever, cough, and fatigue in some who come into contact with it.
Stains Around Entry Points
As bats excrete oil and grease, they leave behind tell-tale stains around the entry points to the attic. This greasy stain is distinct to bats, and because they can squeeze through very small holes, a homeowner may spot the stains before they realize there are even openings.
An unpleasant odor can be caused by a number of different pests, so hiring a professional to determine what is making the smell can help determine the pest control cost. Odor from bats is caused by their droppings and urine, which can accumulate in the attic and get into the insulation.
Chirping and Rustling Noises
Noises can mean there are any number of animals in the home, including squirrels, mice, or raccoons in the attic. But where bats are concerned, instead of detecting the scurrying of little feet, homeowners may hear chirping or rustling sounds. Bats use chirps for echolocation and for communication with one another, so hearing chirping, especially at dusk or dawn or even at night, may be enough for a homeowner to call a professional.
Seeing bats flying around the yard doesn’t necessarily mean they have taken up residence in the attic. Bats eat thousands of bugs every night, and they will often swoop around yards where bugs are present. If homeowners suspect that bats are living in the attic, however, seeing bats flying around the exterior of the home or seeing a bat entering the home may be enough to confirm it.
Bat Removal: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
If one bat is found in the home, it is likely that the bat got lost or confused and found its way indoors. This is a candidate for DIY bat removal. To catch the bat, the homeowner will need to prepare a box with a lid or thin board that can be slid under the box. They’ll then need to put on gloves and a long-sleeve shirt and wait for the bat to land before placing the box quickly and gently over the bat and gently sliding the lid underneath. The homeowner will then need to take the box outside, set it down upright, and remove the lid.
If there is more than one bat present or the presence of a colony is suspected, it’s time for the homeowner to call in one of the best wildlife removal services like Terminix to deal with bat infestation dangers. Bats can carry rabies, and because their bites are small, it’s possible for someone to get bitten and not know it. Dealing with more than one bat is something the typical homeowner will want to avoid. Additionally, because there are laws that protect bats and can even dictate when they can and cannot be removed from a home, this is likely a job for a professional who knows exactly how to get rid of bats and keep them from returning.
How to Save Money on Bat Removal Cost
The best way to save money on bat removal cost is to prevent their entry in the first place. But this can be easier said than done, since bats can enter a home through incredibly small holes or gaps. Luckily, there are a few ways to save on wildlife removal costs if prevention alone doesn’t work.
- Shop around. Call a few different companies to compare their quotes for the cost of bat removal.
- Get an inspection. Even if you don’t suspect a bat infestation, you can have a professional inspect the space and seal up entry points to discourage an infestation of bats or other pests.
- Provide an alternative. Install bat houses in the yard to encourage bats to nest and roost in areas other than the attic.
Questions to Ask About Bat Removal
When searching for a bat removal service, homeowners will want to do their due diligence to make sure they’re hiring a knowledgeable pro who will safely and humanely remove the bats from their property. The list below offers some questions homeowners can ask when shopping for a wildlife removal company
- When can the bats be removed? When is removal prohibited?
- How long does bat removal typically take?
- What measures do you take to prevent future infestations, and are they included in the estimate?
- Is the inspection included in the estimate or deducted from the final cost?
- Will you clean and disinfect the area once the bats are gone?
- Do I need to be present when you’re here working?
- Is there anything I should or should not do when the exclusion tubes are installed?
Bats have a bad reputation of being spooky, but they are far from a nuisance and are largely gentle animals. They provide necessary bug and insect control, and they help to pollinate plants. But finding them in the attic still isn’t a fun experience for homeowners, and bats can cause odors and damage that can increase the cost of removal. The following are some frequently asked questions about bat removal that may help homeowners as they start the process.
Q. What is the exclusion method for bats?
Exclusion involves installing one-way exit tubes in areas around the attic and then, in some cases, releasing a harmless gas to encourage bats to leave the space through the tubes. Once the bats exit, the tube won’t allow them back in. Locating and sealing up any and all entry points will complete the exclusion.
Q. How long does it take bats to leave after exclusion?
Once the exclusion devices are installed, it can take bats a few days and as long as a week to leave the attic. A harmless gas can be released into the attic to encourage them to vacate the premises, but there’s no way to guarantee how long it will take.
Q. Do bats always come back?
Anytime an animal finds a safe place to nest, it’s possible that it’ll return. Bats are likely to come back to the places they’ve roosted in the past if those places provided adequate shelter—which is why it’s important to seal up any entry points that are ¼ inch or larger. Bats are small, weighing just a few ounces, so they’re able to squeeze through tiny openings.
Q. Do naphthalene balls prevent bats?
Naphthalene balls, more commonly known as mothballs, aren’t recommended to prevent bats. While they do release an unpleasant odor that may deter bats from entering the attic, they also release chemicals that are toxic to humans as well as animals and should be used according to the directions on the packaging. This includes placing them, along with the moth-infested clothing, in an airtight container.
Q. Do I need a rabies shot if a bat was in my house?
Bat bites and scratches are very small and can transmit rabies even though you may not know you’ve been bitten or scratched. According to the CDC, if a bat was in your house, it’s likely that you need rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), which contains the rabies vaccination. Rabies is unique in that it must be treated before symptoms arise, so taking precautionary measures is very important. Once symptoms arise, the disease is almost always fatal.
Q. What smells do bats hate?
Bats have a strong sense of smell and therefore don’t like strong scents like eucalyptus or cinnamon. Other scents they find unpleasant include peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, and thyme. Using these scents in your home can deter bats from entering. While the scent of mothballs is sometimes thought to repel bats, mothballs are actually toxic and can harm humans and pets along with bats; for this reason mothballs shouldn’t be used as a bat repellent.
Q. Are bats harmful to humans?
Bats are typically gentle and avoid humans, but that’s not to say they won’t come into contact with humans, especially if there is a bat or a bat colony in the home. While bats themselves likely won’t harm humans on purpose, they can carry rabies, which can be transmitted if they bite or scratch a human. Their guano can also carry histoplasmosis, a disease that can affect the lungs and respiration.
Q. Are bats scared of light?
Bats aren’t scared of light, but they don’t like it and will avoid it when possible. This is why they typically roost in dark caves or other areas with little light and come out to hunt at night. With this in mind, it’s common to think that installing bright lights will keep bats away, but in reality it may cause them to crawl deeper into the crevices of your home, including the walls.