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Ask Rick A Question

How to Get Rid of Bats

Summary:  Bats can find nesting spots in the most surprising locations. Learn how to get rid of bats without causing harm to these animals that are so important to our environment.

Maggie C; Nashville, TN asks: On our deck we have a table with an umbrella in the center of the table. The top is vented and bats keep getting into the top of it at night after we put it down. Can you tell me how to get rid of bats in this situation?

Dear Maggie: Learning how to get rid of bats will take a little creativity. I suggest trying the following method to discourage the bats, yet leave them unharmed.

Take a small square of cheese cloth approximately five inches by five inches. Put a cup of mothballs in the middle of the cheese cloth

Little Brown Bat

and tie it to create a little sack. Tie the sack of mothballs to the inside of the umbrella.

The odor from the mothballs will quickly discourage the bats, yet leave them unharmed. Once the bats get the idea that you don't want them around they should vacate the umbrella and you can remove the mothball sack.

You may have to do this more than once because bats have a habit of returning to old nesting sites.

Ask Rick A Question


Steve from Ohio
26 Aug 2010, 02:19
Mothballs do not work for getting rid of bats.

I have a photo of a roosting bat right next to a mothball. They do not react to mothballs. That is just a myth.

To solve your problem, you will need the help of a certified animal control specialist. Bats will take advantage of their surroundings and are very adaptable.

They are actually good to have around as they eat up to 10 times their body weight each day in insects. But they can be a problem when they enter your home or invade your attic or belfry.

Get professional help if you have bat problems.

Ask the Exterminator
26 Aug 2010, 10:04
A single mothball won't do much. But, in the example of the umbrella, which is a small, confined area, a bag of moth balls will work.
vivian gomez
18 Sep 2010, 19:42
I tried the mothball idea and not only did it NOT get rid of them, now they are not flying away when the sun comes out.....
01 Nov 2010, 16:28
I lived out in the country several years back and Moth Balls and Ammonia DID get rid of my bats. They were in the walls and I was told by an exterminator to spray 100% ammonia in the area and to also hang moth balls in panty hose in the area. We put about the size of a grapefruit in the panty hose. Within a few days they were gone and we patched the whole. Lived out there several more years and never saw another bat. Hope this helps!
Gary Parks
06 Jan 2011, 12:56
For a bat problem in a shed, and you can't completely esclude them. I would reccomend a bat house possible at the back of your property. While installing the house insert some bat lure. This should help with the problem but probely will not give a complete solution, can't gaurantee they won't move back to the shed. Email me if you have anymore questions.
Betty Mulligan
05 Jun 2012, 17:22

I had bats in an attic storage space that was behind a door on the same floor as my apt.

The exterminator used mothballs and got rid of the bats.

The EXPLANATION IS: The bats are there to feed on the moths. Get rid of the moths, get rid of the bats!

Worked like a charm for us.
Mark Nobiling
10 Jan 2014, 10:12
Active brown bats in the winter time in Iowa (-18F). Tenant keeps finding bats in the house so I closed up attic doors with tight seals and closed up all window pulley holes/gaps with minimal expanding foam. I closed up every way of passage that I could think of. Only other route I can think of is possibly the air runs/registers. This house has a history with bats and we'll seal up the outside this early spring. Out of ideas. Also, do you know if a bat has rabies when it goes into hibernation, ... will it ever wake up or will it die? I've never read anything about this rabies situation and hibernation before. Any ideas?
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