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Old 08-02-2007, 10:09 AM  
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Bats in my barn!

I have a two story bank barn with 10 stalls in the basement. Every summer, I get flocks (?) of bats that live in the basement. I don't mind having the bats around because they eats TONS of mosquitoes. (We have a creek and a pond, so this is a good thing.) I even have what I call a "bat stall" (one on the earthen side of the barn with not much light) that I have set aside for them to use. My horses have run-in stalls at the other end of the barn (which they rarely use) so I'm not worried about the bats bothering the horses. However, lately the bats have been roosting in the beams above my aisle way, not in their stall. This means I have bat poop all over the aisle way!

I have put out moth balls hanging in old nylon stocking in the places where I do not want them to roost. This morning, I had a large group roosting right next to the moth balls. I have even put out a nice bat house, which they completely ignore.

Does anyone have any idea how I can get the bats to move? I certainly don't want to hurt them or scare them completely away. I just need a good "bat repellent" to keep them out of the aisle way and force them back into their "bat stall".
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:10 AM  
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Can you cover the ceiling over the aisleway with something hard and smooth? Masonite would work, or aluminum, or almost any ridgid sheet plastic. Just make sure they can't easily get inside the spaces created that way.

Also, you could make the bat stall even more attractive for roosting by hanging coarse cloth from the ceiling, so that it hangs down from the bottom of the rafters. Gunny sacking works excellent.

I like the bats around my house - I think of them as a personal bug sheild when I go walking around the place at night. I can hear them, and occasionally even feel the draft from thier wings.
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:18 AM  
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Maybe you would be able to make your bat stall more attractive by hanging fruit inside. String some apples, peaches, or whole bananas from the top of their stall. Maybe some old fruit that is just about ready to go over would also work.

Is there a way you could deter them from the barn area with a bug zapper?

I think bats are great, however, my only concern would be rabies. Where we live, there's been a confirmed case just yesterday. A man, woman, and small child were napping in their apartment and awoke to see something flying around their apartment. Turned out to be a rabid bat.

Anyway, good luck. I'm sure there will be many more suggestions here for you. Let us know how you fare.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:02 AM  
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Excellent suggestions. Now why didn't I think of these?
Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:11 AM  
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You can also build a bat house for them.
Here at the park they have about 20 bat houses.
Bats are our friends.

I have to find the website where you can order different size bat houses or get the diagram for building one.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:15 AM  
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Could you also run some plastic sheeting down from rafters to keep poo out of the isle.
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:26 AM  
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I rehabbed little brown bats in college for a few of the professors on campus. Although bats are carriers of rabies, the chances of a bat carrying it are EXTEMELY slim. Feral dogs and cats are much more likely, with a whole slew of other wild critters before the bat. And also, most bat teeth are too tiny to break the skin on a person.

The idea of blocking off the ceiling of where you don't want them is a good idea. Although I know of a lot of people who have had luck with bat boxes, I've also seen a lot of very expensive bat boxes go vacant, no matter what they did to them.
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:20 AM  
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I literally just went to a seminar on bats on Friday night . . . and here's what I took away from it.

Bats and rabies - Less than 1% of the population carries rabies, and at thousands upon thousands, that's not usually much. Also, they tend to get very sick very quickly with rabies, so althouth they may be carriers, they don't typically pass it on by turning viscious and biting other animals.

Bats and Houses - usually the ones who get inside houses are the healthy ones, not the sick ones. To them, an open window or attick vent looks like a nice "cave entrance" so they aim in to check it out, and oftentimes can't get back out.

Bat Roosting - is best controlled by smell. If you want them to move to another area, take some of their quano (droppings) and make a tea out of it (sorry, I didn't get the exact recipe of how much guano to how much water), and pour or spray that "tea" around the area where you do want them to roost.

From the smell thing, I would guess that you might do well to spray your rafters where you don't want them with something like nature's miracle, which should help reduce the smell.

The second thing you might be able to do to discourage them roosting in your aisle rafters would be spotlights. Not sure how feasible that is, but they do like darkness, and will be less likely to roost in a well-lit area.

Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:18 AM  
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A bat seminar? How cool.

Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I'm going out to make "guano tea" and hang some plastic... sounds like a party to me!
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