View Full Version : Bats in my barn!

blue phlox farm
Jun. 17, 2010, 11:56 PM
I do hope someone can help me with my problem. I have a typical Pennsylvania German bank barn that has a bat population for the 26 years I've lived here. The considerate bug eaters have always roosted on the side of the barn that is used to store (i.e-put everything we don't know what to do with but are keeping in case we figure it out) mowers, ladders and other stuff. Now this spring the gang must have had a falling out and half of them, or maybe a new group, have moved to the side of the barn I store my year's worth of hay that's coming in the next few days. I don't know how to discourage them from that side of the barn to keep my hay bat poop free. The barn peak is about 30 feet off the barn floor so I can't get near them. It was suggested to me to put a bright floodlight on them during the day. It didn't work. Since it's a big open space, and I can't get that high, I can't suspend a tarp under them, higher than the hay, so it can ventilate- that was another suggestion. Any suggestions out there?

Jun. 18, 2010, 12:54 AM
That's not a problem I've encountered before but I Googled and found this which may at least give you some ideas: http://howtogetridofbats.org/

Good luck with the problem. If you find something that works, please post what it is.

Jun. 18, 2010, 11:49 AM
Can you just cover your hay with a tarp?

I have bats in my barn, too. I don't actually worry about it. I figure that whatever guano gets on the hay will fall out when I feed it.

Jun. 18, 2010, 11:59 AM
Can you just cover your hay with a tarp?

This is what we do - the roof is way too high to do anything discouraging to the bats.

Jun. 18, 2010, 12:35 PM
tarp over the hay.
bags of mothballs hung in nylon stockings from the rafters in the areas you don't want them.

and vaccinate everything on the property against rabies...

Jun. 18, 2010, 12:37 PM
We are worried about this exact problem in our bank barn... they currently are okay where they are, even though its a mess over there...

Jun. 18, 2010, 12:39 PM
Whatever solution you try, please try not to harm or injure the bats! The little brown bat population is being decimated by that horrible white-nose disease, to the point where some scientists are starting to use the word "extinction." :no:

Encourage your bats, don't trouble them!

Jun. 18, 2010, 12:39 PM
PS. I like bats, just not in my horse trailer. The moth balls keep them away. I take the mothball stockings out when I use the trailer.
They are fine in the loft, where my barn cat amuses herself trying to catch them ( she never does).
They are fun to watch at dusk and are great at mosquito control. They also pollinate some flowers and in these days of honeybee colony collapse, we need all the alternate pollinators we can get.

Jun. 18, 2010, 12:39 PM
You have bats?? We don't have any, and neither due most folks out here due to the white nose fungus that has infected the caves. We are depending on the barn swallows to take care of the mosquitoes. How about building bat boxes and putting them a fair distance from the barn? Another idea would be to find a environmental bat specialist to help remove them for you, and relocate them elsewhere where they would be beneficial.
Here is a link for safe, live bat removal services in your state, with info on the best times to have this done this. Good luck!

blue phlox farm
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:46 PM
Many thanks to all you that posted suggestions. My 1st wagon of hay came on Friday night, so we were unloading with the barn lights blazing on that side 'til after 9:00. I couldn't see or hear any bats on Friday night; they must have been out for dinner. Saturday, the hay army and 4 more wagons showed up. The noisy men stacked it 7 bales high. I got up there before dark and tried to see if the bats were still up in the ridge peak and I couldn't see them I was only about 20 feet now from where they've been. I think they had either moved out Friday night or had scooted during the Saturday hoopla.
I was told to not tarp the hay until after the "heat" was out of the hay. This is what I've done other years too when only a few would be living on that side of the barn. A local hay guy suggested a pretty basic solution. This I'm going to try. He said, since the bats are at the end of the barn, I could put a piece of 1/4" plywood under where they are and prop it up on an angle so the dry poop rolls off towards the wall and the pee will just soak into the plywood. Under the bottom of the tipped up part I can put some old towels to catch the poop and it will still let the moisture escape from the hay. Sounds pretty easy to me. I have two more loads at least coming of 150 or so bales each so I may end up stacked 9 or more rows high, then I'll put my plywood in place, and once cold weather comes and my bats go into hibernation, I take it down.
For those of you suggesting I remove the bats, that's never been on the table. I don't want them removed, only moved to their side of my barn. I've been living with these guys too long to want them out. I have their side of the barn floor shoveled and swept clean for them every spring so they can create their poop pyramids all summer while they are here. I've rescued many babies and climbed ladders to put them high on rafters for their mamas. I don't worry about rabies because I have a very healthy gang. It's when you start finding dead ones or "floppers" during the day in your yard that you worry about distemper or rabies in your bats. I've only had a couple of "flopper summers"...turned out to be distemper after testing. My bat populations seems to stay stable at about 30 or 40 that I see zipping out at dusk.
So between my night eaters and my day eaters of barn swallows (9 nesting pairs), I don't have a lot of mosquitoes. Unfortunately, I still have way too many flies. Now can anyone help me with them?

pony grandma
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:34 AM
Oh YES! Something that eats flies! Where is the balance in nature???

We love our bats, and the swallows. It's those other pesty birds, the grackles and the cowbirds. And I am a bird lover.

Jun. 21, 2010, 03:29 AM
Here's the link for Bat Conservation International - the place to go for reliable up to the minute information on bats.

Bats are so important!


Jun. 21, 2010, 03:54 AM
I have bats too: several varieties of Pipistrelles and brown eared long bats all which actually roost in the roof of my workshop and a couple of barns and in the roof spaces of the feed room and stabling.

I don't know if you are aware but many species of bats have become extinct in recent years and so much so that in the UK they are all protected.

That means that you are not allowed to kill them let alone disturb them or move their roost. Here it's important to understand these laws if you are planning any building or remedial work that may just even affect a roost. The relevant statutory authority should be contacted for advice. Where we have bats roosting here we can't even have floodlights or security lights because that effects their behaviour and feeding.

You must have a wildlife body that can help advise you. There's quite a lot of stuff here which I often refer to:


Jun. 21, 2010, 07:33 AM
Get fly predators or eliminators. There are at least three companies that sell them: Spalding, Arbico Organics, and BioSource. They make a HUGE difference.

Gnats and greenheads are another issue. Both propagate in wet ground. I found a greenhead spray at DAK Skin Care but I haven't really found a solution to the gnats.