Summer of the bats

I’ve had bad bat luck this summer. First, a bunch of little brown bats died in my barn. There was no known cause; all had one wing ripped off. Best guess by the wildlife people was it was the barn swallows doing it (crazy right?)

Now, a GIANT brown bat has decided I cannot enter my barn in the evening. The thing divebombs and chases me until I leave. I assume it has babies, but having something with a wingspan over a foot in size attack you is not my idea of a fun time. I now have to walk around crazily waving a broom above my head so it keeps away from me.

So, uh, when is winter here? This might be the first year I’m ready for the cold to come early


time to consult with an expert as Some Bats are protected species, making it illegal for homeowners to harm or kill them.

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They are protected, but it’s not illegal to defend yourself from them. I have called to see if the local wildlife people wanted to do something about a giant bat attacking me, as it seems like a health hazard, but they said as long as the broom is working carry on.

They seem to be not particularly concerned about bats in this area, even if they are protected. Maybe it varies by region.


I have a LOT of bats in my barn and the poop is out of control. But I have no flies. The other morning they swooped at me all over the place, and I’ve had the bat holocaust when babies would fall from the roof like little fetus globs. Terrifying. But all in all, they keep the flies down. Bats. Don’t know what to do but deal with it. I do worry about pathogens from the piles of poop. Go one day without sweeping and it’s just gross.

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Oh no :grimacing:

That would be too much for me. I’m lucky that the little brown ones stay away from me and I from them.

I have been considering battling our bats as I am beyond disgusted that they are taking over the whole barn. The poop is now everywhere and I am not feeling like it is worth whatever amount of flies & mosquitoes they eat.

If one attacked me I would definitely go nuclear :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: I have been reading about how to relocate them and it sounds like a process :grimacing:

I was told to shine a really bright light at where they sleep. Turn it on before it’s dusk and leave on all night.
Sadly I have zero idea where this giant bat is sleeping.

I say a beanie with a motorized propeller and little hands taped to the blades.


And here I was going to suggest a large straw hat as deterrent. There’s two types of people! :laughing:

I love bats so I’m no help. They are a spectacle here and one of my highlights that summer is in full swing. It’s a little routine here after the chores are done and horses are finishing their grain, to sit back in my little red lawn chair, wipe down tack, and watch the bats swoop in and out of the horses picking off all the gnats and flies. They do some good work!


OMG hahahaha

If you are around a lot of bats, I strongly suggest getting a Rabies vaccine. I think that is a yearly booster for humans. Our Vet was always Rabies vaccinated, since he never knew when he might find a rabid horse on a call. He did find a number of them over the years!! Better to get one poke instead of the multiple pokes needed if you are bitten by a rabid animal.

We just got word of finding a rabid bat in a home in town. The newspaper article said to catch any bats in the house, put it in a jar and take to the Health Department for testing. It also said you may not know if you are bitten or scratched, especially if sleeping, because they have such tiny teeth and claws. DO NOT crush the bats when catching them, wear leather gloves to avoid getting bit. Do NOT put them in the freezer!

Well lucky me, I found one bat (dead) in a large decorative pitcher I wanted to put dried flowers in!! He was not dead too long, the bugs coming out of pitcher was my clue. So I plastic bagged him up and dropped him off at the Health Dept this morning. I think he went in pitcher, then could not get back out with skinny upper part of pitcher and smooth insides. Guess we will know if he was sick in a few days.

Sure glad we do not have barn bats. That would not be acceptable for me! I presume our bats roost in the tree areas around us. Kind of fun to watch them replace the barn swallows at sunset, swooping about. Swallows will be gone soon, getting colder here.

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Yes, but could they do this work while living somewhere else nearby? Lol. It seems like I have to make them new houses to move into if I want to relocate them. The housing crisis has extended to bats too I guess :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


A few years back I was volunteering with a wildlife rescue and would be in contact with a lot of animals that had unknown disease background. I went to my doc and said I think I should get a rabies vaccine because of this. He told me that they don’t even stock it, I’d have to go to the ER, and he wouldn’t recommend it anyways.
I then told the person who runs it, a vet, about trying to get a rabies vaccine. She said she hadn’t found a doctor in years that would do it unless she had been bitten by an animal, and even then some wouldn’t do it unless the animal was PTS and tested.

Also, last year I found a dead bat in my tack room and one in the water trough. I tried to take it to the health department, but they flat out refused to test it unless it had been found inside my house. Even though I had students coming in and out of that tack room, and a bat with rabies with that many kids could have been a huge health crisis.

Maybe it’s just my county/area, but they seem like to pretend rabies doesn’t exist anymore.

That’s terrible! When my cat presented me with a dead bat just a few weeks ago, the local health department actually came and picked it up so they could send the bat off for testing. Rabies is a deadly disease. Good grief.


@StormyDay, that’s terrible! Maybe we see more rabies cases locally, to keep the Health Dept on their toes. This rabies notice was front page news on the local newspaper. Gave a phone number to contact about possible rabid bats. Our Vet was older, regularly came across horses with rabies. Usually horse had been bitten by a skunk after horse’s grain. He and his assistant both got rabies vaccinated regularly to stay current. He was matter of fact about it, part of what was needed to be safe caring for horses. Maybe your Vet has not met any rabid animals to fear getting rabies.


Wow, a giant bat!?! Where do you live?

I am in NY and was overjoyed to see 2 or maybe 3 little brown bats flying the other night. The bat population has been so low in this area for years, and we are hoping it is coming back.

For those with bats in the barn, is it possible to install a bat house on the outside of the barn? Maybe they would find that preferable?

I have swallows in my barn and can’t wait for them to leave. The poop has been a real problem this year.


Wow! That is bad.

Ironically (or not), I am in between a series of rabies vaccinations. My final one will be this Sunday and very much looking forward to putting this chapter behind me. The shots do not hurt but, for whatever reason, I feel fatigued after each one.

I’m very thankful that it was relatively easy and accessible to me. The co-pays suck, though. I’ve had six shots so far.


Northern Virginia. There is a species here that can have a 16 inch wingspan!

I actually have two bat houses but they are never used. I think the bats around here prefer a larger space because the little bat houses heat up too much in the summertime.
I’ve seen people use decorative cupolas that were not connected to the rest of the barn to encourage the bats the live in there and not come into the actual barn space. I may build one of those.

I dislike barn swallows. I chase them out. I know many people love them but I very much dislike being attacked all spring and being pooped on all summer. The barn has eaves on the outside that they nest in instead, and then we won’t have to deal with each other.


Oh, heavens. I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this. Jingles for you.


This whole thread is going to give me nightmares. We have bats in our indoor and it freaks me out. I like them, but from a distance.

It might just be your area… years ago I was supposed to go to the Amazon and the doc doing my Yellow Fever and other vaccines and I discussed Rabies (they brought it up). They felt it was prudent as depending on where I was going to be, I might not be able to get the post-exposure prophylactic shots. I declined. And the trip was subsequently canceled.