What Smell Do Bats Hate? (Ways To Keep House Bat-Free)

what smell do bats hate

Did you find bats nesting in your attic? Or did one accidentally wander in through the open window? In any case, having a bat inside your house is not a good idea.

Bats are generally harmless creatures. They don’t attack, bite, or even come close to humans until they are forced to. So, there is no need to be afraid of the bats in your house.

However, bats are excellent carriers of viruses. Their saliva is known to be the number 1 cause of rabies in the United States of America. And let’s not forget the deadly 2019 Coronavirus pandemic that originated from bats.

This is why you should get rid of bats in your house as soon as possible. But never be violent because bats are protected by law in some places. So, let’s discuss “What smells do bats hate?” and try the most humane method – repellents!

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What Smells Do Bats Hate?

What Smells Do Bats Hate?1

Bats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell. They rely on this sense for a lot of different critical tasks, like identifying their kids in the nursery and staying away from danger. So, it’s no wonder that they have their smell preferences.

While they like fruity fragrances, they absolutely hate minty and peppery smells. To be specific, bats hate the smell of:

1. Peppermint

Peppermint, or mint, is a hybrid plant between spearmint and water mint. It’s very aromatic with a sharp, minty smell. You can somewhat compare it to menthol.

To use it against bats, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to two cups of lukewarm water. Measure out half a cup of white sugar and add it to the essential oil solution. This will give a sickeningly sweet edge to the repellent.

Use a spoon to mix it thoroughly and pour the repellent into a spray bottle. Locate the nesting areas of bats in your house, and spray it generously. However, do not spray it directly at the bat or its babies. The vapor can be damaging to their health.

2. Phenol

Phenol is an organic chemical compound that is found in several household products, such as spray cleaners. It has a distinctive tarry and sickeningly sweet smell. You can find it in two forms; spray cans or crystals.

The spray has a stronger odor, but it doesn’t last long. The vaporized white phenol mixes with the air molecules and loses its effectiveness. So, if there are many bats in the house, we recommend the use of crystalline phenol.

Just place these crystals in the nesting areas of the bats and let them work their magic. But make sure to wear protective gloves and a mask before handling phenol. It can be toxic to human skin.

3. Cinnamon

We all love cinnamon’s warm and peppery smell, but bats loathe it. The scent irritates their nostril and keeps them away. So, if you have a few sticks of cinnamon in the kitchen, place them in the areas where you’ve seen bats.

If the area is too high for you to reach and place a cinnamon stick, prepare a natural cinnamon-repellent spray. Pour 4 to 5 cups of water into an empty bottle, and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of regular cinnamon powder.

Shake the bottle to dissolve the contents, and then pour it through a fine-mesh strainer. Transfer the filtered solution to a spray bottle and use it!

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4. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves are popular for their health properties. They are a common ingredient in cough syrups, toothpaste, and pain-relieving ointments.

Its smell is described to be sharp and medicinal. There are layers of honey, mint, and citrus scent, which makes it unbearable for the bats. 

To use it, you will have to create a natural repellent with eucalyptus essential oil. The process will be the same as described for peppermint above.

5 Ways to Keep Your House Bat-Free

5 Ways to Keep Your House Bat-Free1

Using bat repellents isn’t enough. Once bats find a suitable place, they will keep returning to it until they find another shelter. So, you must take the following preventative measures too.

1. Seal the Entry Points

Bats are great at squeezing through narrow spaces. It’s why they can get inside your house via small openings in the walls and windows. They are specifically attracted to the attics because they replicate the wildlife environment in caves.

The attics are dark and insulated. Since we hardly go into the attics, the absence of human activity gives bats the perfect opportunity to shelter and roost. So, the first thing you need to do is identify all these entry points of the bats in the house.

Once you’re done, fill up all the openings with the help of a professional. You can also use bat cones that allow the bats to move out but don’t let them go back inside.

2. Place Aluminium Foil

A cheaper and easier way to get rid of bats from your house is to use aluminum foil. It is a highly reflective surface that intensifies the slightest of lights. Since bats hate the light, placing sheets of aluminum foil in the attic will be effective.

Just make sure you tape the sheets to the floor. Otherwise, they will move with the wind and create dark spots for the bats to shelter in.

3. Keep the Lights On

Bats enjoy greenery-filled areas, but they don’t like the lights. It’s why they are seen flying around trees in the night. So, if your garden is one of their favorite spots, it’s best to install outdoor porch lights.

Make sure these lights are positioned near the house doors and windows. This will prevent the bats from seeking shelter inside. You should also consider keeping the lights on in the attic.

4. Invest in a Sound Machine

Unlike most animals, bats can produce and listen to ultrasonic sounds. They use it to communicate with their fellow bats. Since humans can’t hear these sounds, we assume bats are silent creatures (though they are not!).

Bats also use ultrasonic sounds for echolocation. So, when a sound machine produces this ultrasonic noise, the bats get confused. They are unable to locate the objects with the same precision as before. This forces them to leave the area immediately.

You can easily find these ultrasonic bat-repellent devices on Amazon for $50 or less.

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5. Try a Bat Box

If none of the above methods work, you should try installing a bat box in your garden or backyard.

Bat boxes are artificial bat houses made from wood. These are available in two designs; traditional 4-chamber and rocket. But you can also construct in a custom design.

Just make sure the bat house isn’t too big or lighted. Bats prefer small, dark places where the moms can give birth to babies. The box should also be placed at least 10 to 12 ft off the ground.

If you want to get the bats out of your house quickly, add bat guano (bat droppings) or food items to the box. The strong smells will attract them and encourage settlement.

Since bats are great predators, their presence in your garden will be very useful. They will take care of the pests and night insects. However, if you don’t want them lurking anywhere near your house, the best thing is to call professional bat removal services.


What are bats afraid of?1

What are bats afraid of?

Bats aren’t afraid of anyone except for their natural predators. These include owls, snakes, and hawks.

Humans are often a source of noise, light, and unpleasant smells (all the things that a bat hates). It’s why bats try to stay away from us. But they aren’t afraid and will attack when threatened.

How do you scare bats away from your house?

Having a bat infestation in the house is a nuisance. You can scare them away using bright lights, ultrasonic sound devices, and smell repellents. If you’re brave enough, it’s also possible to scare the bat away with a wooden stick (just don’t hurt the bat!).

How do you permanently get rid of bats?

The only way to get rid of bats permanently is to seal their entry points in the house. You can do this yourself or ask a professional to bat-proof the house.

You should also take preventative measures to ensure bats don’t nest anywhere. For example, make spray repellents and regularly spray them in the roosting areas.

Last Words

All in all, you should never ignore the presence of bats in the house. They might not be harming you, but their bodies can carry any deadly virus or fungus. It’s best to get rid of them using natural repellents.

So, what smells do bats hate? Bats hate peppery and minty smells, such like:

  • Peppermint
  • Phenol
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus

If you can’t make a repellent with one of these smells, try the alternative natural methods. But never kill a bat or harm them using commercial poisons.

Different state laws protect these creatures and can lead to serious legal action. In the UK, there is a £5000 fine per bat and upto 6-months in prison.

What are the bat protection policies in your area of residence? Let us know in the comments below!

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