Is there any way to keep bats out of our barn???

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

My husband and I recently restored our 130-year-old bank barn and will use it for parties, family reunions, etc. Does anyone know how to keep bats out of a barn??? I went out to the barn after sunset tonight and there was a (flock?) of bats flying around inside. ....I won't go in there with them swooping around me! ....Yikes!!
I'd sure appreciate any ideas you all might have!!

Thumbnail by Glenda_Michigan
Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Here's the before picture!

Thumbnail by Glenda_Michigan
Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Nice restoration job.

Now why exactly do you want them out of there? Bats are like barn swallows - they eat a lot of flying bugs - very useful creatures to have around and generally much more afraid of you than you are of them. You probably have little brown bats. Here's a link:®ionSelect=Great+Lakes®ionZIP=&curGroupID=5&lgfromWhere=&curPageNum=7

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)


After that very nice restoration and having read that you want to use the barn for entertaining and all that, I can understand why you wouldn't want bats in there. Noone wants bat waste in there although their guano is a wonderful fertilizer. That's probably of little comfort to you now. It's not a barn anymore, is it? It's more like an annex to the house. You'll have a great time in there.

The way I see it, you have another job on your hands. The only way to stop them coming in would be to close up each and every little opening that exists on that structure, down to smaller than the diameter of a pencil. As work progresses on sealing up the barn, please make sure you allow them an obvious exit such as opening the doors at dusk so they can get out. When they you're done with blocking all those entrances, wait until they leave that evening and close up the doors for good.

There are big squares of sticky paper that you can nail to the inside or outside walls. That only traps them in place to die a slow, horrible death. That's not the solution. Keep them from coming in and they'll have no choice but to stay outside your barn.

Better yet, build them a bat house in a distant corner of your property so they can keep eating those bugs and you can harvest that guano. Here is a link to that kind of a structure.

Best of luck on that.

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the help! I don't want to hurt them, but was hoping to keep them out. I know their radar is sharp, but I just can't get up the nerve to stand in the barn with a dozen of them zipping by my head. ....Gives me the heebeegeebees just thinking about it. I did read on-line that one way to get rid of them is to light up the area where they like to nest (the roof/ceiling, right?) because they do not like to sleep where there are bright lights and they will seek a darker area somewhere else. It will be near impossible to seal up every 1/4" dia. hole in my barn so I think we might give bright lighting the first try. I'll have to read up and see if I can pinpoint (when) bats come in to roost for the day. I'll put the lights on a timer and see if that will deter them from using our barn. ......If anyone has any other ideas, please send them my way! I'm open to any ideas.

Thanks for your kind words too. You're right; it's not a "barn" anymore. Calling it "an annex to the house" is a good way to put it. We absolutely love it and will put it to good use. I'm just so thankful that it didn't fall over before we could get to work on it. It was, literally, just a storm or two away from collapsing.
:) Glenda

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

My great uncle always recalled with quite a bit of pleasure the time when, as a kid, he needed a few nails to build a fort. He and his gang of friends went to an old disused barn and they pulled half a dozen nails when the whole structure started creaking, leaned over slowly at first and collapsed slowly as the kids stared in horror. Worst yet, they had to go home and tell their parents they had caused the old barn to fall for want of a few nails to build a fort.

Noone got punished because, as you put it, that barn would have fallen with the next gust of wind anyway. It was just a question of time. My uncle told me he never removed a nail from anything afterwards, prefering to purchase rather than reuse his nails. The way he described it, with such precise details, it's as it you could see it deforming, begin to lean over and finally become a pile of rubble in a cloud of dust. He told the wildest stories. What was true, what was fiction, we didn't care. We always had a good time when we saw him. I miss him.

Best of luck with your bats.

Flora, IN(Zone 5a)

I hope you can make a new place for the bats.They do eat tons of bugs and are rather interesting creatures. I have been trying to attract them and am so excited to have my first one. Of course it wants to stay in my potting shed instead of the two bat boxes I have. The lights sound like a good idea.We have some of the very bright halogen ones on stands we use in our barn for parties. They are very bright I cannot imagine sleeping with one of them pointed at me. Let us know how things work out .
Good Luck , Cinda

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks! I sure will! :-D

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

Just wondering how you made out?!

Moberly, MO

Ooo- bats! Lure them out is the best way I can think of. Yes, a bat house. I've seen plans for them on the internet. One bat can eat a lot of bugs (that includes mosquitoes). And I've heard that guano is a great fertilzer. Make lemonade out of lemons. Good fertilizing, bug eating lemonade.

Coal Center, PA(Zone 6a)

I would keep the bats.
All things considered, they are very important for habitat at a farm.
You are fortunate to have them.
I lost many of mine when our barn burned. Fortunately some that survived moved into the silo.
But I try everything to keep them here.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I would like to have a few bats too. Never had them in the old barn which burned in the early '80s. They could go into the bird house if they wanted too but I shut the door at night so they probably don't like that. And the pigeons might make them unwelcome to the point of abandoning that idea. There is a building in the yard they could also use but don't. The door to it is always open.

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