Outdoor PestsBats

How To Catch a Bat in the Basement

Long Eared Bat Night Flying

Bats aren’t the kind of animals anyone wants in their apartment. Finding a bat in your basement requires quick removal because the dangers they might cause to the building and the occupants are just too horrifying to imagine. People often wonder what to do when a bat enters their home.

This article will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to trap a bat in your basement.

Here we go!

  • Bat infestation in the basement or any other part of the house requires urgent attention to avoid damage to your building and the dwellers.
  • The smell of eucalyptus, mothballs, cinnamon, and white phenol can help keep bats away.
  • Bat bite requires immediate health attention. The bat and the bite victim should be tested for rabies.
  • Wearing a rolled-up t-shirt and a pair of protective gloves can help protect you against bat bite.

Aside from our step-by-step guide on how to rid your basement of bats, you’ll also learn simple ways to keep those unwanted visitors away from your home. We have also included a FAQ section to answer common questions about bat infestation in buildings.

How To Catch a Bat in the Basement

Before you get into the do-it-yourself spirit, let’s identify the materials and tools required for the job. Below are the items you need from start to finish to trap a bat in your basement:

  • A pair of thick protective gloves
  • A rolled-up t-shirt
  • Long broom
  • A plastic container or a shoe box
  • A piece of stiff paper or cardboard
  • Thick towels
  • A small mesh net

Steps for Catching a Bat in Your Basement

Since bats are accidental visitors, it is easier to coax them back outside. The steps below will show you how.

Step 1: Identify the Bat

Bat, Greater Shortnosed Fruit Bat Flying At Night.

Before attempting to corner or trap a bat in your home, you must first identify what specie it is. Some bats are protected species, and some states prohibit removing them at certain times of the year.

This is typically between May and August when these bats are known to raise their young ones. If there is such a law in your state of residence, contact your local wildlife agency for clearance to evict the bat.

The bat in your basement is likely to be a big brown bat, especially if it entered your building during the year’s hottest months. The bat population has peaked at this time, and they need somewhere to cool off. Younger bats are curious at this time and go exploring, only to turn up in your basement.

Step 2: Clear the Basement

Empty Room In The Basement With A Window As A Boiler Room Or Drying Room

After obtaining the permit from your local wildlife agency, be ready to catch the bat by clearing your basement. Take away all pets and children from the space to limit distractions and keep them safe.

Afterward, close all the doors and windows in the basement through which another bat could enter the house.

Step 3: Isolate the Bat

Micro Chiroptera (Echolocation Bat) Trapped In A Plastic Bottle

Now that you’ve closed all exit routes, you must place some towels underneath the doors to limit the bat from going anywhere. Then, you can begin to catch the bat.

Step 4: Create an Exit

Basement With Window

With all openings adequately sealed, crack a window in your basement or open your basement door. Ensure that the bat is by the door or window you opened. By this time, the bat is probably lost and wants to leave your basement to find food and water.

Plus, it probably wants to get away from you as you hold a broom and hunt it down. With a door or window open, it will soon smell the fresh air outside and try to locate it. This typically takes 45 minutes to an hour, but the bat will fly out once it notices a way out.

Step 5: Turn Off Sounds

Mannequin Hand And Stereo Headphones With Bats On Red Background

Anything that makes noise must be shut off at this time. Loud noises can confuse the bats, keeping them longer in your basement and trying to find their way out. With the basement clean and quiet, it is easier for the bat’s instinct to kick in.

You must also turn off all outside lights near the exit. However, you can keep the lights in the basement but dim them a bit to help calm the bat. Apart from calming the bat, you also need clear vision to catch the bat because you can’t afford to lose sight of the bat at any point this time.

Step 6: Lay Low Until the Bat Figures Out the Exit

Pipistrelle Bat (Pipistrellus Pipistrellus) Flying On Wooden Ceiling Of House In Darkness

Bats fly in U-shaped patterns, so you must stay high on the walls and dip into the middle of the room. Stay there and watch if the bat tries to exit.

Following others who spend hours looking for the bat in their basement would only waste your time. Instead, stay calm and allow the bat to figure out the exit. It may circle the basement a bit before finding its way out.

Step 7: Catch the Bat

Small Bat Caught In A Net

Many bats will escape at first sight of an opening, but some are not so lucky. If the bat in your basement cannot locate the exit, you must step in and catch it. But before you do that, wait for the bat to tire out and stop flying.

Before attempting to catch the bat, ensure that you wear long-sleeved clothing to cover your skin as much as possible. Also, wear protective gloves, especially when you don’t want to catch a bat with your bare hands.

Next, place the handle of your broom above the bat. It should instinctively cling to the handle. This will allow you to safely lead it outside, where you can set the broom down and pick up the bat.

Alternatively, you can trap the stationary bat with a plastic box or cardboard. In this case, wait for the bat to be still and then cover it with the box.

Suppose a plastic box and cardboard are not available. You can trap the stationary bat with a thick towel or small mesh net. Then, scoop and gather the bat in the towel into a bag, an empty laundry basket, or a wastepaper basket.

Take the bag or basket outside, tilt it to release the bat, and let it fly out. You can also release it close to a tree trunk, from which it can climb and fly away.

Important Note: Don’t attempt to catch a flying bat, as you may injure the bat. In this case, it may bite you in self-defense. A bat bite can cause rabies infection.

Step 8: Call an Expert

Bat Caught By A Professional

If you’ve tried all the steps mentioned above without results, it is time to call a professional. Your first port of call should be an animal control specialist. These specialists know the efficient and safe methods for removing bats from residential properties.

If you suspect that the bat is injured after capturing it, call a local wildlife rehabber. They will tell you how to evacuate the bat safely and may even ask you to bring it in.

If the bat has bitten anyone in the house, don’t release it outside yet. First, take the bite victim to the hospital for medical attention.

Finally, get the bat tested for rabies to be safe. Call your local animal control office for further assistance.


Sometimes a bat may go off course and find its way into your house. When this happens, there is no need for you to panic. Stay calm, get the tools you need and follow the instructions above to catch and eliminate such an unwanted visitor safely.

Before setting out to catch the bat, remember to wear a rolled-up t-shirt and a pair of protective gloves. In the case of a bat bite, take the victim to the hospital for medical care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Bats Hide?

Bats love places where they can hang on to. So, you’ll likely find them on curtain rails, hanging clothes, or even upholstered furniture. Bats can also fall into your house through the chimney, especially if there is no cap screen at the top.

How Can I Prevent Bats From Entering My Home?

Bats can enter through the attic and open doors. Generally, they only need a small opening to slide through, so close up all holes and open areas.

You can use mesh or plastic sheets to cover entry points. Then, install chimney cap guards, window screens, and draft guards underneath doors. Remember to keep all doors closed shut, especially in the attic.

What Keeps Bats Away?

Bats dislike the smell of eucalyptus, mothballs, cinnamon, and white phenol. Also, they do not like objects that reflect light. In that sense, you can hang mirrors, old CDs, or aluminum foil around your house. Another thing you can do is install bright lights around your building to deter them from coming in.

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