How Long Can A Bat Survive In A House? (Find Out Now!)

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by Upgraded Home Team
Are you afraid that you have bats living in your home? Bats can live for a short or long period based on factors such as your location. Whether it be the atmosphere or location, let’s expect how long you can expect a bat to survive in your house

The stigma, to us, seems as old as the creature. An “evil” bat is considered an ominous sight. A colony or “cauldron” flying over an old, haunted mansion at night is what we see when someone mentions bats.

Bram Stoker even wrote an Irish horror novel called Dracula in the late 19th century. In it, the vampires “shape-shifted” into bats. The bats in our homes may not be vampires, but to us, they can be just as scary.

Depending on where in your home it is, a bat can survive for years or die within hours. Because they fit through such small spaces, they can come and go at will. However, if they get trapped without food and water, bats cannot survive longer than a day.

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How Long Can a Bat Survive in a House?

Many people have bats in their attics, chimneys, walls, and sometimes, their living spaces. Because they can come and go, they can survive in your home indefinitely. Bats can fit through a hole a little smaller than a quarter-inch in diameter. They are able to use these holes to go out as easily as they are to get in.

Bats that are somehow trapped in your home are another story.

How Long Can a Bat Survive Without Food or Water?

Bats that are trapped in your home do not have their usual ways of getting food and water. They eat insects, flowers, fruit, and leaves. A bat trapped in your home without food and water can live no more than around 24 hours.

What Could Be Attracting Bats to My House?

There are three things that could be attracting bats to your home. It could be one, two, or all three.

Safe Harbor

A bat, like any other mammal, will seek a safe place to rest and birth offspring. Your home may have an opening, offering it a place to go.


Except for vampire bats, who drink blood, bats eat bugs like mosquitoes, moths, beetles, and crickets. Don’t worry. Vampire bats get a meal the size of a teaspoon from another animal. Some species eat frogs and fish.

If any of these are in your attic, a bat will see it as a place to get a good meal.


All mammals need water, and bats are no different. Is there a water leak in your home that the bats are taking advantage of?

Does One Bat in My House Mean There Are More?

Most species of bats have only one offspring per year. Twins are born on occasion, and some species birth a few pups. The problem is that bats are quiet. They make very little noise, only going out at night to feed.

By the time you hear them, they have been there a long time. By “they,” by the way, I mean a colony of probably 20 or more bats in your attic.

Should I Be Worried About Bats Being in My House?

Healthy bats are not aggressive and will try to avoid humans. Rabid bats, however, may not show fear. Though only around two are in the United States, 60,000 people die from rabies each year. Most of the rabies deaths in the United States have been caused by bat bites.

Bat bites can be almost undetectable, and people have been known to contract rabies just by sleeping in the same room as a bat.

What Should I Do If There Is a Bat in My House?

There are two steps you should take if there are bats in your house: inspection and exclusion.


A good daylight inspection will reveal where the bats are coming in. Does your home have missing roof shingles? Are there dark, greasy marks around the openings? Do some recon on all four sides on a clear, warm evening. Right before dusk, you can watch the bats come and go.


The exclusion process means putting tubing or netting at the entry points, allowing the bats to escape but not to re-enter. This tubing or netting are left in place for at least a week, frustrating the bats, so they will give up. Once they are gone, you seal the holes, but there are two things you shouldn’t do.

Don’t evict them right after they’ve had pups who cannot fly, lest they die. Also, don’t try to evict them during wintertime, as they hibernate and won’t be able to fly out.

How Do I Know If There Are Bats in My Walls?

You probably won’t notice the bats in your walls until you notice either their guano or “bat tracks” at the opening where they got in, or you notice a horrible smell coming from your wall.

The smell will be the product of a bat that has somehow gotten trapped inside the wall of your house. The decomposition will consume your whole house for at least a week. In comparison, bed bugs can live for a year in an empty house.

What Should I Do If There Are Bats in My Walls?

First, bat guano is terribly toxic and shouldn’t even be inhaled. If bats are in your walls, you will need to hire a specialist to come out and rid your walls of the colony and the guano. The hole where they got in will need to be sealed, as well.

How Do I Keep Bats Away From My House?

There are no tried-and-true ways to keep bats away from your home except to seal the holes, and make sure they have no way to get in. However, people do offer some advice.


Bats don’t have great vision. They avoid light, especially artificial lights. Low light conditions don’t bother them very much, but bright artificial lights do.

Essential Oils

Many stand by 100% pure peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils to get rid of bats. Bats are known to hate peppermint oil. The secret, they say, is that it cannot be artificial. You can get 100% pure essential oils at fine department stores, but you can also order them online from a few different places.

Just watch the ingredients, and make sure you aren’t buying anything with lots of water or other ingredients in it.


Others say to try cinnamon, mothballs, ultrasonic repellents, or bat repellent gel.

Why Would a Bat Die in My House?

A bat would only die in your house if it were very old (this is highly unlikely) or if it were trapped and could not get food and water. It could also die from rabies, but this is also highly unlikely. In a lab, a bat that has contracted rabies dies within 6 days, but in the wild, it can survive a cold winter.

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What If a Bat Dies in My House?

If a bat dies in your house, you are going to know it quickly. The decomposition will take over the whole house, and it will consume it for at least a week while the body decays.

What Does a Dead Bat in My House Mean?

On one hand, bats represent the positive of washing away the old and starting afresh. A bat, then, is a symbol of initiation or transition.

On the other hand, bats are considered to be an omen. In some folklore, bats inside buildings foretell evil or misfortune. In other, they are good omens, as in during rehearsal in a theater. If a bat flies over, the play is a supposed sure success.

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Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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