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Bats are mostly nocturnal creatures. This is mostly to do with how easy life is at night than the daylight itself. The mosquitos and other insects they eat mostly come out to play at dusk, and this just so happens to be the right kind of time for these small mammals to wake up. Bats are the only mammal that is known to fly, and it is often thought that bats are blind, although the latter is not true.
Bats can see, but because they are animals that are used to coming out mostly at night, their eyesight isn’t exactly considered to be the best. When you’re flying around at night, good eyesight will only help if you have become adjusted to seeing in the dark. Bats don’t really need to see that well, because they use echolocation to work out where they and other things are, animals, walls, trees, other bats flying around in the air, etc.
Bats will avoid lights where possible, and this applies to both bright and dull lights, and also to artificial and natural lighting also. Bright lights will be tolerated less than their duller cousins, but even still, any lighting is not preferable. When they look for roosting spots, they look for ones that are in darkness, often in caves. Your attic makes for a great substitute when there isn’t a cave available, and that's because you rarely go up there, it’s dark, and it’s relatively quiet too. Plus, it offers them shelter to raise a long family. If you see one bat there are almost certainly more somewhere behind it.
Bats do not like lights, bright or otherwise, but that doesn’t mean that lighting will work to get rid of them. In fact, using bright lights to try and repel these flying creatures is just likely to have the opposite effect. Rather than exiting your attic the same way they came in, and hopefully never coming back, they will just retreat further and deeper into the attic, finding new and exciting places to set up roost … away from the lights.
Lights rarely work to keep any kind of wild animal at bay, and this applies to even those that are nocturnal. Possums usually sleep during the day and are awake at night, but during the winter they switch things around. They’ll sleep more during the night and stay awake throughout the day to hunt for food. Lights definitely won’t keep these creatures, and the same can be said for others too - raccoons, for example, and most definitely bats.
If you are considering using lights to try and rid your home of a bat problem, you should be aware of a few things. Firstly, you are going to nee to pay to keep those lights running. You might even need to buy the lights in the first place. That will prove to be an expensive trip to Home Depot when it doesn’t work. (Which it more than likely won’t.)
Lights also attract other animals too, so as much as you might think you’re getting rid of the bats (even though it won’t work), another insect or other animal will just come in to take a closer look instead. All the time these creatures CAN get into your home, they will. No amount of lights will be enough to persuade them to find another place to live when your home gives them everything they could need.
If you are using bright lights in the garden, your neighbors might complain about it. The lights themselves might keep you awake at night, especially if you have one of those ones that flicks on and off when a bat flies in front of the sensor.
Finally, there are actually legalities surrounding bats and bat removal. You will need to do your research before you take any course of action. The last thing you’ll want is to get a visit from the boys in blue!
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does bat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of bats - my main bat removal info guide.
Example bat removal photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Bat job blog - learn from great examples of bat jobs I've done.