Bath and North East Somerset Council Does Not provide a pest control service for the treatment of bats, but please read the following information for some guidance.


Bats are furry intelligent flying mammals which live for up to 30 years. Due to their nocturnal nature, bats will rarely be seen outdoors during daylight. At night bats are recognisable because of their flight movements. Unlike birds they flap their spread-out digits rather than their forearms.

The Law

All species of bat and their breeding sites or resting places (roosts) are protected by the law. It is illegal to kill, injure or disturb bats, to obstruct access to bat roosts, and to damage or disturb bat roosts. For further information regarding this, please follow the link to Natural England website.


1.    Where do bats live?

2.    Are there bats in my house?

3.    Can bats harm people?

4.    What building works could harm bats?

5.    Where can I go for advice?


A1. Bats can be found in all kinds of buildings, including houses, and are as likely to be found in new houses as old buildings. In houses they usually live in the roof space but sometimes behind weatherboarding, fascias, barge boards, tiles, etc. – in fact they can be found anywhere where there’s a small crevice with a cavity behind it. As well as houses, they can live in other buildings and man-made structures like mines, bridges and tunnels. They can also be found in natural caves and rock crevices and in trees, especially old trees with hollows, holes or cracks in the trunk and main branches.

A2. Bats are very small and can creep into tiny spaces. They can sometimes be seen tucked up against the rafters and ridge beam along the top of the roof, or in the gable end.

The most obvious signs are droppings. The droppings are dark brown or black, 4–8 mm long and about the same size as mouse droppings. They are made up of the indigestible bits of insects, and unlike mouse droppings they are dry and crumbly. Droppings can also be found stuck to the wall or ledge under a roost entrance – often on a window ledge. You may also see moth and insect wings under roost places.

A3. Bats are extremely unlikely to attack you, but if they are trapped in a room they may panic and accidentally fly into you. If handled carelessly or roughly they might try to bite, but many of the smaller species are too weak to pierce the skin. If however, you are bitten; you should seek medical advice. The Department of Health advise that no member of the public should touch bats directly until they have sought expert advice from Natural England or from a local or national bat group such as The Bat Conservation Trust. Bat experts are also advised to wear gloves when handling bats.

They are not pests in the sense that rats or house mice are, and they very rarely carry any disease which threatens humans. The droppings are not considered to be a health hazard and rarely build up enough to cause offence or smell, but understandably people may want to remove them from their roofs, etc.

A4. Examples of the kinds of works that could harm bats or their roosts are:

  • Replacing weatherboarding, fascia’s etc.Re-roofing or major repairs to roofs
  • Converting or sub-dividing lofts, attics and roof spaces
  • Timber treatment and pest control, especially in roof spaces
  • Closing of gaps under eaves, flashing, ridge tiles, soffits and barge boards
  • Works to cellars and closing off cellar access points
  • Felling trees with holes, hollows or cracks in the trunk or main branches
  • Demolition of buildings

Where to go for further advice

The Bat Conservation Trust

15 Cloisters House

Battersea Park Road

London SW8 4BG

Tel: 0345 130 0228


Natural England


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