Bats Roosting in my porch: 2. Looking for a solution

on 3rd July 2014

I had enjoyed the presence of small family of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) that roosted under the roof of my porch LINK (above left). As the novelty wore off, their presence became a nuisance. They dirtied the floor below with their excrements and discarded food. The excrements needed to be scrubbed off within the same day, least they become permanent stains (above right).

So the next step was to get the bats to roost elsewhere – in the many trees around, perhaps. A few actually did just that. They roosted in the Song of India tree (Dracaena reflexa) (above). But the rest continued to return to the porch regularly, despite being chased away. I suppose the porch is a safer place, away from predators and the rain.

A small group of bats continued to roost under the roof of the porch despite being constantly harassed. Many houses in the neighbourhood experience the same problems. The bats roost along the eves of houses and between the outer roof covering and the wooden lining.

By early 2014 I was looking for a permanent solution. One resident solved the problem somewhat by using mist nets to trap the bats (above left). This, of course, is to be discouraged. Suggestions in the internet include hanging aluminium strips, helium balloons to displaying a fake owl. I tried spotlights and computer disks (CDs) (above right)

Bats are nocturnal creatures, resting during the day and actively foraging during the night. Currently, they arrive between 1930-2030 hours and 0530-0630 hours to roost in my porch.

I had a pair of powerful spotlights fixed, directed at the spot where the bats roosted (above) These failed to discourage roosting. I also tried placing CDs on the ground with the shiny surface facing up and the spotlights on.

The next posting will discuss tweaking the use of spotlights and CDs to obtain partial success.

YC Wee
July 2014

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

8 Responses

  1. Call Rentokil – they might have a solution, though how humane, I’m not sure. I actually like bats, and find the local fruit bats cute (maybe because they’re small). How likely is bat guano coming from these specimens to be dangerous (i.e. disease-causing) to humans?

  2. No maiming & no killing please! Rebuild the wooden porch in such a way there is no place for them to cling on. Style mau, tapi kalah you must accept lah! ;-))

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