After catching a bat, what should you do?

One of the main concerns you should have about bats is rabies, and bats can contract rabies but the fortunate thing is that less than 1% actually catch the disease, but that does not mean you should take chances. Seek bats normally find a quiet place to die , and normally do not search for humans or animals to infect. You should not worry about contracting rabies when you come in contact with its fur, or feces, however this does not mean you should handle the bat with your bare hands. If you or your pet is bitten by a bat and its saliva enters your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth, then you or your pet must get a medical help immediately.

A bat found in your house should be captured and sent for medical examination especially if you suspect you or any member of your family has come in contact with it. Make sure you wear gloves when handling bats. You can handle a bat caught in your house with the following tips;

Don’t make attempt to catch a flying bat, because you may end up injuring yourself and the bat may even bite you , in self-defense. If the atmosphere is warm, then you must wait until the bat has landed, to contain it . Carefully place it in a light container ( with some breathing space), and release the bat at dusk.

If the bat is found indoors, then it might have been gaining access to your house through a crevice and such a bat could have a shade of grey or brown colour. Make sure you wait until the bat is motionless, before you contain it.

▪Containing the bat- You should carefully approach the motionless bat while you wear gloves or have some thick towels in your hand. Gently hold the bat up securely but not tightly , so as not to suffocate the animal. Place the bat in a container with a lid ( this could be a waste can, coffee can or a cardboard box). A cardboard box is often preferred because of its breathable features. Gently slide a piece of cardboard in-between the box or container and the surface upon which the bat is resting, and gently turn the container upside down. Never place a bat in a bird cage especially when the cage has a narrow opening- bats can easily squeeze through narrow openings.

Release the bat outdoors at nightfall- Make sure you take a flashlight with you while a bat is in a container . At this stage the bat might have become dehydrated and weak and may find it difficult to return when you release it at dusk.

Go back to the How to get rid of bats home page.

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