a sick bat on the ground

How do you know if you’ve found a sick bat?

If you come across a bat on the floor, there’s a chance that the bat has been kicked out of the roost for being sick. The bat colony won’t want the injured or sick bat to stay around for long, not when there is a chance that it could infect the other members. 

Bats prefer to venture out at night, but rabid bats may take to flying during the day, often having trouble maintaining efficient flight, which results in them falling to the ground. They are less fearful of daylight and of humans. While bats normally flee from humans, if the bat is rabid it could be aggressive and may attack. On the ground, it may struggle to fly, appear confused or disoriented, and have glazed-over or blank eyes. A sick bat may also seem agitated, snapping at real or imaginary objects, disoriented or partially paralyzed and it may attempt to mutilate itself. 

a live bat found during a bat exclusion
a small brown bat with white nose syndrome

If the bat is sick with something else, such as white-nose syndrome, early symptoms might not be so easy to spot. You may or may not be able to see the white fungus growing on the bat. In addition the bat may be lethargic and suffer from a lack of appetite, both symptoms that would be difficult to recognize. White-nose syndrome is currently under study and its risk to humans is still unknown.

So what should you do with a potentially sick bat?

Always remember that if you attempt to handle the bat, you are taking a chance with your own health, putting yourself at risk for rabies and other potentially deadly conditions. So, if possible, keep your distance and call wildlife control.

Bats with rabies don’t show symptoms until the disease is well advanced. Once the virus assumes an active state it travels from the animal’s brain to its salivary glands. If an infected animal bites you at that stage, you’re in trouble.

If you suspect you have bats in your home it’s always best to call the professionals who can help you figure out your next step. Our technicians use all the necessary equipment to keep them safe while making sure your home is bat free.

live brown bat in a glove found during a bat colony removal on a home
Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael Koski

Michael Koski

Your Local Bat Removal Specialist

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  • what!

    July 7, 2024 | Reply

    me & my friends managed to catch 3 bats . i think i may have injured one but i cant tell .

    • Tori Bruce

      July 12, 2024 | Reply

      Please handle sick bats very cautiously! If you think you have a bat problem and need help, you can call our customer service department at 877-264-2287.

  • Kem

    November 6, 2022 | Reply

    Very informative. I’ve studied bats for several years, yet I never tire of learning more.

    • Tori Bruce

      November 8, 2022 | Reply

      That's great to hear, please check out our other blogs for more information on bats.

  • Joe

    October 6, 2022 | Reply

    So two bats were in my yard and its night time and they got attacked by cats i kinda went against everything advised and got blood contact i dont think they have rabies because they are trying to flee from me but was just looking it up to be safe thanks!

    • Tori Bruce

      October 7, 2022 | Reply

      Good idea on being proactive to research your situation, but please understand our blog is not intended for medical advice. We recommend you consult with your doctor.

  • Charlotte Reed Edgren

    December 10, 2020 | Reply

    I'm in love with bats. Now I know what to do if I find one, and who to call :)

    • Tori Bruce

      December 13, 2020 | Reply

      Thank you for your feedback!

  • Salena

    October 24, 2020 | Reply

    Thanks for the info much appreciated

    • Tori Bruce

      October 27, 2020 | Reply

      You're welcome! Thank you for your feedback!

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