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.
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.
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