Bat asleep in a house

5 Things You Need To Do If You Find A Bat In Your House 2022

Finding a bat in your house can be a frightening experience, but don’t panic, we are here to help!

#1

First, you need to be clear on whether anyone has come into contact with the bat, including any pets. If there has been contact with the bat you will need to capture it so that it can be tested for rabies.

#2 How to capture the bat:

  • Make sure any children or pets are out of the room but try not to lose sight of the bat. 
  • Cover up well with long clothing, making sure arms and legs are covered, and wear thick leather gloves. 
  • Get a container -such as a bucket – and make sure it is big enough to contain the bat. Find a piece of cardboard that is large enough to fully cover the container and if possible punch small holes in it. 
  • Although you can try to catch the bat in flight, it is much easier to wait until it has landed. 
  • When the bat has landed, moving slowly so as not to startle it, use the container to cover the bat. Slide the cardboard under the edge, and holding it firmly against the container flip it over. You can put something heavier on top of the cardboard if you want extra reassurance that the bat is secure, and tape the cardboard over the container. 
  • You can also use a towel to capture the bat before placing it in the container as above, just make sure the bat doesn’t escape from the towel in the process. 

#3 What to do once you have caught the bat

  • Now the bat is caught you need to get it tested for rabies. Different services will deal with this depending on where you live. First, we suggest you contact your local animal control. You could also contact your local humane society as they may know where you can go to drop the bat off for testing- which could be one of your local veterinary practices. You could also call your local vet directly, or search on the internet to find the best local service. 
  • If the bat has been killed in the process, it still needs to be tested, and you will need to put it in the fridge to slow decomposition – but do not freeze it. The brain needs to be examined so try to keep the head intact.
  • If you don’t feel that you can capture the bat yourself, don’t panic! Call your local animal control non-emergency number or a Local Bat Removal Company. We are here to give you expert advice should you need it. 
  • If you have a wound from a bat scratch or bite, wash it with soap and water and see a healthcare professional as soon as possible to arrange post-exposure treatment. Once contracted, if left untreated rabies is fatal, so don’t delay in seeking urgent medical attention.

 #4 Post-Exposure Prophylactic treatment

If the bat can be caught and tests negative for rabies you will not need post-exposure treatment. However, if the bat cannot be tested or if exposure cannot be ruled out – for instance, if you woke up with a bat in your room – then you need to discuss this with a healthcare professional to see if post-exposure shots are advised. 

Rabies post-exposure vaccine bottle

The CDC advise rabies shots will likely be recommended if the bat was in the room with an unsupervised child, anyone with mental disabilities, or anyone using alcohol or drugs, who may not recall or be able to explain the encounter. 

If you have any doubts, it is always best to speak to a healthcare professional. 

#5 How to release the bat outside

If there has been no contact with the bat it does not need to be caught. Instead, take these steps to help the bat find its way back outside:

 

  1. Close any internal doors in the room to keep the bat from going further into your home and getting more disorientated. 
  2. Open a door to the outside, or a window. Be sure to keep it open wide. Remove anything that could block the bat’s exit from your home. 
  3. If possible turn out the light or keep the light low as a bright light will disorientate the bat. 
  4. Wait for the bat to make its way outside and once it has left your home, shut the doors and windows. This may take some time.
  5. If the bat will not leave and you need to catch it, follow the steps above in point #2. Please make sure you cover up well and if you do come into contact with the bat then do not release it. Otherwise, you can release the bat outside.

Is there a bat colony in your house? 

Bats live in colonies, so if you find one bat in your home, it is likely that you have a colony of bats living in your house. This can pose the risk of damage to your home and more importantly to your health and wellbeing. You will need professional help to properly and safely remove the colony.

There are checks that you can do to see if you have a bat infestation. To start with, keep an ear open for any sounds of bats in your walls or attic. It’s also a good idea to keep watch outside in the evening at sunset to see if you spot any bats flying back and forth from your home. If in doubt we can advise you.

So to recap, if you find bats in your home, try to stay calm. The more you scream and move the more disorientated the bat will become and the harder it will be for you to catch. Always err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure if you have had contact with the bat and follow the steps above to get it tested. Your local healthcare professionals and bat removal services are ready to help. 

A bat colony on a wall in a house

A Safe Clean-Up

The risk of contracting rabies from contact with bats is something most of us are well aware of. But another health risk associated with bats is histoplasmosis. This disease is found in the air-born spores spread from bat guano or droppings. Symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, aches and pains, and for some this illness can have severe long-term effects. 

Ensure that any bat guano is cleared up properly to protect yourself and your household. Scattered droppings can be hoovered or swept up without concern; it is when the guano builds up that there is a risk of histoplasmosis. If you find an accumulation of guano we recommend that you contact us for expert assistance to remove it in a safe way with minimal risk. 

A bat removal expert wearing PPE

If you think you may have a bat colony in your home, contact us to arrange a consultation. We have the equipment and the expertise you require to get the bats out and to keep them out! Call our customer service at 877-264-2287.

Your Local Bat Removal Expert,

Michael Koski

Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael Koski

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