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Bats Northwest

"helping bats in Washington State"

I found a bat, what do I do?

Questions

  1. How do I safely pick up a bat?
  2. What should I do if I find an injured bat?
  3. What should I do if I find a bat in my house?
  4. I found a baby bat. How do I take care of it?
  5. I know where there's a bat roost. Should I let someone know?
  6. I know where there's a bat roost and the structure is about to be demolished. What should I do?

Answers

  1. How do I safely pick up a bat?

    Never pick up a bat, even a baby, with your bare hands unless you have pre-exposure rabies shots. You can safely pick up a bat if you are wearing leather gloves. You can also use a container with a lid such as a coffee can, margarine tub, etc. To do this, place the container over the bat. Then gently slide the lid under the bat to get it in the container.     Back to Top.

  2. What should I do if I find an injured bat?

    First make sure no children or pets can get to it. Either pick it up as described above, or cover it with a box, flower pot or similar item. If someone was bitten or was handling the bat, call the Health Department. Otherwise call one of the following numbers:


  3. What should I do if I find a bat in my house?

    It depends on whether someone may have been exposed. If someone was bitten or exposed to bat saliva, wash the affected area thoroughly and get medical advice immediately. If the bat was found where someone was asleep and may not know if they were bitten, consider that an exposure. Whenever possible, capture the bat safely by following the instructions above and consult your Health Department. A bat that will be sent to a laboratory for testing should be refrigerated (not frozen) until the laboratory performs the test.

    If no one was exposed, you can let the bat go. Just open a window in the room with the bat, turn off the lights, and it will find its way out.     Back to Top.

  4. I found a baby bat. How do I take care of it?

    It is not only very difficult to raise baby bats, it is also illegal unless you are a licensed rehabilitator. The bat's best chance for life is with a rehabilitator who is experienced with bats, and these people are also inoculated against rabies so that they can handle the bat safely. It is best to call one of the numbers above.     Back to Top.

  5. I know where there's a bat roost. Should I let someone know?

    Yes. The more we know about current populations of bats, the better we can manage them. Call Bats Northwest and they will notify the proper authorities.     Back to Top.

  6. I know where there's a bat roost and the structure is about to be demolished. What should I do?

    Call Bats Northwest. We may not be able to protect the structure because people have the right to do what they want with their own property. But we can try to talk with the owners and give them enough information to make a wise decision.     Back to Top.