What to Do with a Bat Caught In House

So, you’ve found a bat in your house, here’s what you should realize:
If it’s a single bat flying in circles in your room, then it probably got in there by mistake. These cases are most commonly as a result of young bats (pups) that have left their roost and just started flying. This incident peaks between July and August. If you have a bat or a colony of bats residing in your house, that’s an entirely different ballgame. You have to effectively evict them from where they’ve roosted, be it your attic, chimney, garage, or any other place.

What Do You Do?

If there’s a bat in your house, you have only one goal: Removing them from your house in a safe manner. This post explores how you can effectively deal with the problem.

A Single Bat in Your House

If there’s a bat in your house, then it most likely got in through an airway from the attic or through an open, unscreened window and door. When this happens, shut all interior doors and open the windows. Never take your eyes off the bat. If you’re lucky, the bat will be able to reorient itself by noticing the cooler air coming from the window or external door and fly outside on its own. If that doesn’t happen, then you have to catch it.

bat in bucket closeup; Bat Caught In House

Catching a Lone Bat

As you keep your eyes on the bat, it’ll eventually get tired and land on the wall, upholstery, or floor. This is the time to catch it. Wildlife experts recommend the use of a butterfly net or a towel to cover the animal. Make sure you put on leather gloves to prevent bites. When handling the animal, make sure to handle with care because bats have fragile bones.

releasing bat;Bat Caught In House

Another option is to use a plastic container to cover the bat. Then slide cardboard under the bucket. Now that you have the bat, it’s time to release it to the wild.

Releasing a Lone Bat

Bats are not aggressive but they have very sharp teeth and attack as an act of defense. That’s why wearing a thick leather glove is recommended. Diseases like rabies are associated with bats. Before releasing the bat to the wild, experts suggest that you wait till late in the day. This way, the bat can easily join the rest of the colony that comes out to feed at dusk. 

bat hanging from hand; Bat Caught In House

To release the bat, uncover the containment vessel (towel or plastic container) as high as you can. You may have to slightly nudge the bat before it takes off. Make sure there are no pets or kids around. 

A Bat Colony in Your House

If you have a bat colony in your attic or chimney, then you can be certain that there’s an entry hole(s) that provides them with easy access. Common entry points include attic vents, spaces between wood frames, holes caused by damages, and more.
Many homeowners hate the presence of bats because they leave droppings (guano), which has a pungent odor and is a breeding ground for many bacteria.
Exclusion: The Best Solution
If you have a bat colony, then the only effective removal method is to exclude them. Exclusion involves identifying all potential entry holes. Then, they are all sealed, except one (the primary hole). An exclusion device is then installed in that hole. Once the bats leave to feed at night, they are unable to get back in. Once all the bats have left, the exclusion device can be removed and the last hole sealed.
Decontamination
This involves the removal of the guano and other remnants left by the bat. The entire space is then decontaminated to prevent the spread of disease.

Conclusion

After you catch a bat in your house, DO NOT PANIC! What you have to do is find a way to humanely get it out.