What To Do if You Come in Contact with a Bat

bat-contactWhy Are Bats Dangerous?

Bats are not normally aggressive animals. However, caution should be used to avoid direct contact, even with apparently healthy bats. Unusual behavior, such as a bat fluttering on the floor, or a bat flying in midday, is reason for particular care to avoid all human or animal contact with the bat.

In recent years, bat-associated strains of rabies have been the causative agent for the majority of the few human rabies cases in the United States. In some of these cases, rabies transmission occurred even after apparently limited contact with a bat. Because bat bites may be less severe, heal rapidly, and therefore, be more difficult to find or recognize than bites inflicted by larger mammals, rabies post-exposure treatment should be considered for any physical contact with bats when bites, scratches, or mucous membrane contact with saliva cannot be excluded.

What to do if You Are Bitten by a Bat

  1. If you are bitten or scratched or the possibility of contact can not be excluded, try to confine or kill the bat without damage to its head, to prevent additional exposures.
  2. Immediately cleanse the wound thoroughly with soap and water
  3. Seek prompt medical attention from a physician or hospital emergency room.
  4. Report the bite or other exposure to your local health department as soon as possible.
  5. Using heavy protective gloves, tongs, or a shovel, place the bat in a coffee can or other securely covered container and arrange a drop-off with your local health department so it can be tested or incinerated.

If your dog or cat is exposed to a bat, follow similar procedures in capturing the bat and contacting your local health department to report the incident and arrange for the testing of the bat. The greatest preventive measure is to have your dog or cat vaccinated against rabies before any exposure to a rabid animal.

What is White Nose Syndrome?

white-noseWhite-nose syndrome (WNS) in the northeastern United States has caused unprecedented mortality of six species of cave bats, which are bats that hibernate in caves and mines in the winter months. The disease was first documented in New York State during the winter of 2006, and quickly spread to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. WNS is associated with a newly identified fungus that invades the skin and breaks down the tissue in hibernating bats. In  Vermont, populations of cave bats have declined dramatically since the disease was first observed in the state. In particular, populations of Vermont’s two most common bat species – the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat (northern myotis) – have declined by over 90% in three years.

The Upstate NY and VT Bat Experts

At Nature’s Way Pest Control, we provide humane bat removal and bat exclusion in Albany, Saratoga, Lake George, and as far north as Plattsburgh NY. We also work with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to help document bat colonies and provide bat control in western Vermont.

Our Bat Control Services include Humane Bat Removal, Bat Exclusion (One-Way Valves), Ridge-Guard® Bat Proofing, Attic Clean Outs & Restoration (Sanitize & Sterilize), and Bat House Installation. Call us today at(518) 745-5958 (NY) or (802) 855-2978 (VT) in Vermont.or fill out our online form to book your free inspection.