How to safely help a bat find its way outside


By Kristen Pope

Even tiny cracks and crevices in your home can be inviting to a bat. What should you do if a bat enters your home? First, make sure not to touch it.

Mexican free-tailed bats, photo by Mylea Bayless.

If one bat enters your home, and you’re sure no one has been in contact with the bat (or asleep in a room where the bat could have been), you can help it find its way out by opening up doors and windows (don’t forget to remove the screens), closing doors to other rooms, turning off lights and ceiling fans, and waiting for it to leave.

Photo by Mylea Bayless

If the bat doesn’t leave, or there is more than one bat, it’s best to call a professional to assist. Bat World Sanctuary can help connect you with a professional who can help rescue or rehabilitate the bat if necessary.

“The first thing you should do is call somebody that is an expert in handling bats,” says Bat Conservation International Research Scientist Dr. Luz de Wit. “It is not recommended to handle the bats directly if you’re not trained in how to handle bats, so it is better to contact experts to remove it.”

Having a professional handle the bat is better for the bat. “Their wings are fragile and they can be hurt, so it’s always better to have an expert, a professional, come to your house and take care of it,” Dr. de Wit says.

Many species of bats are also federally protected. An expert will know how to identify the species and follow necessary laws.

If a person or pet makes contact with a bat, or wakes up with a bat in the room, be sure to contact your county health department right away for instructions on what to do.

For more information on what to do if you find  bats in your home, follow BCI’s online guide.