I Found a Bat in my Home! What Do I Do?

Always wear gloves when handling a bat.
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Rita Dixon

They come out after sunset in the summertime, swooping through the backyard hunting for moths, flies, beetles, spiders, crickets, and other insects. That is all okay. But what if you find a bat trapped inside your home? First, stay calm.

Many people assume that bats “carry” rabies, that is, spreading the disease without ever becoming sick themselves. However, although bats can transmit rabies if infected (typically through a bite), only about one-tenth of one percent of bats ever contract the disease and when they do, they eventually become sick and die. But that doesn’t mean you should handle a bat carelessly.

The most important thing is to keep both you and the bat safe because bats are a valuable part of our environment and are legally protected in Idaho. Bats provide free pest control by consuming the insects that damage crops, saving US farmers over 3 billion dollars annually. A single individual of the bat species known as Little Brown Myotis can consume up to 600 mosquito-sized insects per hour!

So what to do about that bat in your home? Idaho Fish and Game has produced a short video that explains in quick precise steps how to safely remove the bat in a manner that will protect both you and the bat. Watch: