While bats are overwhelmingly advantageous to our environment, they are the leading cause of rabies deaths in people throughout the United States. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that while only 19 cases of rabies were reported in the U.S. between 1997 and 2006, 17 were associated with bats, and three of those were unaware they had even come into contact with a bat.

While only 19 cases of rabies from bats during a nine-year period show that bat bites and rabies in bats are rare, it does occur. Knowing the facts about bats and rabies is important.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a serious virus spread through the saliva of infected animals, usually transmitted through a bite. Bat bites are not painful and may not even leave a mark. Should someone suspect having come into contact with a bat, such as if you wake up in the morning to find a bat in your room, contact medical authorities immediately to have yourself and the bat tested. It’s imperative to act right away because once a person shows signs of illness, rabies is almost always fatal.

About Bats and Rabies

Rabid bats have been discovered in 49 out of our 50 states. Only Hawaii is a rabies-free zone.

The only way to confirm if a bat has rabies is to test it in a lab. A rabies diagnosis cannot be determined by sight, but there are a few signs to look out for:

  • A bat that is active in the daytime
  • A bat that is found in an area not usual to their behavior, such as within your home or on your lawn
  • A bat that is unable to fly and is easily approached

You can’t get rabies by being near a bat. Rabies is almost always contracted by a bite. What does a bat bite look like? It will not look like the fang marks portrayed in vampire movies. Bat teeth are so small and sharp that a bite will most likely look like a pinprick if there is any mark at all.

Why Do Bats Bite?

Like most mammals, bats usually only bite in self-defense. But bats that have rabies can bite without being provoked.

Bats can get into your home in a few ways. One can fly in through an open window. Or, the more likely scenario is that you have bats roosting in your chimney, attic, or walls, and one found its way into the house. Even though you are not provoking the bat while you sleep, it can become disoriented, feel trapped and think it is acting in self-defense.

What To Do if a Bat Is in Your House

Any potential contact with a bat needs to be taken seriously. For instance, if you wake up to find a bat in your room, assume you’ve been bitten. When a bat is within your living space, call a professional wildlife specialist such as Critter Control to capture the bat to have it tested for rabies. If the bat is dead, wear gloves and place it in a bag or container and call your local public health department for instructions on what to do.

Critter Control will also be able to check your property to see if there are other bats roosting on your property. Some common places are attics, chimneys, roof eaves, behind shutters, or in sheds.

Will I Need the Rabies PEP Regimen?

Call your doctor and alert them to the bat exposure. Call your pediatrician should there be children in the house.

The administration of the rabies PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) regimen is generally deferred until after the results of the rabies test on the bat. Test results take one to two business days, and only 3%–4% of bats test positive.

When a bat is not available for testing, the rabies PEP should be administered.

Preventing Bat Bites

The best way to prevent bat bites is to keep them from roosting in your home:

  • Seal all gaps in your attic by going into your attic and looking for all the places where you can see daylight
  • Cover and screen all vents and your chimney
  • Seal any gaps in windows and repair torn screens

A wildlife expert, like the technicians at Critter Control, can help you each step of the way, from inspection to trapping.

Learn more about bat removal.

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Best Bat Removal

Anett B.
Brandon was out to please and make out lives easier with out bat situation. Above and beyond of the call of duty and got the job done. Thank you!
Celia G
Bat removal. Very knowledgeable and dedicated.
Emily G.
BAT POOP CLEAN-UP AND PREVENTION! Bat guano removed from gables. No bats found in attic, so put new screens on all gable vents, as one screen was close to breaking and then bats may have gotten in! Great work in Tulsa!
Jerry M.
Squirrels and chipmunks were in our attic. So we called Critter Control to do an inspection. Their representative climbed all over our very steep roof and found several places where squirrels had entered our attic.

Upon inspection of the attic, evidence of bats was also found. The Critter Control team came on time to completely caulk the entire perimeter of the house and create an exit strategy for the squirrels and bats.

Because bat droppings can cause histoplasmosis, this also required total removal and replacement of our attic insulation and sanitizing the space. Not a small job in a 1,300 sq. ft. attic! While Critter Control’s cost was high, our homeowners insurance covered most of it. Everyone representing Critter Control was professional, courteous and timely. I would highly recommend them to anyone who thinks they might have unwelcome guests living in their attic
Vincent S.
On recommendations from a nearby pest control company, I called Critter Control for suspicious bat droppings.

Madison came out the same day to do an inspection. She was knowledgeable, thorough, and highly professional. She examined the ‘matter’ that had been scattered on my threshold and thought it was foliage. But she then asked to go up to my attic space where the bats could be roosting. She had to walk up 3 flights of stairs with a heavy ladder. She again spent some time searching all the nooks and crannies and found nothing.

She seemed so interested in her craft, it was truly inspiring to see! She reassured me and is writing up a prevention strategy for my appraisal. She charged me NOTHING!! I am so impressed. We need more Madisons in this world!

Service: Bat Removal
Sonia-Maria R.
We noticed droppings on our brand new deck - we were given their number from our contractor. They came the next day. Brian looked at it and said - yeah, bats!! He then checked every area in our attic and he explained exactly what needed to be done.

He found evidence of a mice infestation, provided a referral and they are helping us as well. Great service, very informative, very professional! We are very satisfied and would recommend them to anyone who has any issues with any critters!


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