Just like you try to avoid wild animals, wild animals, such as bats, try to avoid you. If you come close to one of these nocturnal creatures in the daytime and they don’t fly away from you, it’s probably because the bat is ill or injured. Knowing what steps to take after finding a sick bat can help you to save the life of one of these important members of our ecosystem. As always, safety to the injured animal — as well as you and your family — should be the No. 1 priority.
Look for Signs of Rabies
Before getting any closer to a sick bat on your property, check for obvious warning signs of a rabies infection. Because they’re nocturnal, bats are typically afraid of humans and averse to daylight. If they show no fear of your presence and display overly aggressive behavior, they could be infected and should not be approached. Other symptoms to look for are confusion and disorientation. If a bat is struggling to fly but has no visible injuries, this could be another warning sign.
Secure the Area
The first step to take after finding a sick bat is preventing more harm to the animal. If you come across a bat in your backyard, put your cat, dog, or any other pet inside. Do not approach the bat if it is still active and flying around. Even if the bat is lying motionless, avoid getting any closer unless you’re wearing thick gloves and long sleeves. Due to the risk of rabies, you will want to prevent any possibility of being bitten. Instead of approaching the animal and putting yourself at risk, it’s always best to call a wildlife professional and have them safely assess the situation.
Check for a Colony
Bats often colonize in dark, quiet places. If your home has an attic or crawl space that the bats might be able to get into, there is a good chance you are dealing with more than just one. When a bat is sick, other bats will typically kick it out of their colony — which is a first sign of an infestation for many homeowners. If you do find that you have a bat colony in your home, it is important to close up all entry points to the house after the removal is complete. However, there are certain times of the year when exclusion or any type of bat infestation interference is strictly prohibited in Florida.
Call the Professionals
A protected animal in Florida, bats are tricky to deal with. They are also carriers of rabies and other illnesses transmittable to adults, children, and pets. You will want to stay as far from contact with these critters as possible. Luckily for Central Florida locals, Critter Control® of Orlando’s experienced wildlife removal experts are trained and licensed to handle any bat infestation within the legal limits. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home consultation.