Warning: If you touch a bat
An injury from a bat can go unnoticed, which is why any person who touched or was touched by a bat must:
Immediately wash exposed skin with soap and water for 15 minutes.
Contact their provincial health line where a specialist will determine if a rabies vaccine is required: Quebec: Info-Santé at 8-1-1
If possible, safely trap the bat (see procedure below). The Info-Santé agent will explain how to have the bat tested.
If your pet comes into contact with a bat, contact your veterinarian.
If there has been no physical contact with the bat, simply do the following:
In summer (April to October)
Confine the bat to a single room by closing the door(s) to the room.
Open the windows, remove the screens and turn off the lights in the room.
Leave the room, closing the door behind you. In most cases, the bat will detect the draft of fresh air and leave the house on its own. If it does not leave, wait for it to settle down and capture it using the protocol described below, then keep it contained in a box.
If no one (human or pet) has come into contact with the bat, release it outside, ensuring that no person or animal is able to touch it.
If possible, place the box at the base of a tree, open it carefully and move away. Wait 24 hours, then check to see if the bat is still in the box. It is important to wait at least 24 hours because bats are able to lower their body temperatures and enter a state called torpor, where the bat may appear to be dead even if it is alive.
After 24 hours, if the bat is still in the box and has not moved, refer to the section entitled “If you find an injured, dying or dead bat” and contact the appropriate agency (see below).
In winter (November to March)
If you find an active bat during the winter, it is because it has woken up from hibernation. It requires a lot of energy for a bat to awaken from hibernation; therefore, it will be in a very fragile state. The instructions for capturing a bat (provided below) must be followed. It is abnormal for bats to fly around in the daytime in the middle of winter. This is a potential sign that the bat is infected with white-nose syndrome (WNS).
If a bat is found in the winter or is found injured, dying or dead, please follow the instructions below.
In Canada, any bat that is found in the winter or that is found ill or dead must be reported to the appropriate organization:
Quebec residents: Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) at 1-877-346-6763
How to safely capture a bat
- If you must move or handle a bat, wear thick gloves.
- You will need a container (e.g. a yogurt container) and a sheet of rigid cardboard. Cover the bat with the container and slide the cardboard across the mouth of the container in order to close it off.
- Ensure that air can get into the container, and place the container in a box.
- Place the box in a dark, quiet area.
- Disinfect your gloves. Once you have removed your gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Depending on the circumstances, see the instructions below to determine whom you should contact.
Preventing bats from entering your home
- Try to find the opening(s) where the bats entered the house.
- Apply caulking to the points of entry.
- Ensure that your windows and doors are properly equipped with screens.
- Cover exterior openings with a screen.
Chauves-souris aux abris. Quoi faire si vous trouvez une chauves-souris dans votre maison? [en ligne]. http://chauve-souris.ca/sortir-une-chauve-souris-de-la-maison %5Bpage consultée le 22 novembre 2017].
Crédit photo: Yves Déry, petite chauve-souris brune