The main concern the majority of people express when it comes to bats is that they are carriers of rabies and they can infect us with this dangerous and fatal virus. It is true that bats can get rabies like the majority of mammals. But it is actually true that less than 1% of bats do contract rabies. People can't get rabies from bats unless a rabid bat actually bites them, or if its saliva gets into your mouth, nose or eyes. In these cases, it is important to seek medical help right away to get a vaccine against rabies.
How can you know that the bat you have encountered is sick? What is unusual behavior that can alarm you of a sick bat? Well, basically, you can consider that the bat is sick if it is acting unusually. Unusual behavior for a bat includes the animal trying to get close to you or a bat that is acting aggressive, actually trying to bite you. Avoid such a bat at any cost; don't try to capture it but instead try to get away from it right away and inform a wildlife rehabilitator about it.
You can suspect a bat to be sick if it doesn't try to fly away once you exclude it from your home. If you have successfully captured a bat and got it outside of your home (with thick gloves or a towel) and it doesn't try to fly away even after 5-10 minutes, it is very likely that it is sick or injured. Bats are generally flying animals, so if you have encountered one that is shaking and stays on the ground, this is probably a sick bat and the best thing to do is to contact a wildlife rehabilitator to take care of it.
Of course, not all bats that are found on the ground are sick. There are certain species that spend some time crawling on the ground instead of flying. Make sure that the bat you have found isn't that species. It is also possible that the bat is simply very tired and needs to rest in one spot before flying away. If you are unsure whether this is the case with the bat that you have found, it is always a good idea to contact a wildlife rehabilitator to come to assess the bat's condition and decide what steps need to be taken.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Bats page or email us if you have any other questions about What are some of the symptoms of a sick bat?
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.