Bats can carry rabies. This is the case with most mammals. But did you know that bats are the most common rabies vector species in North America? That is, most of the documented cases of rabies transmission in the U.S. from approximately 1957 to 2007 were due to infection by bats. Although the number is low, it is actually higher than cases of rabies transmitted by raccoons, skunks or even dogs. This is most likely because dogs are highly vaccinated against this disease. And when people come into contact with a rabid raccoon, skunk, or other wildlife, they are likely to recognize the signs. Bat bites, however, are more likely to go undetected. Although relatively rare, bats are known to bite people without them knowing that it happened. A bat bite can be very small and unnoticeable and, if a bat enters a living space where people are sleeping, a person can be bitten and not even know it. More prevalent are cases where a person attempts to handle or pick up a rabid bat, and then gets bitten.
Now, while most bats do not carry the rabies virus, it is not possible to tell if a bat is rabid just by looking at it. Rabies in a bat can only be confirmed by lab testing. But, be aware that, any bat that is either active during the daytime, or is found in a place where bats are not usually seen, such as inside your home or on your property, may be infected. Also, a bat that is not able to fly and doesn't try to get away when approached also may be sick with the virus.
Dangers Of Bats Even If They Aren't Rabid
If a bat gets into a home and they aren't rabid, there is still the danger of being bitten, especially if a person decides to take it into their own hands to chase the bat out. Any wild creature, if it is threatened or cornered, will protect itself. And since it is not possible to know for sure whether a bat is or is not rabid, it is NEVER a good idea to try to get rid of a bat on your own. It is best to contact a professional.
If you need help with the humane removal of one or more bats from your property, simply give Big Blue Bug Solutions a call. Our trained wildlife control professionals will take care of your bat problem in no time at all.