How to Identify a Rabid Bat

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Bats are interesting and glorious creatures that will usually mind their own business and leave you alone. Unless, of course, they are rabid. You can identify a rabid bat with a few simple tips.

  • Look for bats that are active in the daytime, as healthy bats are strictly nocturnal creatures.

  • Be wary of bats acting out of the norm. Those that flit about in circles on the ground fall from their tree branch perches or smash into walls or tree trunks are most likely rabid.

  • Be even warier of bats that are unable to fly at all but don't appear to have broken wings or other injuries. This is a prime rabies indication.

  • See if any bats are in places they are not usually found, such as in the middle of the park at noon, in your front yard or even in your living room. Rabid bats get confused and will fall into situations they normally avoid.

  • Steer clear of any bats that do not seem to care if you approach them. Rabid bats are confused enough they will simply sit there and let you come near. Don’t.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you run across a rabid bat, immediately call animal control to come get rid of it.
  • If the rabid bat is in your home, you can very carefully trap it in an overturned bucket while you wait for animal control to arrive.
  • Never touch a rabid bat.

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  • Photo Credit Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski
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