What To Do if You Find a Bat

In general, it is an offence for anyone other than a licensed bat specialist to handle bats. If you discover a stray bat, if possible, leave it to find its own way out.

Helping an unexpected visitor

If you do discover a stray bat, the first and best course of action is to leave the bat alone and let it find its own way out. You can help by turning off lights, shutting doors, opening windows and pulling back curtains and blinds.

If you end up needing to move the bat, please follow the Bat Conservation Trust advice or call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228. Make sure you wear thick protective gloves and take care not to harm the bat.

A very small number of bats in the UK carry rabies viruses called European Bat Lyssaviruses (EBLV). These rabies viruses are not the same as those associated with dogs; and bats are not normally aggressive and will avoid contact with people. There is no risk of EBLV if you do not handle bats.

If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, you should immediately wash the wound with soap and water and seek medical advice about whether you need further treatment.

Public Health England’s leaflet Bat Contact and Rabies Risks provides more information. If you can, show this leaflet to your health professional.

Reducing future visits

Bats are more likely to enter a room through open windows or doors at night when following insects attracted by a light. They may also enter an open window by mistake if it's close to their roosting entrance. You may be able to stop or reduce future incursions by keeping windows closed at dusk, especially near a roosting area or pinning a net curtain inside the window frame if you want to keep the window open.

If bats are finding their way into rooms through internal gaps such as holes in the inner wall, window frames, the chimney, under skirting boards, around water pipes, or behind panelling, seek advice about possible solutions and associated licence requirements. Remember that airflow through a building is also important to its conservation.