Frequent Batty Questions

There is a bat in my house, what should I do?
Start by not panicking. If a bat is in your home or building it is probably because they got lost. Try opening a window or door and letting them fly out. Here is some additional information and an excellent video presentation by BCI  Direct link – Bat Removal Video

Do all bats drink blood?
No, there are only three species of vampire bats and they live in South and Central America. They are timid creatures preferring to sneak up on sleeping animals for meals. Interestingly they are of value to medical science. Their saliva contains a substance called draculin which prevents blood from clotting. The remaining 1000 or so species of bats eat bugs, fruit, nectar, fish, frogs etc…

Won’t bats attack you if you get too close?
Generally no, bats are not aggressive by nature and unless you are threatening them they won’t act aggressively toward you. Most bats are quite timid and prefer to avoid people. However, having worked directly with bats they are not like rodents, they have very distinct personalities and to me act more like puppies. That said NEVER PICKUP OR TRY TO HANDLE WILD BATS. Wild bats are just that, wild. They are not domestic and have no desire to be handled by humans.

How can you say bats don’t attack people?  When I was young a bat attacked me one night while I was walking along the woods. It tore a gash in my head…
That was an owl.  You’ll never hear one coming. They are very protective of their turf and nests. I will likely never convince anyone that thinks they were attacked by a bat otherwise. I’ve seen many of these guys up close and personalities aside, they just don’t have claws and teeth to do the kind of damage you and others describe. Owls on the otherhand, are active at night and will tear your head open in seconds if they decide to do so. Fortunately, that is generally not the case.

I found a bat in my home, trapped it carefully and put it outside on the ground in a large clothes hamper to help protect it. The next morning it was still there…
Most bat species cannot take flight from the ground. They must be able to drop a few feet to catch air. This is one reason bats will frantically fly around when trapped in a building. They know if they end up on the floor they will be unable to fly again and escape. In the case of your bat, he was probably a juvenile that wandered into the wrong place. Once in the bottom of the hamper he was unable to climb the sides to get high enough to fly.