What To Do if You Find a Bat Indoors

Safety Alert: Never touch a bat with your bare hands. Bats are wild animals and should be treated with great care. Never attempt to feed, treat, or wash an injured bat.

Bat Conservancy of Coastal California (BCCC) is not advising anyone to try to capture bats themselves. You can call the BCCC Bat Hotline at 408-647-7228 anytime for assistance with a bat.

If you find a bat in a house or building:

  1. Close all doors that lead to other rooms in the building.
  2. Open all windows and doors to the outside.
  3. Turn off any lights.
  4. Leave the room.
  5. Leave the windows and doors open to the outside through dusk when the bat would normally fly out to go hunting.

It is always better to use the above procedure to get a bat out of a building. However, in some instances (such as if a bat is injured or dehydrated) this does not work, and the bat must be removed.

If you are unable to use the method provided above or cannot wait for a BCCC representative due to urgent public safety concerns, 

Close all doors that lead to other rooms in the building and put on thick gloves.

If the bat is on a flat surface:

  1. Get a box or tupperware container and make small holes in the lid.
  2. Place the box or container over the bat, being careful not to crush its back or wings.
  3. Slide a flat piece of stiff material, such as a manila folder gently under the box or tupperware and turn it right side up.
  4. Close the box or container, preferably putting a small towel or rag in the container for the bat to hang on to.
  5. Call the Bat Conservancy of Coastal California Hotline at 408-647-7228.

If the bat is not on a flat surface or is flying around:

  1. Wait until the bat lands.
  2. If you cannot place a box over the bat, get a light rag or small towel (heavy towels can break their wings or back) and gently scoop or grab the bat with the towel and place it in a box or container with air holes.
  3. Call the Bat Conservancy of Coastal California Hotline at 408-647-7228.