Bats in Homes

Rabies is a deadly disease cause by a virus that attacks the central nervous system. Humans contract the virus from the bite or scratch of an infected animal. It is almost always fatal, so immediate medical treatment is vital to stop the infection and prevent the disease. 

Bats flying outdoors at night pose little threat to humans. A bat that is active during the day, flopping around on the ground or is found in a place where bats are usually not seen, such as a house, should be avoided. Never purposely touch a bat.

A bat hanging on a curtain.

Steps to Take if a Bat is in Your Home

  • Leave the area the bat is in. If in a room with a door, shut the bat in the room.
  • Remove any people or pets from the room/area, especially babies and/or sleeping people.
  • If available, put towels or blankets under the door.
  • Contact your local authorities by dialing the following, the Animal Control Warden on duty will assess your bat complaint, they will help you determine how to respond to the situation, call 24/7:

    • Bloomington: Dial (309) 820-8888.
    • Normal: Dial (309) 888-5030.
    • County: Dial (309) 888-5030.
  • Never purposely touch a bat.

Rabies Safety Tips

  • Never approach stray or wild animals, even if they seem friendly. Reinforce this message with children.
  • Report strangely behaving stray or wild animals.
  • Call your physician or dial 9-1-1 (emergency only) if you are scratched or bitten by a stray or wild animal.
  • Exercise extreme caution if you see a nocturnal animal, such as a skunk or bat, outside during daylight hours.
  • Keep dog and cat rabies vaccinations up to date.
  • Call your veterinarian if your pet appears to have been scratched or bitten.
  • Let stray or wild animals that roam onto your property wander away on their own. Bring children and pets inside.
  • Block sites around your house that wild animals may use for sleeping or raising young.
  • Remove sources of food from the outside of your home by capping garbage cans, feeding pets indoors, and limiting access to your garden.
  • If bats are a reoccurring problem in your home, talk with someone about "bat proofing."

Bat & Rabies Resources

Illinois Department of Public Health's Bat Information Page

Bat Exclusion Contractor Information from the Department of Natural Resources

Rabies Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention