FAQ

This is a new page and we are adding FAQs as we go along. If you have a question which you think should be a FAQ, please email us and we will try to include it

I find a bat flying in my living room. What should I do?
Don’t panic – just close the doors, open the window and let it fly out. Don’t try and throw a towel over the bat to put it outside as this will injure it – bats have a sophisticated echolocation system that will help it find the open window. If in doubt, or if bats are frequently appearing in your house, phone the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 or use their Contact page

I have found uninjured bat which seems unable to fly. What should I do?
If you are in West Yorkshire call the Bat Conservation Trust Helpline on 0345 1300 228 or use their contact page. If there are cats around or the bat is in further danger, wear gloves and place the bat in a cardboard box with a tissue or a piece of cloth in one corner and a shallow lid with water (e.g. the foil top from a milk bottle) so the bat can drink. Punch small holes in the lid to allow air into the box, and keep it in a warm place until help comes.

I have found a dead bat. What should I do with it?
Only handle the bat with gloves. All dead bats that are found by members of the public are sent for analysis as part of a passive surveillance programme for rabies. Call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 or use their Contact page. They will either send a bat worker to collect the bat, or will send you a pack so that the bat can be sent to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency for analysis

I suspect a roost is being damaged or bats are being disturbed. What should I do?
Damage, destruction and obstruction of roosts and disturbance of bats are criminal offences. You should contact your local police station and explain that you think a wildlife crime is being committed. Make sure you get a crime reference number. For more information contact the National Bat Helpline or phone them on 0345 1300 228.

I’ve found bats in my roof/under the eaves, what should I do?
If you would like any information or advice, contact the National Bat Helpline or call them on 0345 1300 228 . They will be able to identify the number and species of bats in your roost, as well as helping with any questions or concerns you may have.

I’ve found bats in my roof and want to undertake building work or timber treatment, what should I do?
Firstly, you need to contact National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228, who will send around a volunteer to check whether your roof is currently being used by bats. They will then advise you of the best time of year to have the work carried out, so as to cause minimal disturbance to the bats.

If I have a roost in my house, will I be overrun with bats in a few years?
The short answer is ‘no’. Female bats only have one baby per year and most bats are seasonal visitors to roosts and are not present all year round.

Do bats chew wires, roof felt etc? Do bats damage property?
No. Bats are not rodents and do not gnaw at wood, wires or insulation. They do not build nests, and do not bring any bedding material into the roost.

Can I catch rabies from a bat?
The chances of catching rabies from a bat are very slim. Only six cases of rabies in British bats have been recorded since 1986, and these have all been found in one species which rarely roosts in houses and is extremely unlikely to come into contact with humans. You are only at risk if you are bitten by a bat – if you do not come into physical contact with a bat you are not at risk. If you do have to handle a bat then wear gloves to minimise any risk.

What should I do if I am bitten by a bat?
If you are bitten by a bat then you should wash the wound immediately with soap and water for at least 5 minutes. Do not harm or kill the bat, but contain it in a tightly sealed cardboard box with air holes, a cloth or tissue and a shallow tray such as a milk-bottle lid with water, so that it can be assessed by a bat worker. See your GP as soon as possible for advice and to obtain a post-exposure injection.

How can I attract bats to my garden?
The Bat Conservation Trust has published a leaflet on how to encourage bats in the garden. You can download it here. Enter the key word ‘encouraging’ into the search box. The BCT have many publications which you can obtain online.

Where can I obtain a bat box?
You can make your own, or you can buy them from various suppliers. Enter the words bat box into the search box at the BCT publications page. There are leaflets on making bat boxes and a leaflet ‘Bat boxes – your questions answered’ which gives information on where to site a box, how long it will take for bats to use it and a list of suppliers,

Where should I put a bat box?
Bat boxes should be placed as high up as is safe to do so to minimise any risk to bats from cats or humans. If placing the box in a public place consider the risk of vandalism. Ideally a cluster of two or three boxes is best, facing in different directions to provide a range of temperature conditions. For further information on the best place to position your bat box see the leaflet ‘Bat Boxes – your questions answered’ available from the link in the previous question.

We would like someone to give a talk about bats to our organisation – how do we go about this?
Email us here if you are in West Yorkshire. Otherwise contact your local Bat Group. Information on local Bat Groups is available from BCT.

Which is the commonest bat in Britain?
The common pipistrelle is the most common species of bat in Britain. The common and soprano pipistrelles are those most commonly found roosting in houses, and foraging in gardens.

Do bats fly into your hair/get entangled in our hair?
This is highly unlikely and it has tobe said film makers have been rather economical with the truth on ths one. Bats have a very sophisticated echolocation system that allows them to manoeuvre around woodland and other dense foliage in the dark, as expertly shown at Fountains Abbey here

How can I find out more about bats?

Join your local bat group (see BCTs website for a list)
Join us if you are in West Yorkshire
Browse the BCTs website

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