If the bat has an obvious injury, is bleeding, looks sick, or the animal is attempting to move away but is falling over or circling, this animal needs immediate help. Please review our Emergency Care information.
If the animal is not injured and you have a nuisance situation, or are looking for more information please review the following solutions.
Minnesota has seven species of bats, three of which roost in trees and migrate South during cold weather. The others roost in caves, abandoned mines and buildings, where they hibernate during the winter. In summer all species of bats eat flying insects on the wing at night and sleep in roosts during the day. Wing span ranges from eight inches to sixteen inches and all Minnesota bats weigh one ounce or less.
Bats are generally timid and do not attack people, but they may bite if handled. It is very important to protect yourself when you come into contact with a bat as they can carry rabies; wear thick gloves or use a cloth such as a towel when handling them. If you are bitten, please immediately contact the MN Department of Health or your doctor for more information on what you need to do.
A bat that is found on the ground outside is probably sick or injured, and may be captured by scooping it into a container like a box, a grocery bag or pail, and covering the top, still making sure the bat has oxygen.
A bat that is discovered inside a building may be shooed out an open door while flying or captured when roosting and placed outside.
If the bat had unprotected contact with you or another person, was in a room with a sleeping individual or in a room with an unsupervised child, it needs to be brought in for rabies testing.
Bats can make use of very small holes, but they do not chew or make their own openings. Excluding bats completely from a building may be accomplished by closing up openings in walls, eaves, and roofs after you are sure all of the bats are gone. This should not be done in the spring because newborn bats will be trapped. Bat exclusions should be performed ONLY during the months of August and September.
Never place a bat outside when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. During winter, bats in hibernation go for long periods without eating. The fat reserves they store prior to hibernation may be only slightly more than what is needed to survive the winter. Therefore, it is critical that a bat found in winter be transferred to a licensed rehabilitator or to a wildlife rehabilitation facility as soon as possible.
Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.