If a bat makes its way into your living area, it is most likely a confused juvenile who went the wrong way. It wants to get out of your house just as much as you want it to! First, do not panic. A bat flying around your home will not attack you. Waving your arms (or any other object) in the air will only make the situation worse. Confine the bat to one room, open all the windows, and dim the lights. The bat most often will detect the change in air current, and leave through the window. We suggest that you remain quietly in the corner of the room to make sure the bat leaves. Bats will sometimes seek refuge behind furniture, where it is dark and quiet, causing you to mistakenly think the bat has exited the house.
If the bat lands on a wall or floor and you are wearing protective gloves, you may attempt to cover the bat with a large coffee can or bucket, then gently slide cardboard underneath. You can then release the bat outside.
IMPORTANT: Despite the misinformation persistently provided by the media and other sources, bats flying in the living space do not cause a potential rabies exposure and should not be trapped and euthanized for testing. If you were bitten or scratched by the bat, clean the wound with soap and water, and go to the hospital immediately for post-exposure rabies vaccines. Only in this case should bats be captured and given to the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services Rabies Laboratory for testing.
A grounded bat is likely injured or sick, and in rare cases may be rabid. Grounded bats found in mid-June are usually orphaned pups in need of care. If you feel comfortable in doing so and are wearing protective gloves, you may place the bat in a can or cardboard box along with a towel or old t-shirt. For immediate assistance, contact the NJ Bat Sanctuary at 908-200-1040.