If you encounter a bat in your home, think
carefully before you
release it outdoors.
The bat might
have exposed a person or pet to rabies, and might need
to be tested. Please read this page carefully. This
information is also available in the form of a
Have an encounter with a bat in LA County?
Call Veterinary Public Health for a rabies exposure consultation - 213-288-7060
Did you see the bat enter your home?
This is a higher-risk situation.
Los Angeles County residents should contact public
health for rabies exposure consultation at 213-288-7060
(Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm). Be prepared to discuss the following
questions with Public Health to determine if rabies
exposure may have occurred:
Did the bat have
access to a room in where someone was
Are there any small
children present or other individuals
who may not be able to communicate
whether or not they’ve handled the bat?
Is there any way
someone in your house could have been in
contact with the bat or exposed to
Do you have pets that
may have come in contact with the bat?
If there is any chance someone could
have come in direct contact with the bat, the bat needs
to be captured and submitted for rabies testing. Call
local animal control for assistance. If you can do
so, try to
safely capture and contain the bat (see
below) right away to prevent it from landing on people
or pets. If the test results are positive, anyone who
may have come in contact with the bat will need
If you saw the bat fly in and are
that it did not have the opportunity come in contact
with any people or pets, you can trap the bat in one
room, close the doors, and open all windows to provide
it with a chance to escape. If it does not leave call
local animal control for assistance or refer to the
"How to safely capture a bat in your home"
section below A bat bite is
very small and can easily go unnoticed (especially if
the victim is asleep), so please consider the situation
carefully and call public health if there is any
HOW TO SAFELY CAPTURE A BAT IN YOUR HOME
Move children, incapacitated
adults, and pets away from the bat.
Close all doors to
trap it in one room.
Put on leather work
Find a solid container
such as coffee can, cardboard box, or
plastic container, a piece of cardboard
large enough to cover the opening, and
tape to later seal the cardboard to the
container. Punch small air holes in the
cardboard. If the bat is on the floor,
simply place your container over it,
then slide the cardboard carefully
underneath. If the bat is on a wall,
gently place the container over the bat
and carefully slide a piece of cardboard
between the container and the wall to
isolate the bat. Tape the cardboard
snugly to the container. Place in a
quiet shaded place, far from people and
If there was any
possibility the bat had direct contact
with a person or pet, contact your local
animal control (link to animal control)
to arrange rabies testing.
If the bat escapes or
is not tested for any reason, contact
public health for a consultation on
rabies 213-288-7060 Monday to Friday
If you are certain that there is no possibility of
rabies exposure and that the bat did not come into
contact with any people or any pets, Wait until after
night falls to complete the release. Bats tend to have
more difficulty taking flight off the ground, so try to
release the bat onto an elevated surface. You can
release the bat by holding up the container, slowly
lifting the lid, and slightly tilting the cardboard.
Alternatively, you could also hold the container next to
a tree or wall when you lift it, allowing the bat to
cling onto a high surface.