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OMG bat!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So I woke up after falling asleep on the couch (too hot upstairs!) to hear my cats yowling. I look up, and see a flitting object moving around my ceiling.

At which point I turn into a three year old, start screaming, and run into the other room, and cower for a few minutes.

I would have been content to stay behind doors, and figure it out in the morning - but my cats are out there, and they've managed to catch and kill a bat before when I was sleeping in my room (wonderful thing to wake up to....)

Long story short, I managed to catch it, and get it outside. And now I'm jumping around on 'bat in house' websites, who say that if a bat is in the room with a sleeping adult, you should assume that the adult has been bitten and seek rabies treatment.

Is this paranoid? most of my body was covered, I have no wounds, I woke up because I had to pee, not because I felt something bite me (and of course, when I captured the bat/released it outside, I didn't come into contact with it).

So should I follow the advise of the website and go get treatment for rabies, or is that over the top? (I've checked all my cats, too, just in case, and none of them appear to have any wounds).

...and I've gotta figure out how I'm going to go back to sleep. mgh.
post #2 of 17
Jiminy Christmas! How did it get in? I'd be swaddling my whole house in duct tape right now...

In the morning, you can call animal control and see if they know of any cases of rabies in area wildlife lately. If they don't, you can breathe a little easier, anyway.

If I were you, I'd ask someone you trust to look you over very carefully, including your scalp, searching for any tiny wounds you might not be able to see yourself. And I'd call the vet in the morning and see what he advises about the cats.

Thing is...if I understand it correctly, a rabid animal's saliva is also lethal if ingested, so if the bat drooled on anything your cats might have come into contact with or licked... sheesh, I hate to think. This is scary!
post #3 of 17
Aw, I'm so glad you didn't kill it!

I think the "assume you have been bitten" is way alarmist and written by people ignorant of bats. The bat is most likely NOT rabid, and unless it's a vampire bat, it had no desire to bite you. You aren't a mosquito and healthy bats don't attack people (and don't get caught in their hair). It was flying around irratically because 1) that's how they fly, and 2) it was terrified.

If you had found it on the ground, then I would say you have cause to worry. A sick bat is a dangerous and possible rabid bat. About six people a year in the U.S. die from contact with rabid bats, and that is because they picked them up off the ground! That's a lot less than how many people die of rabid dog bites.

We used to have bats all the time where I worked in Austin, and we had a designated "bat guy" who would catch them and release them. It was never a problem. We even had a bat house for the little guys in our yard. Never a problem.

Call your doctor in the morning if you are concerned, but in the meantime, stay off of the internet and get some sleep. Really, relax.

http://www.batcon.org/home/default.asp
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Aw, I'm so glad you didn't kill it!

I think the "assume you have been bitten" is way alarmist and written by people ignorant of bats. The bat is most likely NOT rabid, and unless it's a vampire bat, it had no desire to bite you. You aren't a mosquito and healthy bats don't attack people (and don't get caught in their hair). It was flying around irratically because 1) that's how they fly, and 2) it was terrified.

If you had found it on the ground, then I would say you have cause to worry. A sick bat is a dangerous and possible rabid bat. About six people a year in the U.S. die from contact with rabid bats, and that is because they picked them up off the ground! That's a lot less than how many people die of rabid dog bites.

We used to have bats all the time where I worked in Austin, and we had a designated "bat guy" who would catch them and release them. It was never a problem. We even had a bat house for the little guys in our yard. Never a problem.

Call your doctor in the morning if you are concerned, but in the meantime, stay off of the internet and get some sleep. Really, relax.

http://www.batcon.org/home/default.asp


couldnt have said it better!!!
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I managed to get back to sleep... (okay, after I wrapped up in a sheet so the only exposed body part was my mouth )

And I feel a lot better about it this morning. *sheepish grin*. Thanks for the advise!
post #6 of 17
Yeah I agree with Swamp - a sick bat is "grounded" and a danger. Bats don't attack humans (other then the vampire bat and they prefer animals first, people second).

We had 2 bat cases in our house growing up. One was a little brown bat that decided to sleep in a attic window and we had to open the outside of the window and chase him out.

The other was a "grounded" bat on the sidewalk. I remember me wanting to go see it up close, but my dad warned me to stay away from it - "a sick bat will be grounded" - he took a broom and pushed it down the storm drain so no one could get to it.
post #7 of 17
Considering that vampire bats are not found north of the Mexican border, you can quit worrying about THAT. This particular bat would only have bitten in self-defense and it doesn't appear that anyone got close enough for that.

You may want to keep and eye out for fleas, though. In some species, bat fleas can carry bubonic plague.
post #8 of 17
I definitely would be cautious and see a doctor to have them check you over for any signs of bites/etc. We have had several cases of rabid bats near our area (i work for animal control) so i'm always a little cautious on that topic. That being said however, call your local AC office in your area and just see if they've even had any reported cases of rabid bats or not. Some areas don't have as much of a problem with them as others -so your chances are probably quite small. If there are no reported cases, i would not worry too much. Bats are usually nice animals who do not try and mess with people, let alone attack them. They unfortunately however seem to get bad names/etc from the media/etc. They are normally just beautiful, peaceful animals that keep to themselves and their friends. That being said however, if the bat did have rabies- it would have been acting irradically and avoiding water, etc. I would check your furbabies over very well for any marks on them just to be safe. I doubt ya'll were bit though- it's most likely the little thing wound up in your home somehow and was just as alarmed to see you as you were to see it.
post #9 of 17
Just last week there was a dead bat on my driveway. I scooped it up with a shovel and got it into a plastic bag and into garbage can with no contact. Last yr we had two dead bats in the driveway and one touched a part my my finger while scooping up and I freaked out over it badly.
post #10 of 17
I'm laughing right now at the above "vampire bat" comment.


I would have freaked out like a three year old too..how the heck does a bat get in the house!!???

Ahhh!!!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I would have freaked out like a three year old too..how the heck does a bat get in the house!!???
I have a hundred year old house that I'm in the process of renovating.. there are unfilled nooks and crannies everywhere (you should see my heating bills!).

I just called animal control, and they've had reports of bats with rabies in the area - but they've also had a lot of bats turned in, so this isn't exactly uncommon. He said, however, that cats don't get rabies from being bitten by bats (?), but get it from biting the bats. And I'm pretty sure the cats didn't manage to do that. However, he suggested getting them vaccinated for rabies, anyway, as I guess a lot of indoor cats have come into contact with bats.

Six out of my Nine cats have been vaccinated (the ones that haven't just came of age to be able to be), and they were hiding rather than jumping at the bat, so I think I'm covered. But now I'm trying to decide if I see a bat again, whether to capture/kill it to have it tested for rabies, or just shoo it out like I did this time?
post #12 of 17
I guess this is going around!! We woke up Saturday night to a bat flying around our bedroom. I probably wouldn't have even known if the kitties hadn't been bounding around trying to catch it...good luck with our 11 ft ceilings...

DH was able to smack it silly with the broom, dump it in a kitty litter tub and release it outside...flew away just fine.

We also have a very old house we're renovating...there's no way to keep them out entirely, I'm just not used to them coming in here...usually they're in the cellar or attic crawlspace...some day we'll be bat free...

It was a nasty scary way to wake up, but I'm not at all worried that anyone was bitten, the poor thing never came near us, just flew around in circles.
post #13 of 17
If I were you I'd check to make sure there are no other bats in the house. Their stool is really bad for your eyes. :tongue1:
post #14 of 17
See, I lived in Austin, too, and I knew about the bats under the bridge downtown... and I stayed faaaaar, faaaaaaaaar away from them!

Anyway, I'm very glad to learn that everything is probably all right. But I persist in my conviction that all bats are lethal... because if nothing else, they can scare you to death! I can deal with snakes and other reptiles just fine, but bats are the most evil-looking things -- even spiders don't horrify me like bats do!

But I wouldn't have killed it, either. Partly out of mercy, and partly out of stark raving terror of getting anywhere near the thing!

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
...but bats are the most evil-looking things...
Aw, tell that to this little guy.

post #16 of 17
I just realized I should give credit where it's due for the bat picture! Sorry about that. It's from here:

http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/tropbiol/postgrad/fox_s/
post #17 of 17
Nice try, SW, but... eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!

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