What should I do with a bat after I catch it in my house?

Virginia bats are carriers of the rabies virus, so if you happen to catch one with your hands, be aware that the bat could get aggressive, biting you in the process. Wear thick clothing and gloves. You cannot keep a bat in a cage because this would be illegal and inhumane as the bat may eventually die in your custody, from exhaustion, starvation or even physical damage to its fragile body from trying to escape. Having caught a bat, your only option would be to release it outside, immediately. If you are gentle enough and the bat is not aggressive, you can find a tree on which to place it. However, this would prove to be a futile option as more than likely, the bat would use its honing skills and find its way right back, inside your home.

To contain the creature, you would want to place it in a cardboard box with a lid and a couple holes so that oxygen can enter. If you do not want to release it close to your home, you would need to drive for more than 500 miles, the further the better. You can also call the local wildlife authority who may collect it from you. You cannot keep a bat for very long because their metabolisms are very high, so they tend to use up their stored energy very quickly. Bats would feed on almost 3,000 insects in one night. In winter, when there are not a large population of insects, bats would hibernate so that they can reserve their energy for a longer time. When the environment gets a little warmer, they would venture out again, to forage for food.

Not all Fairfax County bats carry the rabies virus though. If they did, they would usually search out a corner in which to die rather than search out a human or animal to attack. They do help with eating up all your bugs and insects in your garden though and the especially love eating insects when it is in its aquatic life cycle stage. Some bats even eat frogs, fruits and pollen. If you have animals around though, be wary of bats because some feed on the blood of cattle and deer. However, all animal excrete waste and bat droppings in your home is unhealthy so do not keep a bat in your possession for very long.

If you catch the Fairfax County bat, you need to blind it immediately so that it does not try to attack you, drape a sheet or towel over it so that it cannot see anything. The darkness may even calm it for a bit until you can take it somewhere to release it. In the meantime, you should try to figure out the entry point/s the bat used to enter your home. You would need to have these sealed so that the bat cannot reenter. Even though bats have wings, their bodies are very tiny, allowing them to squeeze through very small holes. Wherever you see light coming through, have the area sealed.

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