Need help with a bat?

If you need assistance with a bat, please don’t hesitate to phone the Herts & Middx Bat Group bat helpline on 07517 123 200 or if that is unavailable please call the BCT helpline on 0345 1300 228.

Handling Bats

Bats are very placid and shy animals. However, any stressed, threatened or injured wild animal will defend itself and might be a bit grumpy (as we would be!) so please take the following precautions before handling a bat to avoid injury. Always wear gloves if you need to pick up an injured bat. Sometimes it is easier to lift the bat by using a tea towel or soft cloth gently placed over the bat. Bats have a very strong grip so very gently pursuade the bat to release it’s toes by giving it a very gently wiggle.


Baby Soprano pipistrelle that will be hand-reared and released back into the wild


Grounded Bats

Healthy bats can usually take off from the ground, so if you see one on the floor or in an exposed place, it will most likely need your help.

Place a soft cloth or some kitchen paper into a small, secure box or pet carrier (with small air holes – similar used for small mammals and reptiles). Place the bat inside (as described below), and put the lid securely on. Provide a small dish of water – no bigger than a plastic milk bottle lid – for the bat to drink from. Keep the box in a warm, safe and quiet place until one of the group’s bat rescuers arrives.


Injured Bats

Bats can recover from small wing tears and minor injuries but need specialist treatment.

Many injuries are caused by domestic cats. Bacteria from a cat’s claw can cause fatal infections so even tiny wounds need antibiotic treatment as soon as possible. It is best not to leave the bat for a few days to see how it does as sadly this will give the bacteria more time to spread and kill the bat.


Roosting Brown long-eared bats


Do you have a bat flying in your house?

Bats are excellent flyers but occasionally take a wrong turn! A flying bat in a house is looking for a way out.

If it is dark, open any doors and windows as widely as possible. Tie up curtains to make a clear exit. Turn off the lights and close the door to the room where the bat is. You will have to wait a while, but the bat should fly out of it’s own accord.

Never try to catch a flying bat. It is likely to become injured in the attempt to catch it.


Not found the information you were looking for?

In addition to the notes above further detailed information is available on the Bat Conservation Trust’s website: