- Assistance on capturing bats
State Rabies Laboratory
- Having analyzed for rabies
Division of Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology
Bats have an important role in ecosystems around the globe. They eat insects and agricultural pests, but they also can carry rabies. Rabies can only be confirmed through laboratory testing.
Bats have small teeth and bites may not be easily seen, therefore people do not always know if they have been bitten by a bat. If you wake up to find a bat in your room, see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, seek medical advice and have the bat tested. When in doubt call the HEALTH at 401-222-2577.
If a bat bites you, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately. Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a lab for rabies testing.
If you think your pet or other domestic animal has been exposed to a bat, contact a veterinarian or the health department and have the bat tested for rabies. (Remember to keep vaccinations current for cats, dogs, and other pets.)
If a bat is present in your home and you cannot rule out the possibility of exposure, leave the bat alone and contact the animal control officer at the police department for assistance.
If you cannot reach a licensed professional to catch a bat HEALTH recommends: