Finding A Bat

Questions & Answers

What can I do if I find a bat roost in my home or property?

All Irish bats are protected under national and EU legislation. Both the animals themselves and their roosts are protected, and it is an offense to interfere with or disturb them without a license. Many tenants or homeowners can have a bat roost on their property for years without ever being aware!

Did you know that bats do not use nesting materials within their roosts, which means they do not cause damage to structures or wiring?

More information about bat roosts.

How do I know if a bat needs help?

  • If the bat was found grounded
  • If the bat has been found hanging out in the open or in an exposed area during the day
  • If the bat has been in contact with a cat or other animal
  • If the bat was found stuck to a fly trap, glue, wire fencing etc
  • If the bat has been found in a sink or water
  • If the bat has been found trapped inside a building
  • If it’s a pup without its mother
  • If a bat is in trouble

It needs help.

Bat on ground needing help
Bat on wall needing help
Bat stuck on fly trap

Fly traps can be death traps to bats

Is it an adult bat or a pup?

Bat pups are born during the months of June, July and early August. They have very little fur for the first weeks of life and are totally reliant on their mother’s milk for the first 5 to 6 weeks (up to 1 and a half months) of life.

If you find a bat pup alone, please contact your local bat rehabber as soon as possible.

Adult bat

Adult bat

Bat pup

Bat pup

What do I do if I find a baby bat?

Baby bats are born without fur and cannot regulate their body temperature. This leaves them very susceptible to hyperthermia. It is vitally important that any pup that is found alone must be kept warm while you are contacting a rescue. This can be done by placing the pup in a box with a soft cloth for it to cling to (see below on how to contain a bat). In one corner of the box, place a small heat source i.e., a small soft drinks bottle filled with warm water and wrapped in a tea towel. ALWAYS make sure that the bat has enough room within the box to move away from the heat source if it becomes too hot.

NEVER try to feed the pup yourself as this can lead to aspiration – fluid entering the lung – which is almost always fatal.

If you find a bat pup alone, please contact your local bat rehabber as soon as possible.

Bat pup
Bat pup
Bat pup

Containing a bat

Containing a bat safely is very simple:

You will need to find a small box, ideally a shoe box, and with a pencil, make some small air holes in the top. Any large holes in the box will need to be secured by placing some tape over the holes. ALWAYS PLACE THE TAPE FROM THE INSIDE OUT. This will stop the bat from sticking to the tape and causing itself more harm.

Place a soft cloth or kitchen paper inside the box. You can also place a soft drinks bottle top with water into the corner of the box to offer the bat a drink.

Using gloves, very gently scoop the bat up and place it in the box, then gently close the lid, making sure that there are no small gaps for the bat to escape.

Place the box in a quiet room away from children and pets and contact us.


Preparing a cardboard shoe box to contain a bat in with gloves
Preparing a cardboard box to contain a bat
Preparing a cardboard box to contain a bat
Preparing a cardboard box to contain a bat

What to do if you find a bat flying in your house

If you find a bat flying indoors, confine the bat to the room by closing all doors and opening the windows.

Turn out the lights within the room, leaving the bat alone to find its way out. Never try to catch a bat in flight as this is likely to injure it.

If the bat does not find its way out it may become exhausted and will choose an area such a window, wall or curtain to rest on. If you can, scoop the bat up gently using gloves and a cloth. Place the bat into a secure box with a soft drinks bottle top with some water in it. Let the bat rest in a quiet place.

Once it begins to get dark, take the box outside and place it at a height on a wall or on the top of your car (as the bat may not be able to take off if the box is low down), open the box and release the bat! It’s important to watch the bat until it flies away as it may crash and, if so, will have to be picked up and placed at a height again until it does achieve flight. If the bat fails to fly off contact us.

Should I feed the bat?

Never feed a sick, injured or orphaned bat without seeking advice from a licensed, reputable bat rehabber.

Should I offer water to the bat?

NEVER force a sick or injured bat to drink as this can lead to aspiration. Once the bat has been gently placed within a small secure box, you can then place a soft drinks bottle top in one corner of the box filled with water giving the bat the option to take a drink.

Can I give cow’s milk to a bat pup?

Never give cow’s milk to a bat pup. Baby bats in care are fed using a milk formula to meet their specific needs.