Instructions for release

Always wear gloves and a face covering to handle bats. If you need help, call the National Bat Helpline.

There are some situations when it is appropriate to release a bat - but only if:

  • The bat has been seen flying strongly very recently.
  • It is certain the bat has had no contact with a cat.
  • It is a warm and dry evening (do not release a bat during the winter, if outside temperatures are otherwise below 5°C, or during high winds).

If a bat is flying indoors during the day, it is best to contain it once it has landed and release it at dusk, as bats active during the day are easy prey for predators.

If it is flying indoors during the evening, and the weather is good:

  • Close all doors to the room the bat is in, and open all windows.
  • Move any obstacles that may block windows, such as blinds, curtains and furniture.
  • Switch off the lights in the room.

The bat should find its own way out, but you may want to check the room after a couple of hours, or stand outside to be sure that the bat has safely found its way out. When checking the room, ensure to check in cracks and crevices, for example in curtain folds or behind or under furniture.

When releasing a bat contained during the day that has been observed flying strongly, the box should be placed at least five feet off the ground e.g. on top of a wall. Put the box on its side so the bat can crawl out and watch it closely. Remember to remove the cap of water before turning the box.

It takes a bat about fifteen minutes to become fully awake and active. If the bat does not fly away within about fifteen minutes, it may need further attention. If this occurs, please re-contain the bat and call the National Bat Helpline for further advice.

Next: Getting the bat into care