Create a bat care box
Start by creating a bat care box. You will need:
- A shoe box, with holes punched in the lid (or container of equivalent size)
- A cloth or teatowel
- A plastic bottle cap (milk bottle tops are perfect)
Containing the bat
- Contain the bat:
- Like a spider, by placing a box on top of it and sliding a piece of card underneath.
- Alternatively, cover the bat with a cloth/teatowel and carefully scoop it up and place it in your bat care box. (You should not handle the bat with bare hands.)
- Put a tea towel or soft cloth in the box for the bat to hide in.
- Put in a small, shallow container e.g. a plastic milk bottle top with a few drops of water (not enough for the bat to drown in). Make sure the water is topped up regularly.
- Keep the bat indoors somewhere quiet and dark
- Most importantly, call the National Bat Helpline on 0345 1300 228 for further advice.
Only a bat that has been confirmed as fit and healthy by a bat rehabilitator should be released, and never during the day.
Special case – bat trapped on sticky paper or fishhook
If the bat is stuck to flypaper or a fishhook, do not try to remove it. Put on heavy gloves, take down the fly/rodent paper or fishing line (cut the line if necessary) and place the bat in the box along with the flypaper or hook. If the bat is on flypaper, do not include a tea towel in the box, but do include water.
It is essential that a bat in this situation gets help as soon as possible, so please phone 0345 1300 228 straightaway. If the National Bat Helpline is closed, please take the bat immediately to your nearest vet. (All vets are required to provide an out-of-hours service, so if your local vet is shut, please check their website or ring their number and listen to their recorded message for information on out-of-hours care.)
Please don't assume the bat is healthy and leave it outside to fly away.
During the summer months, it is also possible to sometimes find a baby bat that has either been orphaned or lost its way from a roost. If you find a baby bat this should be treated as urgent in terms of seeking advice as a baby is extremely vulnerable and will need special care. If you're not sure if you've found baby bat, please check our baby bat guide.