Bat Guidelines

Bats may enter campus buildings at any time but occurrence seems to be more prevalent from late summer to fall. Less than 1% of bats carry rabies, a fatally infectious disease, if left untreated.

How is rabies spread?

A rabid bat can spread disease by biting or scratching an individual or if the bat touches an open wound or mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose or mouth.

What should I do if I find a bat in my office or classroom?

If a bat is found in an academic room (non-residential) the window should be opened and the door closed and a sign posted on the door- (caution: bat inside). If there is a top window that can be opened, that would be best since bats tend to fly up. If the bat does not find its way outside, the person should contact work control (x5661) during regular business hours or the heating plant if after hours at X5656. Although the College does not encourage employees to capture bats, if one feels compelled to do so, the following materials should be used in the capture of the animal:

  • Thick leather gloves to avoid direct skin contact with the bat
  • Disposable container such as a coffee can
  • Cardboard to scoop bat into the container
  • Net (optional)

Procedure for catching a bat:

  1. Put on gloves
  2. Confine bat to one room, if possible
  3. Turn on lights if room is dark
  4. Wait for the bat to land
  5. Cover the bat with a container
  6. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat
  7. If no one was exposed, release the bat outside
  8. If exposure has occurred, tape cardboard to can and call EHS (x5512)
  9. If the bat needs testing, make every effort not to damage the head of the bat

What should I do if I find a bat in my residence hall?

Call work control at x5663 during normal business hours or the heating plant x5656 if after hours.

What should I do if I wake and find a bat in the room?

If a bat is found in the room of a sleeping person, it should be captured for rabies testing. In situations where there is a reasonable probability of exposure such as this, the person should receive rabies treatment. Call EHS at x5512. A bat should also be tested if it is discovered in a room where students who have been asleep, unconscious, intoxicated, or incoherent. The potentially exposed person should receive a medical evaluation because rabies passes through bat saliva even without a bite.

What should I do if I am exposed*?

An exposed person should wash the area immediately with soap and water. All efforts should be made to capture the bat and have it tested by the NYS Department of Health. The person should receive rabies treatment. EHS should be notified immediately. They will call the Livingston County Department of Health (DOH) at 243-7280. The after-hours number for the DOH is the Livingston County Sheriff dispatch at 243-7100.

A person is considered exposed:

  • When they have been bitten or scratched or
  • If bat saliva or nervous tissue comes in contact with person’s mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) or an open break in skin

What if I find a dead bat in my room?

Facilities will double bag the bat using gloved hands and dispose of it. But if a person has been sleeping in the room during this time, the person could have been exposed to the bat. The bat needs to be tested for rabies and the person needs to at least be seen by a doctor to determine if rabies vaccine should be given.

What can I do to keep bats from entering my building?

Close windows which are not screened and close all exterior doors when not in use. If you see a propped exterior door, close it.