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Rabies in S.C.

If a Bat Gets Inside

It's normal to see bats outdoors where they actually help protect human health by keeping the mosquito population down.

But if a bat accidentally gets inside your home, it could bite someone.

If you find a bat in room of your home and you are certain that no people or pets have come in contact with the bat:

  • Confine the bat to one room by closing all doors leading out of that room, but leave any external doors/windows in the room open. Turn off the lights. The bat will probably leave soon.
  • If the bat does not leave, call a wildlife removal company. We don't recommend trying to remove the bat yourself, but if you decide to do this, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's instructions on how to safely capture a bat.
  • After the bat is gone, find the entry point and seal it up. Bats can enter a crack as small as three-eighths of an inch.

Assume the Bat Bit

Most bats do not have rabies, but some do, and you can't tell just by looking at one whether or not it has the disease.

It's easy to overlook bite marks from tiny bat teeth. People – especially children – sometimes don't realize they've been bitten. So if you find a bat in a room (or a tent) where someone has been sleeping or where children have been playing, always assume the bat has bitten the sleeper or children.

If you think someone in your household may have been bitten by a bat:

  • Confine the bat to one room, closing off doors to other parts of the home.
  • Contact a wildlife removal company to have them capture the bat so that our lab can test it for rabies.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Contact DHEC to report the bite and if bat has been captured, to arrange to have the bat tested for rabies.

How to Care for a Bat Bite

If you see a bat bite or in cases where saliva or brain material from a dead bat gets into someone's eyes, nose, mouth or wound:

  • Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Seek medical help. Contact your health care provider.

Bats in the Attic

If you discover bats in your attic, make sure there is no way they can get from your attic into your living quarters.

If you find them between the months of May and August, chances are there are babies present, so wait until September, then seal up all the possible entrances to your attic except for one. Use a one-way door/bat excluder on the last entrance site. Seal the attic up completely once all the bats are gone.

 


For additional information, contact: (803) 896-0655 Fax (803) 896-0645