How to Get a Bat Out of Your House

For those only interested in running topics: After waking up in the middle of the night to deal with a bat in my house and losing more than an hour of sleep, I still managed to wake up early in the morning and get my run in before work. I was tired and it was tough to get up so early after losing sleep, but I credit my success to wanting to keep up my run streak.

For those who find themselves with a bat in their house or want to be prepared in case it ever happens, read on. Two nights ago I woke up at 1:30 a.m. because I heard a bat (the cats must have been trying to get it). Once your hear that metallic clicking noise bats make, you'll never forget it. I live in a 120+-year-old house with lots of nooks and crannies, so this is probably the fifth or sixth bat we've had in the house in the past ten years. (Yes, sealing up the house is on our to-do home renovation list.) So I'm an old pro at getting them out. I followed these steps. I waited 45 minutes for it to stop flying around, but it never did. So I left the windows in the room it was in open, went back to sleep, and hoped for the best. In the morning it was still there, just hanging out. Before my run, I was easily able to net it and quickly get it out an open window.

What to Do if You Find a Bat In Your House
  1. Don't panic! This is the most important and most difficult part of getting the bat out. Bats swoop and fly awkwardly, and it will look like they are going to attack you. They aren't! Bats aren't aggressive at all. They will not attack you or accidentally fly into your hair. 
  2. If you have pets, keep them away. 
  3. Open up all the windows and doors if you can and hope it flies out. This has never worked for me, including two nights ago, but it's worth a shot.
  4. If the bat is flying around, wait for it to land. It will usually hang vertically near the top of a window or somewhere high up. Get a large plastic container, cover it, then slide paper under it to capture it. Or, if you have a net (I do), net it. If the bat lands on the floor, throw a heavy towel or blanket over it and gently scoop it up. When you capture the bat, it will perk up and start making scary metallic clicking noises. Don't panic! Those are the sounds it makes to scare predators, and it is very scary. But it's more scared than you are, so just continue with the goal to get the bat out of the closest window or door to the outside. 
  5. Bats have trouble lifting off from the ground, so once you get it outside, try gently tossing the bat in the air to help it take off. I usually just shake the net out the window, and it gets momentum to fly away.
  6. For more info, see
Please Be Kind to Bats!
I tried to find the cutest bat picture
I could find to help with my plea :)

I am a huge animal lover, but I admit that bats are very scary. Last year, I woke up to the sound of a bat's claws climbing my metal bedframe right near my head, then saw its shadow flying over my head in the bedroom. Very scary! It is natural to want to get them out of the house as quickly as possible, and trying to smack them out of the air might seem like a good idea. But their wings are very fragile, and wing injuries are usually fatal. If a bat is in your house, it is lost and most likely feels trapped and just wants to find its way home. Please be kind and help it!

From the Bat World website: