Bats & Rabies

Bats in Your Attic?


Bats can transmit rabies to humans. Do you have bats in your attic?

Attics are the place in a house where bats usually choose to roost and raise their young. After a few hot summer days, an attic can become too warm for the bats, forcing them into people's living quarters as they search for cooler places to roost.

If you find a bat inside your house, do not release the bat outdoors until you can safely determine that no exposure occurred.

Never handle a bat with bare hands!
A group of bats in an attic

Exposure


An exposure occurs when:
  • A person has had direct contact with a live bat and cannot rule out that a bite or scratch may have occurred.
  • A sleeping person awakens to find a bat in the room.
  • An adult witnesses a bat in the room with a previously unattended child, a mentally disabled person, an intoxicated person, or a pet.
Decisions about rabies exposure and the possible need for treatment should be made by your doctor. If you think you or someone in your home may have been exposed to a bat, contact your doctor.

Questions


If you have questions about potential rabies exposure please call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at 617-983-6800. An epidemiologist is available 24/7 for questions. For additional information about rabies, you may also visit the MDPH website.