Bats are nocturnal mammals, that most people know from tales and movies, especially over their association with vampires. They are often represented as scary and something to be afraid of, so a lot of people are very frightened when they encounter a real life bat.
But are bats really dangerous to people?
The answer is no, people do not represent any part of their food chain. There are a few groups of bats that feed on different types of “prey”. Most of them belong into the insectivore group which means that they eat insects, some of them feed on fruits and flower nectar and a small minority, the true carnivores, feed on small vertebrates. All in all none of them will go voluntarily hunting for humans, but it can still happen that you encounter a bat in your home if it accidentally flies in trough an open door on window.
What should you do in this case?
First of all make sure that you put on gloves. Bats can be frightened and even though they are not generally dangerous, they can bite you if you are not careful. If it’s possible let the bat land and after that take a towel or a can. Gently wrap the bat into the towel and make sure that you keep his jaws turned in a way that will prevent the bat from biting you. The bat might land somewhere high, on the top of a closet for example. In this case use a can to capture it, but be careful that you don’t pinch it’s wings and that you do not cover the can with just your hand. You can use a folded towel instead.
When the bat is securely situated in your hands take it outside, preferably a few yards from the house and let it out of the towel or can. The bat will be happily on it’s way and will not bother you again.