COVID-19 (coronavirus) and bats

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) has issued recommendations for wildlife researchers, wildlife rehabilitators and others who may have reason to handle wildlife, including bats.

CWHC recommends that you avoid handling bats where possible. In cases where wildlife, including bats, must be handled, CWHC recommends that you use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination protocols.

How to get a bat out of your home

  • leave the bat alone and create a way out through an open window
  • if the bat is in the attic, create a disturbance (e.g., shining bright lights, playing loud music, using an ultrasonic device) so it will leave
  • keep the disturbance in place until you can seal openings where they enter
  • you can call pest control experts who can humanely capture and release bats

How to keep bats out

Some bat species can fit through an opening as small as 16 millimetres.

You should:

  • seal any openings where bats can get in (e.g., chimneys, building corners, pipes that penetrate ceilings or wall, between shingles)
  • do this work from October to March, when bats are hibernating elsewhere or after you’re sure no bats are roosting in the house

Lethal action

  • as a last resort, a landowner may humanely kill or trap bats that are damaging or about to damage their property
  • endangered and threatened bat species cannot be harassed, captured or killed unless landowners enter into an agreement with the ministry
  • never trap bats inside a structure; this is cruel and can create a serious odour problem

How to prevent rabies

  • always wear gloves and other protective clothing when dealing with a bat
  • warn children to stay away from bats and to report any contact with them
  • if you or a pet comes in direct contact with a bat, you should contact your doctor or veterinarian

How to report bat deaths

To report any unusual bat deaths, call the: