What to do if you have found a bat
They receive no government funding and are not paid for their time. Donations are always welcome to pay for petrol, phone bills, fruit and veterinary supplies.
Why do bats need rescuing?
- Fruit Netting Entrapment
- Barbed Wire Entanglement
- Contact with Dogs or Cats
- Car Collisions
How to protect your fruit
- Use white, multi-strand, knitted netting – it deters them as it is easier for bats to see
- NEVER use black netting – bats can’t see it and are sure to get stuck.
- Pull netting TIGHT as a trampoline – bats are less likely to get caught in tight netting
Other bat deterrents
- Place a floodlight with a movement sensor on the tree. Bats will fly away when the light turns on.
- Place chicken wire canopy over the tree – it will keep bats off your fruit, and they will not get stuck in it.
- Fruit Netting Brochure from Bats Conservation & Rescue QLD.
- Wildlife Friendly Fruit Netting
- Flying Foxes & Fruit Crops – Facts & Fables
Alternatives to barbed wire
- Use an electric fence – a bat may get a shock, but will keep away in future!
- If you must use barbed wire, place a white string or electrical tape along the top wire – bats will see it at night, and will not get caught.
- If you can, bring the dog or cat inside immediately.
- Do not touch the bat – an injured bat will bite or scratch.
- Call our 24 hour bat rescue service immediately.
Pets and disease
Bats are known to be a carrier of the Hendra Virus and the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV), which both can pose a risk to the health of humans and pets. Although, to date, no dog or cat has ever contracted Hendra or ABLV (Australian Bat Lyssavirus) directly from a bat, research is still being carried out to fully understand how both viruses are transmitted. Thus, if your cat or dog has been in direct contact with a bat, please urgently consult your veterinarian for advice. For more information and the most up to date research, visit the information pages of the Queensland Government:
- Remove it from the road to the gutter only if you can do so safely without getting bitten or scratched. NEVER use your bare hands as the stunned animal WILL bite or scratch you.
- Don’t put a loose bat in your car, even if it appears unconscious. A bat that is stunned will soon regain consciousness and try to climb your arm or leg to get to safety.
- Cover it with a box (put a weight on top), or towel and call our 24 hour bat rescue service immediately.
- Advise us of the nearest landmark so we can find the bat. Stay with the bat if possible until a rescuer arrives.
- Note the power pole number
- Note approximate address of the bat.
- Try to determine if there is a baby there by clapping your hands loudly or ringing your phone. Baby (if well enough) will respond with a chitter.
- Do not try to remove the bat yourself