Bats in Galveston?

Yes, we have bats and we are blessed for every mosquito they eat. Bats roost in our tall buildings, parking garages and our palm trees. So please take care when trimming palm trees.

Bats are high risk carriers of the rabies virus and should not be handled by people.

If you find one in the living area of your home and may have been exposed call the Animal Services Unit.

While these animals do provide great benefits they should be appreciated from a distance.

Potential Exposure Scenarios to Rabies Through Bats

and Bat Capture Tips

If you find an injured, sick, or dead bat, do not touch it.

If you need assistance, contact The Animal Services Unit.

Bat bites are not always visible. Therefore, in situations in which a bat is physically present and there is a possibility of an inapparent exposure, the bat should be captured and submitted to a rabies laboratory for testing. If rabies cannot be ruled out by laboratory testing, people with a reasonable probability of an exposure may be recommended for rabies postexposure treatment (or for domestic animals, a requirement for a booster vaccination(s) and quarantine or euthanasia). Scenarios that may indicate a reasonable probability of exposure to rabies include:

  • a child touches a live or dead bat;
  • an adult touches a bat without seeing the part of the body they touched;
  • a bat flies into a person and touches bare skin;
  • a person steps on a bat with bare feet;
  • a person awakens to find a bat in the room with him/her;
  • a bat is found near an infant, toddler, or a person who is sensory or mentally challenged; or
  • a person puts their hand in firewood, brush, a crevice, or a dark space (i.e. a closet), experiences pain, then sees a bat.

Immediately call the animal services unit to have a trained officer sent to capture the bat.

If you refuse to wait for assistance recommendations for bat capture are as follows:

  • remove any children or pets from the room;
  • wear leather gloves;
  • avoid direct contact between the bat and bare skin;
  • confine the bat to one room by closing the windows and doors;
  • turn on the lights if the room is dark;
  • wait for the bat to land;
  • cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container;
  • slide a piece of cardboard under the can that has the bat trapped; and tape the cardboard directly to the can.

If any possible contact between the bat and a person or domestic animal has occurred:

  • do not release the bat; and
  • contact the animal services unit to arrange for immediate submission of the bat for rabies testing.

If you are certain no contact between the bat and a person or domestic animal has occurred:

  • take the container outside immediately; and
  • release the bat, preferably at night and away from populated areas.

When capturing a bat, avoid striking it if at all possible. Physical trauma can damage the brain and make it impossible to conduct rabies laboratory tests.

Contact The Animal Services Unit at (409) 765-3702