A bat is a mammal in the order, Chiroptera. Their most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals in the world naturally capable of flight

Bats eat a variety of things, depending on species. There are fruit-eating bats, insect-eating bats, fish-eating bats, and the well-known, but misunderstood vampire bat. There are no vampire bats in this area. The central Illinois area contains only insect-eating bats, which can eat over 200 mosquitos and other insects in one night.

Some of the species of bats you might find in the Illinois area include the Eastern Pipistrel, Red Bat, Big Brown Bat, Silver Haired Bat, Small-footed Myotis, Hoary Bat, and the Evening Bat.

Young are born between May and June. Usually the mother has 1 young at a time, but occassionally can have two.

Some species of bats hibernate due to the lack of food availability.

Bats in your house? Bats are known to carry rabies, and despite the fact that not all bats carry rabies, it is assumed that the bat does carry rabies due to the percentage of rabid bats found. Do not attempt to touch the bat with your bare hands. Bats can carry the rabies virus in their saliva, which is coated over their body during grooming. If you touch the bat with your bare hands, even if you did not get bitten, notify the Public Health Department immediately. Use very thick gloves or welding gloves to protect yourself. Pin them against the wall with a box or can with a lid. Take it outside and release it. If it is winter or if it is injured do not release. If it is night, leaving doors open and lights on in the house will induce the bat to leave on its own. Nursing baby bats may be clinging to their mothers. Don’t release a bat if it is sick, injured or too young to live on its own. If you have any further questions, call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 217-333-6914.

Due to the rabies risk, the WMC is not able to accept bats. If you find a bat that is sick, injured, or orphaned, notify the Department of Public Health in your county for direction. For more information on bats in your home, please consult the CDC website on Rabies and Public Health.

For more information on bats, see:

Birds of Prey | Reptiles & Amphibians | Songbirds | Shorebirds & Waterfowl |                     | Bats | Deer | Opossums | Rabbits | Raccoons | Squirrels | Skunk |

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