I have a microbat inside my house. How do I remove it?
I have microbats living in the roof, what can I do?
Can the bats be removed and relocated?
Do microbats carry diseases?
Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV), which is transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected bat, has been found in all Australian flying-fox species but only one species of insect-eating microbat. However, it is assumed that any bat in Australia could possibly carry the virus. Therefore public health advice is that unvaccinated people should not handle any bats, and all bites or scratches must be reported to Queensland Health.
Microbats are not associated with Hendra virus.
Histoplasmosis is a rare lung infection caused by a fungus that can grow in large, undisturbed deposits of bird or bat guano, such as old chicken coops, pigeon roosts or bat caves.
Australian Bat Lyssavirus: Queensland Health
Bats & Human Health: Queensland Health
Histoplasmosis: Queensland Health
Do microbats get tangled in people’s hair?
Bats are all good navigators and naturally fearful of humans, therefore even an accidental collision is most unlikely. Rest assured that any microbats you may see swooping around near a streetlight that you are standing under are chasing insects, not you!
I found microbats living inside my outdoor umbrella, what can I do?
Droppings around the base of an outdoor umbrella are usually a sign that microbats have taken up residence. Do not open the umbrella during the daylight hours. At night, open it up and leave it open to deter the bats from returning. If possible, do not disturb during breeding season (usually the months of November/December) as there may be helpless young inside the umbrella. Please contact your nearest wildlife organisation for advice. Consider installing a microbat box in your garden as an alternative roost.
Microbats can consume several hundred insects per hour. Consider installing some bat boxes in your garden to encourage nature’s pest controllers. They will happily feast on your lawn grub moths, beetles, mosquitoes and other insects.
I touched a bat and got bitten/scratched, what should I do?
What are the disease risks?
People will not be exposed to diseases when flying-foxes fly overhead, when they roost or feed in garden trees, or even from touching their droppings. Australian Bat Lyssavirus is a rare virus similar to rabies. It can only be transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected bat. Less than 1% of flying-foxes are estimated to be infected with ABL. The three confirmed cases of ABL in humans were the direct result of handling infected animals.
Hendra Virus in humans is also very rare, and there is no evidence humans can contract this virus directly from flying-foxes. It can however be transferred to humans through exposure to the body fluids of infected horses. Horse owners are encouraged to ensure their horses are vaccinated for Hendra virus.
A small bat has been hanging in my tree for a few days. I think it has been flying out for food at night and coming back. Is this normal, or would the mother be coming to feed it?
This is not normal behaviour and should be reported to your nearest wildlife organisation. Any bat found in the daytime hanging in a tree by itself is usually in trouble, although sometimes bats will hang around to guard a food resource from others if times are tough.
My child has picked up bat poo and possibly put it into her mouth. Can she get sick?
My dog/cat caught a bat in the backyard, what should I do?
I found a dead bat, what should I do?
How do I clean bat poo off my car?
Can I remove flying-foxes from my property?
Why are flying-foxes so noisy?
How can I help bats?
- Join or support your local wildlife rehabilitation group
- Join or support your local bushcare organisation
- Avoid using barbed wire or use plain wire or white polytape on the top strand
- Net fruit trees correctly
- Plant food trees and preserve native vegetation on your property
- Install microbat boxes
- Report any injured or orphaned animals
- Report dead flying-foxes on overhead powerlines (note the pole number) to your local wildlife organisation