Bats and Rabies

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Bats with rabies are found in Mississippi every year. Bats are the most common rabies risk to humans.

Any contact with a bat, even if no bite is apparent, should be considered a high risk exposure to rabies. Bat bites are tiny, and can be painless and undetectable to the naked eye.

Bat Safety

  • Do not handle live bats or bats that seem to be dead.
  • Bats are normally active at dusk, dawn and night. Avoid bats that appear during the daytime, especially if they are found in unusual places, display erratic or aggressive behavior, or are found on the ground.
  • If you have had contact with a bat, or think there is possible contact from a bat in your home, talk to a health care provider at once.

If You Have a Bat in Your House

  • Leave the room and close the door behind you.
  • Do not release the bat.
  • Any live or dead bat that may have had contact with a person or pet should be tested for rabies. For instructions on having an animal tested, call the MSDH Office of Epidemiology at 601-576-7725 or after hours at 601-576-7400.
  • If there is human contact and the bat cannot be found, or has escaped, get prompt medical attention. Call your family doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.

Bat Removal/ Exclusion

Bat removal or exclusion should only be done by a professional pest control provider.

Last reviewed on May 13, 2022 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

Facebook Twitter Instagram RSS

Accredited by the national Public Health Accreditation Board