The Mexican free-tailed bat is the official flying mammal of Texas. Most of our bats spend summers here then return to Mexico. Other bats live here year-round. They eat mosquitoes and other insects. They can carry rabies.
This is information from Austin Bat Refuge (512-695-4116 or 512-799-8847 or
832-275-3860 firstname.lastname@example.org ): Bats are not the cause of COVID-19, nor do they spread the virus. You cannot get COVID-19 from a bat. There is more concern that we may give the virus to bats. Research is ongoing to determine if that is even a possibility. Until we know more, we are exercising an abundance of caution and using PPE to feed and care for bats.
Given all this, rescuing a bat is still pretty straightforward:
- Maintain physical distance between you and the bat, and wear a mask (just as you would for any other neighbor). In other words, don’t get your uncovered face close enough to breathe or cough on the bat. Don’t handle the bat, just sweep it very gently into a shoebox with a broom or stick. Or wiggle the stick under the bat until it grabs on, and then lift it into a tree.
- Austin Bat Refuge will walk you safely through the process, but may ask you to find, contain, and transport the bat: https://austinbatrefuge.org/found-a-bat/