What to do when a BAT is INSIDE your home (Bat contact)

norcross bat
Posted by on January 24, 2018

We get so many calls where someone says they were woke from a sound sleep with a bat flying around their house.  I wanted to post a page outlining the proper protocol in this situation.  Here is the concern, bats are vector species which means they can carry and transmit rabies and the concern is if you have had bat contact.  Since most types of bats have very small teeth sometimes a bite can occur and no one knew.

If you are bitten by a bat or if infectious material (body fluid) from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound, simple bat contact could do the trick… According to the CDC, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately. Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing.

DON’T WORRY – People can’t get rabies just from seeing a bat in an attic or from a distance while it is flying.  In addition, people can’t get rabies from having contact with bat guano (feces), blood, or urine, or from touching a bat on its fur.

If you think your pet has been bitten by a bat, contact a veterinarian or your health department for assistance immediately and have the bat tested for rabies. Remember to keep vaccinations current for cats, dogs, and other animals.

What if you’re not sure if you have had bat contact?

If you woke up because a bat landed on you while you were sleeping or if you awakened and found a bat in your room, you should try to safely capture the bat and consider having it tested.  The same precautions should be used if you see a bat in a room with an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired, medicated or intoxicated person.

Be safe and in these situations, try to safely capture the bat, have the bat tested, and seek medical advice.

  1. Did anyone in the house have physical contact with the bat?
    2. If NO, go to #2.
  2. Is anyone in the home that meet any of the following conditions: mental illness, elderly, unattended toddler, adult taking sleep medication or intoxicated?
    2. If NO, and you are certain, it is ok to release the bat outside the home.



In doing research and making dozens of calls I have come to discover there is a one-stop shop for dealing with direct contact with a bat.  The easiest way is to make your first call to the Georgia Poison Control.  Yes, I know this is not poison.  BUT trust me when I say they get people on the phone that might take you forever.  They will coordinate everything for you.


You can even chat with Poison Center: https://chat.georgiapoisoncenter.org/


If, for whatever reason, you do not call the Poison Center then this is a process that you can opt to follow.  Here we address what to do if you have 1) had direct contact with a bat or unsure of contact and 2) met any of the conditions listed in #2 above.


      • Have a professional or someone that has had rabies vaccinations secure the bat in a box with air holes punctured in the box.
        • DURING BUSINESS HOURS: Take the bat to the County Health Department. Tell them that you or certain members of your family has had contact with a bat and you need to have the bat tested to determine if rabies vaccinations are necessary.
        • OUTSIDE BUSINESS HOURS: Call your county animal control and tell them that a bat was captured that was inside you home and there might have been contact with family members or yourself.  Advise them that the bat is secured and you need to have it tested for rabies. Ask them if they can come pick it up.
      • You have two choices still – you can take the bat with you to the hospital and tell them that a bite or scratch has occurred from this bat. You need to have it tested for rabies and possible rabies post-exposure vaccinations or you can go to the Health Department to get it tested and question whether or not shots should be administered.

    • Since there is no bat to test.  You need to either go to the local County Health Department or a local hospital and tell them you have had contact with a bat and discuss the possible need for rabies post-exposure vaccinations.

————– All Health Departments ————–

Click here to expand list of all Health Departments +/-


Atlanta Health Department 5417 Spring Creek Lane Sandy Springs GA 30350 12.3 miles from Cobb County 678-691-8221

Banks County Health Department 667 Thompson Street Homer GA 30547 67.7 miles from Cobb County 706-677-2296

Barrow County Health Department 233 East Broad Street Winder GA 30680 49.7 miles from Cobb County 770-307-3011

Bartow County Health Department 100 Zena Drive Cartersville GA 30121 20.9 miles from Cobb County 770-382-1920

Calhoun County Health Department 3400 McClellan Boulevard Anniston AL 36201 73.8 miles from Cobb County 256-237-7523

Carroll County Health Department 1004 Newnan Road Carrollton GA 30116 37.4 miles from Cobb County 770-836-6667

Catoosa County Health Department 145 Catoosa Circle Ringgold GA 30736 77.1 miles from Cobb County 706-935-2366

Chattanooga Health Department 540 McCallie Avenue Chattanooga TN 37402 87.0 miles from Cobb County 423-634-6319

Chattooga County Health Department 60 Farrar Drive Summerville GA 30747 57.9 miles from Cobb County 706-857-3471

Cherokee County Health Department 1219 Univeter Road Canton GA 30115 18.1 miles from Cobb County 770-345-7371

Cherokee County Health Department 833 Cedar Bluff Road Centre AL 35960 64.2 miles from Cobb County 256-927-3132

Clarke County Health Department 1077 Baxter Street Athens GA 30606 67.2 miles from Cobb County 706-369-5670

Clay County Health Department 1 Riverside Circle Hayesville NC 28904 87.8 miles from Cobb County 828-389-8052

Clay County Health Department 86892 Alabama 9 Lineville AL 36266 82.2 miles from Cobb County 256-396-6421

Clayton County Health Department 1117 Battle Creek Road Jonesboro GA 30236 29.6 miles from Cobb County 678-610-7199

Cleburne County Health Department 90 Brockford Road Heflin AL 36264 62.0 miles from Cobb County 256-463-2296

Coweta County Health Department 137 Jackson Street Newnan GA 30263 40.5 miles from Cobb County 770-254-7400

Crawford County Health Department 141 McCrary Ave Roberta GA 31078 90.3 miles from Cobb County 478-836-3167

Dawson County Health Department 54 Highway 53 E Dawsonville GA 30534 42.3 miles from Cobb County 706-265-2611

DeKalb County Health Department 2401 Calvin Dr SW Fort Payne AL 35967 75.7 miles from Cobb County 256-845-1931

Etowah County Health Department 709 East Broad Street Gadsden AL 35903 81.0 miles from Cobb County 256-547-6311

Fannin County Health Department 95 Ouida Street Blue Ridge GA 30513 65.0 miles from Cobb County 706-632-3023

Fayette County Health Department 140 Stonewall Avenue West Fayetteville GA 30214 34.7 miles from Cobb County 770-305-5420

Fayette County Health Department 153 Willowbend Road Peachtree GA 30269 37.3 miles from Cobb County 770-631-0743

Floyd County Health Department 315 West 10th Street Northeast Rome GA 30165 41.2 miles from Cobb County 706-295-6123

Forsyth County Health Department 428 Canton Road Cumming GA 30040 30.9 miles from Cobb County 770-781-6700

Franklin County Health Department 6955 Georgia 145 Carnesville GA 30521 83.2 miles from Cobb County 706-384-5575

Fulton County Health Department 1920 John Wesley Avenue Atlanta GA 30337 21.2 miles from Cobb County 404-765-4146

Fulton County Health Department 3155 Royal Drive Alpharetta GA 30022 19.5 miles from Cobb County 404-612-1876

Fulton County Health Department 95 Southeast Malone Street Fairburn GA 30213 26.0 miles from Cobb County 770-306-3118

Georgia State Health Department 101 East 2nd avenue Rome GA 30161 40.5 miles from Cobb County 706-295-6654

Georgia State Health Department 103 N Washington Ave Eatonton GA 31024 80.2 miles from Cobb County 706-485-8591

Georgia State Health Department 202 Ben Burton Circle Bogart GA 30622 62.8 miles from Cobb County 706-369-6101

Gilmer County Health Department 28 Southside Church Street Ellijay GA 30540 51.3 miles from Cobb County 706-635-4363

Gordon County Health Department 310 N River St NW Calhoun GA 30701 44.8 miles from Cobb County 706-624-1444

Greene County Health Department 1031 Apalachee Avenue Greensboro GA 30642 83.3 miles from Cobb County 706-453-7561

Gwinnett Health Department 5342 Lawrenceville Highway Lilburn GA 30047 24.1 miles from Cobb County 678-924-1546

Habersham Health Department 185 Scoggins Drive Demorest GA 30535 74.0 miles from Cobb County 706-778-7156

Hall County Health Department 1856 Thompson Bridge Road Gainesville GA 30501 50.0 miles from Cobb County 770-535-6907

Haralson County Health Department 133 Buchanan Bypass Buchanan GA 30113 36.2 miles from Cobb County 770-646-5541

Harris County Health Department Highway 116 E Shiloh GA 31826 79.3 miles from Cobb County 706-628-5137

Henry County Health Department 135 Henry Parkway McDonough GA 30253 42.5 miles from Cobb County 770-954-2250

Jackson County Health Department 341 Stan Evans Drive Jefferson GA 30549 59.4 miles from Cobb County 706-367-5204

Jackson County Health Department 623 South Elm Street Commerce GA 30529 66.8 miles from Cobb County 706-335-3895

Jasper County Health Department 336 East Greene Street Monticello GA 31064 67.7 miles from Cobb County 706-468-6850

Lamar County Health Department 118 Academy Drive Barnesville GA 30204 67.2 miles from Cobb County 770-358-1483

Lumpkin County Health Department 60 Mechanicsville Rd Dahlonega GA 30533 53.2 miles from Cobb County 706-867-2727

Madison County Health Department 1424 Georgia 98 Danielsville GA 30633 79.7 miles from Cobb County 706-795-2131

Meriwether County Health Department 51 Gay Connector Greenville GA 30222 62.6 miles from Cobb County 706-672-4974

Monroe County Health Department 106 Martin Luther King Junior Drive Forsyth GA 31029 72.4 miles from Cobb County 478-992-5082

Monroe Environmental Health Department 126 Court Street Monroe GA 30655 50.5 miles from Cobb County 770-267-1430

Murphy Health Department 228 Hilton Street Murphy NC 28906 85.3 miles from Cobb County 828-837-7486

Murray County Health Department 709 Old Dalton Ellijay Road Chatsworth GA 30705 59.2 miles from Cobb County 706-695-4585

Newton County Health Department 8203 Hazelbrand Road Northeast Covington GA 30014 48.4 miles from Cobb County 770-786-9086

Northwest Health Department 1142 Chattanooga Road Dalton GA 30720 63.6 miles from Cobb County 706-272-2331

Oconee County Health Department 1060 Experiment Station Road Watkinsville GA 30677 66.8 miles from Cobb County 706-769-3983

Oglethorpe County Health Department 305 Union Point Road Lexington GA 30648 83.5 miles from Cobb County 706-743-8181

Paulding County Health Department 451 Jimmy Campbell Parkway Dallas GA 30132 14.7 miles from Cobb County 770-443-7881

Pickens County Health Department 60 Health Way Jasper GA 30143 36.8 miles from Cobb County 706-253-2821

Pike County Health Department 541 Griffin Street Zebulon GA 30295 59.3 miles from Cobb County 770-567-8972

Polk County Health Department 125 Ware Street Cedartown GA 30125 39.2 miles from Cobb County 770-749-1020

Polk County Health Department 320 Water St Rockmart GA 30153 27.8 miles from Cobb County 770-684-1385

Polk County Health Department 840 Cherokee Trail Copperhill TN 37317 75.8 miles from Cobb County 423-496-3275

Putnam County Health Department 103 N Washington Ave Eatonton GA 31024 80.2 miles from Cobb County 706-485-8591

Rabun County Health Department 19 Jo Dotson Circle Clayton GA 30525 93.1 miles from Cobb County 706-212-0289

Rockdale County Health Department 1329 Portman Drive Conyers GA 30094 37.6 miles from Cobb County 770-785-5936

Spalding County Health Department 1007 Memorial Drive Griffin GA 30223 51.8 miles from Cobb County 770-467-4740

Stephens County Health Department 102 North Boulevard Toccoa GA 30577 84.5 miles from Cobb County 706-282-4507

Stephens County Health Department 222 North Boulevard Toccoa GA 30577 84.5 miles from Cobb County 706-282-4507

Towns County Health Department 1104 Jack Dayton Circle Hiawassee GA 30546 83.0 miles from Cobb County 706-896-2265

Troup County Health Department 407 Church Street Hogansville GA 30230 56.2 miles from Cobb County 706-637-4834

Troup County Health Department 900 Dallis Street LaGrange GA 30240 68.7 miles from Cobb County 706-845-4085

Union County Health Department 67 Chase Dr Blairsville GA 30512 73.9 miles from Cobb County 706-745-6292

Upson County Health Department 314 East Lee Street Thomaston GA 30286 74.3 miles from Cobb County 706-647-7148

Villa Rica Health Department 158 East Wilson Street Villa Rica GA 30180 24.5 miles from Cobb County 770-459-0031

Walker County Health Department 603 East Villanow Street LaFayette GA 30728 66.0 miles from Cobb County 706-638-5577

Walton County Health Department 1404 South Madison Avenue Monroe GA 30655 51.5 miles from Cobb County 770-207-4125

Walton County Health Department 605 Tom Brewer Road Loganville GA 30052 41.2 miles from Cobb County 770-466-1789

White County Health Department 1331 Helen Highway Cleveland GA 30528 66.2 miles from Cobb County 706-865-2191

Whitfield County Health Department 800 Professional Boulevard Dalton GA 30720 63.6 miles from Cobb County 706-226-5446


Address: 860 Marietta Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404-613-0358
Hours: 11:00am-7:00pm

To request services from an Animal Control deputy, please contact the Dispatch Center at 770.781.3087. For emergency situations, please dial 911.
Main Office: 770.781.2138.

Mike Ledford, Director: Email
Animal Control
1688 Barber Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30507
Ph: 770-531-6830
Ph: 770-536-8812 (After Hours)

1060 Al Bishop Drive
Marietta, GA 30008
770-590-5620 (Fax)

Grayson Smith
Animal Control
(706) 265-7387

Report any animal acting unusually or if a bite or scratch occurs, call Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770.339.3200 during shelter hours or the after-hours non-emergency dispatch at 770.513.5700.


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