If you are bitten, scratched, or saliva from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or wounds, wash the affected area thoroughly and get medical attention immediately.
If a person is bitten by a bat on campus, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) requires that the University follow specific procedures, report the exposure and have the bat tested according to IAC 410 1-2.5-80.
Contact IU EHS regarding any suspected animal bites, bat scratches, or saliva exposures by calling 812-855-2004 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never attempt to capture a bat yourself!
A bat must be captured for Rabies testing at the ISDH lab if:
- it has bitten a person or animal
- it could have bitten someone without them knowing
- it has had direct contact with a human or animal
- it is found in a room with someone who might be unaware of contact; such as someone sleeping, a child, a mentally disabled person, or someone who is intoxicated
IU EHS should be notified of any of these exposures by calling 812-855-2004 or emailing email@example.com.
Never attempt to capture a bat yourself!
Notify center desk attendant or housing assistant when a bat is located within RPS Residence Centers and Apartments. Do not call Bloomington Animal Care Control, as RPS has a vendor who coordinates bat removals. For other on-campus housing, contact your property manager or house director. For academic buildings, contact IU’s Building Services Pest Control at 812-855-3121.
Faculty, staff, and guests:
Contact IU’s Building Services Pest Control at 812-855-3121, your Building Manager, or call IUPD for emergency situations.
IU has established guidance for staff and technicians regarding removal and exclusion of bats on IU property.
Guidance for Staff and Technicians Removing and Excluding Bats
Bats often defecate before they enter a building or anywhere they roost. Over time, if nothing is done these droppings will build up and pose a health risk. Bats can become infected with Histoplasma capsulatum, the causative agent for histoplasmosis, and excrete the fungal organism in their feces (guano). A human, inhalation health hazard may be created when this accumulation is disturbed and particles containing H. capsulatum spores become airborne.
Droppings can be used to identify the presence of bats in and around buildings. Bat droppings cluster or pile up below the location or entrance to the roosting locations. Droppings will have little speckles from all the insect wings, be hard to the touch, and will crumble like dust.
Once it has been determined that the droppings are from bats, it is important to determine if the infestation is still active. A piece of paper may be placed at the site, this allows for the observation of new droppings. If new droppings appear, there is probably an active bat infestation and steps must be taken to exclude the bats from the building.
Removal of a small amount of bat and bird droppings:
- Personal Protection Equipment required:
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Latex gloves
- Respirator providing adequate protection
- Spray the area with a mixture of bleach and water (ratio of 1 part of bleach to 9 parts of cool water) just to dampen the area. This will also prevent aerosolizing any droppings during removal. Scoop up droppings and place in a plastic bag and dispose.
- After the droppings have been removed, scrub the area with the same concentration of bleach water, rinse thoroughly. Place contaminated gloves in plastic bag and dispose of bag in trash.
Large amounts of bat droppings should be removed by a professional company.
Rabies is a viral disease often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, through ones saliva, and sometimes through a scratch. People may also be exposed to the rabies virus by handling their pets after an attack and getting the saliva of the rabid animal on their hands. The rabies virus cannot be transmitted through feces, blood, or urine.
The virus attacks the central nervous system and brain and results in death if treatment is not administered. Once symptoms begin to develop, such as fever, headache, hypersalivation, and throat paralysis, the disease cannot be cured and progresses to death. Any exposures requiring medical attention should be done so immediately.