Nearly all human cases of rabies in Canada over the past several years have been a result of bites from rabid bats. Bat bites may be hard to see.

Number of bats found positive with rabies in Hamilton

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2019
0 1 2 2 2 1 1

These positive results only include bats that have bitten or scratched a person. These do not reflect the number of actual rabid bats in Hamilton.

Bats hibernate from November to March and are most active in the spring. They like to use attics for raising their babies. They can squeeze through very tiny spaces and often get into buildings through cracks in and around roofs, eaves, vents and windows.

How to bat-proof your home

Here are some suggestions:

  • Check places where bats may get into your home including chimneys, joints, building corners, pipes entering ceilings or walls in attics, between your porch and house, between shingles or where walls meet eaves.
  • Seal entry holes, making sure bats are not roosting in your attic.
  • Do not seal up openings in late summer or early fall as you could trap babies inside buildings.

What to do with bats on your property

Here are some tips for dealing with bats:

  • Stand outside of your house at sunset to see where bats appear. Seal the opening to your attic, shed or garage after they leave.
  • Shine bright lights, point a fan or play loud music in their roost site.
  • Use ultrasonic devices that emit sounds that bats do not like. 
  • Consider any bat that you see to be rabid. 
  • We do not want residents to try and capture the bat themselves. Bats will not fly out an open door and it is more likely that another bat may fly in (especially in the month of August).
  • If there is a bat in your house, try to keep the bat in one room. Make sure people and pets do not touch the bat. Do not try to capture the bat. Call us at 905-546-2489 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to request removal or a wildlife removal service.

All about rabies

Rabies is caused by a virus. Any warm-blooded animal can get rabies, including humans. It is transmitted or spread through a bite or other saliva contact from an infected animal. Rabies is a preventable viral disease that infects the central nervous system and without prevention treatments, it is usually fatal. 

Rabies is found more commonly in these animals than others:

  • bats
  • raccoons
  • foxes
  • skunks