Early Labor Day morning (around 3:30am), I woke up to go to the bathroom. When I opened the bedroom door, I saw something fly out of the room and then back in. I turned on the bedroom light and immediately shut the door, thus locking Brian and the three dogs in the bedroom with a bat.
Brian stayed in bed with the covers over his head as the bat circled around him. Once the bat stopped flying, he and the dogs left the bedroom. I immediately asked Google what to do about the situation and was dismayed to find out that if a bat is found in a room with a sleeping person, that the bat needs to be tested for rabies (as a sleeping person could have been bitten by the bat and not noticed it). If positive or if the bat cannot be located, the sleeping person must get a series of rabies shots. The dogs would need a rabies booster as well.
So we searched for the bat for a while (till about 6am), but could not find it anywhere in the room. We even started removing stuff from the bedroom just to eliminate hiding places. By this point, we were pretty tired, so we slept in the living room until 8am and resumed the search. This time, the critter was found immediately–he was resting in one of the window valances.
We then researched how to capture a bat and opted for a quart-sized plastic container. After working up some courage, Brian went in there and scooped him up. Next, he called the PA Department of Health, who directed us to call the Game Commission. Due to the holiday, this took a number of phone calls.
The game commission sent someone to the house to pick up the bat. He was from Ebensburg and arrived pretty quickly. Again, due to the holiday, the bat couldn’t be taken to the lab for testing until Tuesday. The guy from the game commission said that if the bat had rabies, we would definitely hear something today (Wednesday). Otherwise, it would be a bit longer until we get the results. So, in this case, I guess no news is good news as we did not hear anything today. However, if we don’t hear anything by the end of the week, Brian’s going to make some calls because mistakes can happen and I want to definitively know the results before the weekend. I really don’t think either of us were bitten, but you can’t be too careful when it comes to rabies.
That said, I cannot even fathom how a bat got into the house. And, I don’t really like thinking about it. Yesterday, I checked our attic to make sure we didn’t have a colony of bats living up there. Luckily, we did not. So, the lone bat was probably just a fluke.
This whole situation has me yearning for a bat free winter.