Outdoor Wildlife Best Practices
We are committed to keeping people and pets safe in St. Louis County.
We share the County with many native wildlife species. Outdoor wildlife should be left alone. We will respond, remove, and test any wild mammal that has had contact with a person or a pet, and could have transmitted rabies through a bite wound.
Without the risk of rabies transmission, we defer calls about wildlife outdoors—as well as in the home (attic, crawl spaces, and other non-living quarters) to the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Bat or Wild Animal in my Home
- Remain Calm. The bat or wildlife has accidentally wondered into your home and is most likely looking for a way out.
- Call Us. We will send an Animal Control Officer to assist in the removal of the wildlife from your living quarters.
- Reduce Contact. Keep children and pets away from the wildlife, take care to ensure no one is bitten.
Monday-Friday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Call us at 314-615-0650, select option #6.
Outside of these hours, our Officers can be routed to you by the County Police Department. Please call the County Police Non-Emergency Hotline at 636-529-8210. Ask for an Animal Control Officer to come to your location.
Tips to Help Us Help You
- If no one in the house and no pets had contact with the wildlife, allow the wildlife the opportunity to leave on its own—open doors and windows, turn on lights, and don’t stand between them and an exit.
- If the bat or wildlife comes into contact with a person or pet, or if you are unsure, keep it confined. We will remove the wildlife and help you determine your level of risk for disease exposure.
- If confining a bat, turn all the lights on in the room. This keeps the bat from flying around.
- Keep an eye on the location of the wildlife, so that we can locate and capture it.
Bats and Other High Risk Interactions
The most common species of animals to carry rabies in the State of Missouri are bats and skunks. Bats are the species most commonly found to carry this disease in the St. Louis area.
A small number of bats come into contact with people or pets each year. This requires testing for rabies. However, less than 3% of those tested actually carry the disease.
If you find a bat in your home, please call an Animal Control Officer to remove the bat and help you assess if there was any risk of disease transmission.
Visit the CDC website. http://www.cdc.gov/rabies