Wildlife in the Outdoors
Saint Louis County Animal Care & Control is committed to keeping people and pets safe in Saint Louis County. With that said, we share this County with many native wildlife species. In general, wildlife found outdoors should be left alone. Animal Care & Control will respond to remove and test any wild mammal that has had contact with person or pet and could have transmitted rabies through a bite wound. Without the risk of rabies transmission, Animal Care & Control defers calls about wildlife outdoors—as well as in attic, crawl spaces, and other non-living quarters—to the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline and the Missouri Department of Conservation, whose phone numbers are listed below.
What do I do if there is a bat or wildlife 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’ll 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 extra care to keep anyone from being bitten.
You can reach our office Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. 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 police non-emergency line at 636-529-8210 and 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, and you can safely do so, try to 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 DID come into contact with a person or pet in the household, or if you are unsure, KEEP IT CONFINED—we will remove the wildlife and help you assess your level of risk for disease exposure.
- If confining a bat, turn all the lights on in the room—this can help to keep the bat from flying around.
- Keep an eye on the location of the wildlife, so that our Officers can quickly 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 Saint Louis Region. A very small number of bats come into contact with people or pets each year and require testing for rabies—less than 3% of those tested Statewide are actually carrying the disease. If you find a bat in your home, please call for an Animal Control Officer to remove the bat and help you assess if there was any risk of disease transmission. For more information, check out the CDC’s webpage on Rabies: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies