Two Dead Bats Test Positive for Rabies in Dallas Park – How safe are bats?
We understand that maybe this is a loaded question – How safe are bats? Bats are extremely important to our ecosystem and provide many important services in nature. For example, some bat species pollinate plants for us. Others eat mosquitos. Who doesn’t appreciate fewer mosquitos!
But the truth of the matter is bats are not the kind of animal you want making a home in yours! They are wild creatures and are prone to carry a deadly disease, rabies.
As we see in the case of the bats found in a Dallas park. Both found were already dead and both tested positive for rabies. The rabies virus can survive for a few hours after the death of a host animal, longer if the temperatures are below freezing, and can be transmitted via saliva or blood. As we all know, dogs have great noses and can sniff out a dead animal from a hundred yards away, at least mine can! Children too are very inquisitive and can be so innocent depending on their age that they may touch or pick up a small dead ‘bird’ to take a closer look or show you.
White Rock Lake, Dallas Park (photo credit: Jared Stump)
What can you do to protect your pets and children from this sort of danger?
First – Children
- Educate Educate Educate – Explain the dangers of touching wild animals or dead animals, especially wild animals or ‘birds’ (bats can be described as birds by small children) that approach you, why? Rabies can affect the behavior of animals, sometimes making them overly aggressive or approaching humans, something that their survival instinct would normally stop them from doing.
- Open communication – make sure your child knows it can tell you what happened. Children sometimes lie for many different reasons, but if they have come into contact with a wild animal or dead animal make sure they feel safe telling you. This way you can protect them and make sure they receive the proper medical care if they need it.
Second – Pets
- If your dog is going to be off-leash in parks or wooded areas it’s important that they have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.
- Obedience training – Again if your dog is off-leash it should have a solid recall. I’m a dog owner and I know the struggles! Sometimes it feels like I’m taking two steps forward only to take one step back with training! But the better trained your puppy is on recall the safer they will be, not only will you be able to save them from additional rabies booster shots but also avoid dangerous situations.
As bats natural habitat continues to be destroyed we expect more and more occurrences of bats in metropolitan areas. Be safe and vigilant in public areas know for bat activity when you are with your young children or dogs.
If you suspect you have bats living in your home or attic do not hesitate to call and talk with us.
Your Local Bat Removal Expert,