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Rabid Bats Found Across the US During Bat Season

As bat season nears its close, we’ve seen many reports of bats testing positive for rabies in states across the US. Bat season is a period of high activity, starting when bat pups start to fly the roost and ending with winter hibernation/migration. During this time, more people come into contact with bats than at other times of the year, and more rabid bats are found in public spaces. Here’s a snapshot of some reports this last month.

Bats testing positive for rabies this month

  • In Port St. Lucie, Florida, local residents were warned to avoid contact with bats by the Department of Health, which published that there was a “bat-related situation” in The Landings neighborhood, Tradition, FL. The DOH stated that people who had been exposed were receiving post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and reminded the public that rabies is present in wildlife and treatment needs to be given soon after exposure.   
  • In Grand Island, Nebraska, a bat tested positive in early October, bringing the total number of confirmed rabid bats in Nebraska to 17 this year. Last year, there were 30 reported rabid animals in the state, which according to the Department of Health, was the highest figure in 5 years.  
  • In Cedar Park, Texas – On October 14, the Police Department tweeted that a rabid bat had been found on North Bell Boulevard. They advised the public not to touch bats and to phone animal control if they came into contact with a bat so that the bat could be captured and tested for rabies. 
  • In Bend, Oregon, and Orange County, California, sick bats found this month on the streets have also been lab-confirmed as rabies positive. 

These reports clearly show that a number of bats across the US still test positive for rabies every year. Human contact with rabid bats is, unfortunately, still a problem. According to the CDC, approximately 55,000 Americans get PEP each year after exposure to bats or other animals.

Avoid contact with rabid bats

While we don’t want to spread fear, we know that being exposed to rabies is a stressful situation. Rabies is fatal unless treatment is received soon after exposure and none of us want that anxiety, not to mention the expense of medical treatment. We can all do simple things to limit rabies exposure risks. Here are some safety tips to remember: 

  • Don’t touch bats or other wild animals
  • Don’t leave trash cans open or pet food outside, as this can attract wild animals
  • Keep pets vaccinated against rabies 
  • Inspect your properties and seal up gaps that bats could use to enter – a professional bat removal specialist can assist you. 
  • Install window screens in your properties – especially in rooms where people sleep.  
  • If a wild animal bites you, wash the wound well with soap and water and get medical advice immediately.
  • Report animal bites and stray animals to your local animal control dept.
  • If you find a bat in your house, capture it, get it tested for rabies, and get urgent medical advice for yourself and anyone else in contact with it.

At this time of year, bats are finding their homes to hibernate for the winter. Keep your eyes and ears open for signs that a colony of bats may have chosen your property for their winter hibernation. 

If you think bats may live in your commercial or residential property, contact your local bat removal specialist. All Get Bats Out technicians are rabies vaccinated and we have the correct PPE to remove bats from a property safely. We are bat exclusion experts – we not only remove bats but can ensure they do not return. Don’t put yourself at risk by trying to deal with bats alone.

Your Local Bat Removal Specialist,

Michael Koski

Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael Koski

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