Rabid Bats Recently Found in US Homes
As we head into fall, we can expect to see more bat activity, as baby bats are now flying, and it’s not until late fall that they will find a spot to hibernate for the winter.
Bats support our ecosystem.
Bat activity is beneficial for us. Bats perform key roles in our ecosystem, one of which is to keep insect numbers down, as they feed on thousands of insects each night. As you watch bats at night performing acrobatic maneuvers mid-flight, you can be grateful that they’re keeping the mosquito levels under control. However, there are good reasons why we don’t want bats to choose our homes as their hibernation habitat this winter.
Stay alert as more bats are found in homes.
One reason is that bats can carry rabies. Contact with a bat can require urgent medical attention. Just a few weeks ago, the Yamhill Health Department reported that a bat found in a home in Yamhill, Oregon, had tested positive for rabies. Local residents were asked to avoid the risk of rabies and to capture any bat found within a residential property to get it tested. Another family in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, received post-exposure treatment in July after a rabid bat was found in their home. The local environmental health manager said the incident was a reminder for people to look out for bats and ensure pets were vaccinated against rabies. He said: “contact with any wild animal, including bats, should be avoided if at all possible. That message applies to humans and pets”.
Suspected colony of rabid bats in Kentucky.
Bats with rabies have also been recently reported in Louisville, Kentucky. In the Jeffersontown area, three bats have tested positive for rabies over the past year and the health authority has asked residents to be alert and avoid contact with bats. The City of Louisville’s Department of Public Health and Wellness Environmental Health Manager said: “We’re concerned that we keep seeing bats test positive in this one area of town…I think there’s just a colony”. A colony of bats can number into the hundreds, and they sleep or “roost” close together side by side, so one rabid bat in the colony can quickly infect others.
Keep bats out of your home.
We don’t wish to create fear of bats, as only a small percentage of bats are diseased. However, housing a colony of bats could cause extensive damage to your residential property, along with the risk of disease exposure. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Watch out for signs that bats are in your home. We recommend you do a “bat watch” – go outside at twilight and see if you spot bats flying to and fro your home.
- If you find a bat in your home, capture it and get it tested for rabies.
- If you think you may have a colony roosting in your residential property, don’t attempt to remove it yourself. Call a residential bat removal company.
Residential bat removal specialists have the expertise to safely remove bats from your property without harming them. We can also perform guano clean-up safely to eliminate the risks of histoplasmosis. If you see a bat in your home and are unsure how it entered, a bat removal specialist can assess your home and develop a comprehensive plan to exclude the bat colony.
Your Local Bat Removal Expert,