continued Residents should “definitely be concerned” about a positive case of rabies in a bat, although they should not panic about it. If you find a bat in your house and are unsure of contact with pets or sleeping humans, don’t dispose of it but keep it in case it needs to be tested for rabies. “Call me or the county animal disease control,” Olszewski said.
Advice from Onondaga County Animal Disease Control
Did you know:
—Bats are most active between the months of May and August. Bat-proof your home before these months.
—Bats with rabies might not look sick.
To bat-proof your house:
—Look for holes in common entry places like the garage, attic, and basement.
—Plug up any holes in the house with steel wool.
—Repair window screen holes with wire mesh.
—Caulk any other openings or cracks.
If there is a bat in your house:
—It is important that all bats that come into direct contact with people get tested.
—Before trapping the bat, protect yourself with gloves and a hat.
—Keep the bat inside, do not let it escape outdoors. Shut the door of the room to keep the bat isolated. Turn on the lights to slow the bat down. Collect the bat in a container with a secure lid. Call Animal Disease Control at 435-3165 for further instruction.
—If you cannot trap the bat, call animal control.
If someone gets bitten by a bat:
Clean and seek care:
—Wash the area where the bite occurred with soap and water.
—See your health care provider immediately.
Protect your pets:
—Prevent pets from contracting rabies by keeping their rabies shots up-to-date.
For more information call Onondaga County Animal Disease Control at 435-3165 or visit ongov.net/health.
To see a video of how to safely catch a bat in your home, visit ongov.net/health/ADP.html.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org