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Public Health: Stay Safe from Bats this Summer


With summer underway and the weather getting warmer, the Ontario County Health Department is reminding you what to do if a bat gets into your home.

Public Health Director Kate Ott is advising anyone who wakes up to a bat or finds one in their home to catch the winged mammal and call the health department immediately.

“While bats are interesting creatures and help keep the mosquito population at bay, they can carry rabies. If you believe you have had contact with a bat, call your health department before letting it go,” stated Ott.

Being bitten by a rabid bat can spread the infection to humans. The disease can be treated if a vaccine is given after exposure. By catching the bat and turning it over to the health department, it can be tested for rabies to determine whether or not a vaccination is needed.

You can reduce the risk of bats getting into your home by:

  • Sealing gaps and cracks around the home to prevent bat entry.
  • Installing screens on windows and vents to deter bats from entering living spaces.
  • Contacting local bat control experts.

It’s also important to make sure dogs, cats, and/or ferrets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. The health department will hold a free rabies clinic on June 29 from 9:00a-12:00p at the Ontario County Public Works building, 2962 County Rd 48, Canandaigua. You can register for the clinic here.

You can watch a video on catching bats here.

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