County: trap any bats in your home - KMSP-TV

Rabies concern

County: trap any bats in your home

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The beginning of August in Westchester County, N.Y., typically brings out the bats -- lots and lots of bats. That keeps the local health department busy.

The Westchester County Health Department is asking resident to trap any bats they find in their homes because testing the mammals is the only way to know if you've been exposed to rabies.

57 bats in all have been turned in, including 43 during the first week of the month. The tiny animals are boxed up and shipped off for rabies testing. So far none have tested positive.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Delucia said that trapping a bat doesn't have to be hard. In fact, the county released a video showing people how they can do it. He said that once the bat has stopped flying around or bouncing around, generally it will settle down in a spot. That is when you can cover it up with a coffee can or other container. (See detailed directions below.)

Health officials said that 17 people who were exposed to a bat and did not catch it had to begin preventive treatment.

Here's how to safely catch a bat:

1. Close windows and doors so the bat cannot escape.

2. Wear thick gloves and grab a container (such as a coffee can), a piece of cardboard and some tape.

3. Wait until the bat has settled on a wall.

4. Place the container over the bat, trapping it against the wall.

5. Slide the cardboard between the wall and container to trap the bat inside.

6. Tape the cardboard to the container.

7. It is critical to keep it on ice in a cooler or double-bag it and place it in the freezer.

8. Call the Health Department at (914) 813-5000 for advice on submitting the bat for testing.

 

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