Courtesy of Bear River Health Department
Bats are an important part of our ecosystem. They are very active in the summer in Cache Valley, and the Bear River Health Department has seen an increase in the number of bat and human contacts in the past couple of years. While not all bats have rabies, you can’t tell by just looking at them; this can only be confirmed in a lab test.
It is important to note that any bat found in a place that they are not usually seen, like inside your home, sitting on your lawn, unable to fly, or easily approached could have rabies.
To prevent getting rabies, teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, and to never handle a bat. Have all sick, dead, or easily captured bats removed by an animal control officer or the Division of Wildlife Resources and have them tested for rabies. Another prevention strategy is to keep bats out of your home by sealing any gaps and keeping screens in good repair. Finally, be sure to keep pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date.
Bats have tiny teeth, and it may be difficult to know if a bite has occurred. If you see a bat, do not touch it, hit it, or try to remove it. Instead, call animal control. For more information on preventing rabies, please call the Bear River Health Department at (435) 792-6500.