What to do if a bat is in your home

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Right now is high season for bats. In July, there were 67 reports of bat encounters, according to the Erie County Health Department. So far in August those numbers have nearly tripled to 189.

So what do you do if a bat’s in your home? According to Pete Tripi, from the Rabies, Disease and Vector Program in Erie County, catch it.

“If it was flying around the bedroom and woke someone up that is extremely important to get us that bat,” said Tripi. “Do not throw that bat out the window.”

Only about four percent of bats tested have rabies, but testing it might save you a trip to the doctor for a rabies shot.

“This is the problem: the bite is so fine, or the scratch is so fine, you can’t always tell,” said Tripi.

They’re relatively easy to catch.

“Bats don’t just jump off a wall or take off like a bird. A bat has to drop and then open it’s wings in order to catch air and start flapping its wings and fly.”

While many people have a positive view of bats and their role in the ecosystem, others like Carolina Hodgson from Kenmore won’t change their mind.

“I don’t care what they tell you, I’m still afraid it will get caught in my hair.”

For more information head to http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=rabies-information

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