There are a few reasons I'm sharing this post, mostly because of advice I've heard since finding out that bats were apparently the culprits, not mice, in the incidence of squeaks in my ceiling... Said advice almost never took into account that these bats had been living in my house while I was sleeping in there. The significance of this will be noted below, but it's Rabies Awareness Day ... please be informed!
Things I've learned since finding a bat ... and that more were living in my house:
- In some areas bats test positive for rabies more than any other animal
- Most people who develop symptoms of rabies, end up dying
- If a person is bitten by a bat, even a Dr. may not be able to find a mark
This concerns me. I've heard people saying they just shoo bats out if they find them in their house. The Department of Health explained the importance of testing bats that may have had human contact. (Though they are not a bat removal service, Animal Control came - under special circumstances - to remove and test the first bat we found in the house.) Capturing a bat may not seem very complicated, but it has potential danger. The NY State Health Department has a video on how to capture a bat and explains when it's necessary.
Did any of you see that old Dr. Quinn show where one of the semi-main characters dies of rabies? It was practically traumatizing, and certainly stuck with me! Though there is now a series of shots available (post-bite), potentially being in that situation is a pretty scary scenario! The shots were something I had to take into serious consideration through the course of events. In the end, it was so helpful to be able to get knowledgeable counsel and information from a Public Health nurse and the Epidemiology Program.
These two links contain more information and I found them helpful in my efforts to deal with the bat problem -bats living in the rafters of our little "tower." Though they are for a particular county, online searches can readily bring up other State and county Health Departments: