GENESEO, N.Y., Oct. 24, 2023 – Livingston County and the Department of Health are pleased to celebrate Bat Week beginning October 24-31. Bats play a pivotal role in helping natural areas to be strong and healthy.
Habitat loss and diseases like white-nose syndrome are hurting native bats. One way to keep bats and people safe is to prevent bats from finding their way inside of buildings. There are animal control organizations and wildlife conservation agencies that may be able to help to bat-proof your home. Some basic tips you can use to do it yourself are:
- Caulk any holes larger than a quarter inch and make sure your doors are closed tightly.
- Use chimney covers, window screens, and draft guards, particularly around attics.
- Repair or replace loose shingles, siding or open vents.
If a bat gets in your home and there is a chance that it had contact with a person, pet, unattended young child, a sleeping individual, a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a person with other sensory or mental impairment, please follow these simple guidelines:
- Do not touch the bat with bare hands. Put on leather work gloves.
- Get a small box or coffee can, a piece of cardboard and tape.
- Wait for the bat to land.
- Approach the bat slowly, and while wearing the gloves, place the box or coffee can over it.
- Slide the cardboard under the box or can to trap the bat.
- Tape the cardboard to the can or box opening so the bat cannot escape.
- Punch small holes in the cardboard allowing the bat to breathe.
- Leave the bat in the container. Then take the container outside and call the Livingston County Department of Health at (585) 243-7280, or the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department at (585) 243-7100 after hours.
- Do not release the bat without consulting the Livingston County Department of Health. The bat may need to be tested for rabies to determine the need for treatment.
If you have pets, make sure they are up to date on their rabies vaccinations as this is the most effective way to protect them. If you, a member of your family or your pet have physical contact with a bat or other suspect animal, please call the Livingston County Department of Health at (585) 243-7280. For more information, please visit the Livingston County Department of Health’s website.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is home to more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.