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Health Department

Posted on: July 20, 2022

Capture the Bat for Rabies Testing

Capture the Bat for Rabies testing image

Find a bat in your home? Capture it for testing to avoid unnecessary shots.

Rabies virus infection almost always leads to death, unless treatment is provided soon after exposure. If you find a bat in your home, capture it and the next day contact Madison County Health Department to discuss. Call 315-366-2526. 

If a bat is infected with the rabies virus, the bite or scratch from an infected bat can spread the virus to a person or pet.
 
 How to capture a bat safely:

  • Find a small container like a box or a large can, and a piece of cardboard large enough to cover the opening in the container. Punch small air holes in the cardboard.
  • Put on leather work gloves. When the bat lands, approach it slowly and place the container over it. Slide the cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside.
  • If you are certain there’s been no contact between the bat and any people or pets, carefully hold the cardboard over the container and take the bat outdoors and release it away from people and pets. (Reminder: protect your pet with a rabies shot, schedule today at https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/440/Rabies-Clinics)
  • If there’s any question about contact between the bat and people or pets, you want to save the bat for testing. Tape the cardboard to the container, securing the bat inside and then contact Madison County Health Department.

Make your own DIY Bat Capture kit at https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/contact/capture.html and learn more at www.healthymadisoncounty.org.

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