Seattle Times: Beward of bats on the ground

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Seattle Times: Beward of bats on the ground

Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 21, 2006 6:22 pm

Friday, July 21, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Bats are not an unusual sight during warmer summer months, particularly around dusk, which is their hunting time for insects. Local public-health officials say bats are no cause for fear. But people should avoid touching them because of the risk of rabies.

Anyone finding a bat on the ground or in a house should avoid direct contact. Any actual or potential bat-human contact should be reported to Public Health — Seattle & King County. Bat-human contact is any kind of bare skin contact, including touching, handling, being bitten or getting scratched.

In the past month, the health department has tested about a half-dozen bats for rabies, but none was positive. However, more than a dozen people have been treated for potential exposure.

Public Health doesn't charge for testing bats. If you should find a bat, dead or living, inside the house, call Public Health at 206-296-4774. Do not shoo the bat outside. Pest-control agents can assist in capturing a live bat for a fee. Information about capturing a bat is online at .

The health department recommends people use screens for windows and doors to keep bats from chasing an insect inside the home.

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