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How to Catch a Bat for Rabies Testing

In the last few weeks, our environmental health partners at Central Valley Health District have been fielding calls about bats. Did you know? Bats are one of the most commonly reported rabid animals in the US. Bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in people in the United States.

If you find a bat in your home, try to capture it for rabies testing. By testing the bat for rabies, you can find out if you need to be vaccinated.

Bat bites can be very small. If you've been in contact with a bat - even if you aren't sure if you've been bitten or scratched - talked to a healthcare or public health professional about your risk and if you need to be vaccinated.

Here are some times to capture a bat:

🦇 Find a container like a box or a can large enough for the bat to fit in, and a piece of cardboard large enough to cover the container opening. 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.

🦇 Tape the cardboard to the container to secure the bat inside. Contact your local public health unit, City-County Health District at 845-8518 to have the bat tested for rabies.

Video on how to catch a bat for rabies testing:

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