Bat Rabies Awareness
The Prince George's county Health Department would like to make citizens aware of the increase in reports of rabid bats in the county. Since August 1, nine bats have tested positive for rabies.
Rabies can be a fatal disease. The goal of the Health Department is to prevent human exposure to rabies by education and to prevent the disease by anti-rabies treatment if exposure occurs. Increased awareness about bats and rabies can help people protect themselves, their families, and their pets.
Bat-proofing your home is a very important step to protect families and pets from contact with possibly rabid bats.
Bat-Proofing Your Home
- Contact an animal-control or wildlife conservation agency
- Carefully examine your home for holes that might allow bats entry into your living quarters
- Any openings larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch should be caulked
- Use window screens, chimney caps, and draft-guards beneath doors to attics
- Fill electrical and plumbing holes with stainless steel, wood, or caulking
- Ensure that all doors to the outside close tightly
Reduce Your Risk of Contacting Rabies
- Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, cats, dogs, or ferrets; wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly
- Wash any wound from an animal thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately
- Have all dead, sick, or easily captured bats tested for rabies if exposure to people or pets occurs
- Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces where they might contact people and pets
Be a Responsible Pet Owner
- Keep vaccinations current for all dogs, cats, and ferrets
- Keep your cats and ferrets inside and your dogs under direct supervision
- Call animal control to remove stray animals from your neighborhood
- Consider having your pets spayed or neutered
For more information on rabies, contact 301-583-3750. To report a bat found in your household, contact the Animal Management Division at 301-780-7200.