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08/12/16 - 08/31/16
August is Immunization Awareness Month!
Summer Increases Risk of Exposure to Bats and Related Health Risks
Raleigh, N.C. - During the height of summer and mosquito season, bats flying through the night sky are typically a welcome sight. But when bats venture indoors, it may be a different story. According to wildlife experts, May 1 through July 31 is the time of year for bats to care for their newborn pups in maternity colonies and it is very common for the animals to roost in attics and crawl spaces. While the insect-eating mammals are very important to maintaining ecosystems worldwide, they also can transmit rabies and other disease to humans.
DHHS public health experts suggest taking precautions to protect yourself and your family:
Unless it is determined to be a health hazard, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) recommends that exclusion of bats from the entire structure not be performed from May 1 to August 1 because bat maternity colonies may be present. Removal, or exclusion, may also be illegal if it results in the death of bats, some of which may be federally protected under the Endangered Species Act or state Threatened or Special Concern species.
To prevent bats from entering your home, examine your home carefully and seal openings in doors, windows and screens, attics and chimneys that may allow bats access to your living spaces. You may also wish to consult with a trained and licensed Wildlife Damage Control Agent for assistance. A county-by-county listing is available online.
For more information on rabies in North Carolina and links to current rabies data, please visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/rabies.html.