What to do about rabid bats

EAGLE COUNTY—It's easy to see all the beauty when you're driving in Colorado, but just beyond the snowcapped peaks and scenic vistas, hidden in the cool dark shadows, is another part of the state that few lay eyes upon.

We're talking about the lives of bats.

In fact, they are common in Colorado -- even in the mountains, which is why at Eagle County Public Health Director Jennifer Ludwig says even two bats testing positive for rabies is pretty normal.

"This is not unusual to have two bats to test positive with rabies," Ludwig said.

Still, two cases of rabies is something to take seriously. One was in Eagle and the other in Beaver Creek, which has the Eagle County Health Department issuing a warning to residents to stay clear of bats.

"They may carry disease to people or pets," Ludwig sad.

When it comes to where bats live, they love their caves, but they also love to get out and sometimes GO into homes. If you open your windows in the evening, make sure they have a screen on them and make sure they don't have any holes because a bat will find his way in.

"Especially in the evening you want to make sure your windows and doors have screens that's don't have holes in them, bats can get into the tiniest of places," Ludwig said.

If a bat does get in your house and didn't make contact with anyone or a pet try to get it out. If it did, make contact with a person or pet try to catch it in a bucket and take it to your local health department for testing. While two cases have showed up in Eagle County, most bats don't carry rabies -- in fact they are an important and vital part of the ecosystem.

"Bats are great for helping with bug control," Ludwig said.

Ludwig says as long as you don't get close, bats are just another great thing about the Centennial state.

"They are part of the beauty of Colorado," Ludwig said.


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