Rabid Bat Found in Meridian; What to Do If You Come Across One
Of the six rabid bats identified in the Gem State this year, this is the first one to show up in the Treasure Valley.
Let's be honest. Bats are just down right creepy by their nature. That's why they're such a popular part of decor for the Halloween season. You know what makes bats even creepier? Waking up to one in your house or cabin without knowing what it did to you when you were asleep. (This happened to a family in Cascade last year.) Their teeth are so small that if it bit you while you were asleep, you may never know because the bite could heal by morning. That's bad news if said bat has rabies. The infection is transmitted through bites and left untreated, it's close to 100% fatal for humans and pets.
Luckily, this particular rabid bat was found in a Meridian backyard and according to KTVB and did not make contact with any humans.
In 2018, Ada County confirmed four bats that tested with rabies so it's quite possible that more of them could show up before the end of the year. What should you do if you come across one? According to Wildlife-removal.com, you never want try to catch it with your bare hands. They suggest one of these four methods:
Butterfly Net: Not the easiest way to catch a bat if it's flying around your home. To prevent injury to the bat, wait till it lands before throwing the net over it.
Grab a Container: Chances are you'll never be able to bring yourself to eat from this piece of tupperware or bowl again, but if you wait till its tired enough to land you can place the container over it. Once it's trapped slip a piece of paper between the container and floor/wall and you'll have an easy way to transport it.
Smother It With a Towel: Once it lands, drape a blanket over it. You can gently scrunch the blanket around it to protect your hands while you carry it.
Wear Leather Gloves: If you gotta do it with your hands, this is a good way to prevent bites.
If you do think you've been bit by a bat and you don't know if it has rabies or not, you should see a doctor ASAP. Getting started on a rabies prevention therapy immediately after the bite reduces your chance of actually contracting the fatal infection. The disease eventually attacks the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord but initially presents itself as flu like symptoms: weakness, fever and headache.