Park Ave Residents Noticing More Bats This Year
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The bats are out, and in some places there are large numbers of them.
Some in the Park Avenue area believe there are more this year than in the past. However, pest control technicians say more people may be noticing bats because this is the time of year they come out.
"July and August is when it really picks up. That's when the pups are raised and they're beginning to fly out of the house as well. Not more than usual, last year just as much, but this month is when it all happens," said Rich Critchley, a pest control technician.
Donna Bagley says she found at least three bats in her home over the past month. She says friends living on other streets have also experienced them in their homes.
"I woke up on Saturday morning and I noticed two marks on my arm so I immediately called my physician to ask him what I should do. His response was to go immediately to the emergency room and to be tested for rabies," she said.
Critchley says it's not unusual to see a lot of bats in that neighborhood because the homes there are older and large and that's where bats like to roost.
Eric Peters, the manager of a Park Avenue restaurant who also lives in the neighborhood, says he sees them all the time.
"I had a few bats try to fly in my kitchen window on South Union when I used to live over there. Right now, I live right on Pearl Street and I see a few bats here and there on the back patio deck or out on the front flying around," Peters said.
If you suspect you've been bitten by a bat, health care professionals say you need to be vaccinated for rabies. However, doctors say they are experiencing a shortage of that vaccine.
For Donna, it was the second time she'd been bitten so she knew the protocol for getting a rabies shot.
"When I called the County Health Department and made an appointment with Urgent Care, I was given an appointment and they called back immediately to tell me that there was a shortage of the rabies booster and vaccine and they needed to wait a couple of days."
She received her booster five days after getting the bit and Dr. Bryan Gargano says waiting that long did not put her at risk.
"Although there is a national shortage, if you need it they can get it to you within a day. So thankfully it's not an emergency that you get it within a couple of hours, so the patient can still get their treatment, it just might not be at the minute they present," Gargano said.
Dr. Gargano says if possible, capture the bat so it can be tested. If found negative for rabies, there is no need to get the vaccine.