City of Lincoln - Lancaster County
Judith A. Halstead, MS, Health Director
The number of calls to Lincoln's Animal Control from the public reporting bats in their homes and other locations will increase in the next few weeks and will continue through this fall due to cooler temperatures. Bats are potential carriers of rabies. If you have a bat in your home, Animal Control officers will come to your location and in most cases, remove the bat for rabies testing. This year, so far, only one bat has tested positive for rabies and there was no human contact.
The Animal Control division of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has responded to 3, 627 bat calls since January 1, 2006. The Animal Control Division received an average of 656 bat calls each year over the last five years (2006-2010). Animal Control has received 345 bat calls from January 1, 2011 through August 5, 2011.
Rabies remains a potentially serious public health problem in Lincoln and the state. Vaccination of pets remains the most effective measure to reduce human exposure. In addition to bats, rabies infections are found in skunks, horses, cattle, dogs and cats. If a person or a pet comes in contact with a bat, you should contact Animal Control at 402-441-7900 and your local veterinarian. Bats are able to enter a home or building in holes as small as 1/2 inch in diameter. To prevent bats from entering your home, you should cover any openings and cover windows with screens where possible. Rabies is preventable if you take the appropriate steps.