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Who Does Rabies Testing Locally?

You would think it would be important that officials know exactly what to do if a resident were to call saying they found a bat in their bedroom but sadly, you may have to ask a lot of questions to get the right answer!

Most people who do bat removal in the new orleans area don’t even know, and to me that’s pretty sad! I have been removing bats in the New Orleans area since about 2001 and this information has changed a couple of times but the importance of it has not!

No matter where you are the first place to start is your local animal shelter. They will ask you if you were bitten and if you still have the animal that you think bit you. They will also ask if you found the bat in a room you were sleeping in, for example you woke up and found a bat flying around in your bedroom. This is important because you could have been bitten and not know it. This also applies to anyone incapable of knowing like an infant, a newborn, or an elderly person with dementia.

Who can I call?

If your in St Tammany you can call the animal shelter on hwy 36 at 985-809-0183 and they can explain the process.

Again, regardless of your area call the local animal shelter. Testing is often done immediately and you’ll get results back within a day.

What should I do if I think I was bitten by a bat?

Important steps to take

  1. Safely capture the bat if possible as testing cannot be done otherwise. Again, I said safely, this means – do not get bitten by it just to see if it’s rabid. If you need help, call us but do not think it just flew away simply because you do not see it anymore.
  2. Do not damage the head, testing is done on the brain tissue. If you cannot safely capture it and can close off the room it was last seen in – do that and call us to come capture it for you. Bats can crawl under a typical door so you may have to tape the door shut to ensure it remains in that room.
  3. Call us to schedule an inspection. While bats are awesome, you do not want to share your home with them!
  4. Check common interior FROM exterior entry points and seal them.
    1. Air conditioning doors are common points of entry.
    2. Cracks/holes in the wall
    3. Cracks/holes in the ceiling – includes can-lights & ceiling fan fixtures
    4. Walk-in attic doors
    5. Pull-Down attic stairs
    6. Fireplaces – including crevices around them

You can seal these areas with tape as a precaution and hopefully prevent another bat from coming into the living space. You need to stop more bats from finding their way in. If you made the mistake of sealing the exterior walls of the house first – you may find bats on the interior for days…always consult a professional when dealing with a colony of bats!

When we do an inspection, we will be happy to perform an interior inspection as well but the primary concern is that you may have a colony of bats living in the shell of the building. Sealing the exterior entrance might result in bats being scattered within the shell of the building – this is a major problem going forward.

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