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If you meet a bat face to face, Porcupine Health Unit advises not coming into contact

Regardless of which side of the “bats are cute and cuddly” debate you’re on, you shouldn’t touch one.

With Rabies Awareness Day a couple weeks away, the Porcupine Health Unit has issued a warning about the flying mammals, as you close up your cottage.

“Bats look for the warm places to hide for the winter,” says Suzanne Lajoie the PHU’s manager of environmental health.

She says to block all vents and holes in your cottage, to keep bats out.  If they do get in, remember that a bite or scratch can be so small, it’s unnoticeable.

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“People what they’ll tend to do is they’ll find and they’ll try to capture it, that kind of thing. That’s probably the riskiest thing.”

Open a window and try to coax the bat out, or let it leave on its own.

Lajoie adds that bats are generally docile, and won’t attack.

“Overall, we shouldn’t be touching them. But usually they look like they’re sleeping already when you see it, but there is the potential that they could get spooked and start flying around, that’s a risk too.”

If you’ve been scratched or bitten by one of the flying mammals, Lajoie says to wash the area well with soap and water and get immediate medical attention.

Here’s the full interview with Suzanne Lajoie:

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