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County Executive McCoy Reminds Residents to “Capture the Bat”

August 20, 2018

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today is reminding residents to protect themselves from rabies by safely capturing any bat found in their home and bringing it to the Albany County Department of Health to have it tested for the disease and avoid any unnecessary vaccinations.

The County Department of Health has received multiple calls in recent months from residents concerned about potential exposure to rabies due to contact with bats, which is typical during the spring and summer months.

“One of my top priorities as County Executive is protecting the health and well-bring of residents and keeping them safe,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “Though only a small percentage of bats have rabies, unfortunately you cannot tell one has the disease simply by looking at it, and if contracted, it could be fatal. Therefore, we are urging everyone to take every precaution.”

County residents are encouraged to use the below steps to safely capture any bats in their homes so they can be tested for rabies in a lab. If you are unable to trap it, you should be vaccinated at the Albany County Department of Health at 175 Green Street, Albany, NY 12202.

• Use caution
• If indoors, close all windows, room and closet doors, turn on the lights and wait for the bat to land.
• While wearing heavy gloves approach the bat slowly and carefully and cover the bat with a pail, coffee can, or similar container.
• Slide a piece of cardboard or lid under the container to trap the bat inside and tape the container shut.

Residents can "batproof" their home with polypropylene bird netting, fly screening, sheet metal, wood or various caulking compounds to close or cover openings that allow entry for bats to roost. House bats can pass through crevices as thin as a pencil.

For more information, including tutorial videos on how to trap a bat, you can visit the Albany County Department of Health website at or call (518) 447-4620. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at or the New York State Rabies Lab at

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy