bat2Over the last several weeks, the City of Longview Environmental Health Department has received several calls regarding

bats found primarily in the downtown area of Longview. Although none of the reported bats have tested positive for rabies, the Environmental Health staff encourage residents to be cautious when encountering the animals.

“Thankfully, we have been able to trap and test several bats, and none of those had rabies. That said, citizens should always refrain from touching wild animals, especially those that appear sick or injured. In our area, bats, skunks, and raccoons are the most common carriers of the rabies virus, but we encourage caution when encountering any wild animal,” said Environmental Health Supervisor Buck Farrar.

If someone encounters a bat or other wild animal, please contact the Environmental Health Department at 903-237-1285. If the event occurs at night or during a weekend, please contact the Longview Police Department non-emergency number at 903-237-1199.

Helpful Information about Bats: Bats flying overhead do not pose a risk for transmitting rabies. Rabies is transmitted when an infected bat bites or scratches a person’s skin.

Never handle a bat. If a person is scratched or bitten by a bat, the Environmental Health Department advises that the exposed person begin treatment to prevent rabies as soon as possible.

Residents are encouraged to periodically check attics and other quiet structures around the home. If bat roosts are discovered, pest control companies may assist with removal.

Vaccinate your pets to protect them against rabies.

Call the City of Longview Environmental Health Department if you encounter a bat or other wild animal around your home or place of business.