Bats are one of three rabies reservoirs in AZ – the others being skunks and foxes. Our skunk rabies season often peaks during winter & spring (although last year – it went all year). Our bat season goes late-March through early-October. Most (but not all) of the 28 species of bats in AZ do migrate south to warmer climates. When the bats do return, we get into “bat season” – which certainly has begun. So, we’re officially in rabies bat season. We’ve had several bats sent to our state laboratory for testing- and 5 have been rabid so far.
For some reason, grounded bats often seem to end up at schools as curious elementary school kids (usually boys) drag them into classrooms and playgrounds. It’s just the beginning of bat season, and we’ve already had 2 bat exposure incidents at AZ schools. We’re sending a state-wide press release today to remind people to leave bats and other wild creatures alone, and call attention to rabies prevention education resources, including the recently posted 14 minute ADHS video “Bats and Rabies at Schools Video. The video and other resources for schools and school administrators are posted on our “Bats in Schools” page.