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Don’t feed fears of bats, pest controllers extraordinaire

I read with interest the fear that is about to explode over bats.

If you are bitten by a bat, it is because you are handling them in a irresponsible manner.

I lived in Austin, Texas, for 20 years. There are over a million bats that come out in downtown Austin, every night. It's something to see! These bats eat several tons of bugs every night. Harmful bugs, poisonous bugs, bugs that carry a variety of diseases.

Yes, people can get rabies from bats. This is from simply touching the bat, not from a bite. School children are warned not to touch a bat if they find one, dead or alive. However there are a few kids that touch anyway. And they undergo treatment for rabies immediately, as a precaution before test results to find out if the bat had rabies.

But the amazing thing is, with literally over a million bats in Austin, there are very few cases of rabies. My point? Professionals don't overreact and start killing bats! Don't start the hype and scare people! Don't start a mass extermination, killing all bats. Simply deal with found bats on a case-by-case basis. They do a great job of pest control every night without harmful poisons.

Folks don't be scared about bats. Just don't touch them! Educate your children to report the bat, not touch it or pick it up or play with it. Tell an adult. Sounds like the professionals should go to Austin for some serious bat education.

Susan Kelly