You don’t want rabies, so stay away from bats. The flying mammals are Illinois’ top carrier of rabies, says Dr. Connie Austin, the veterinarian for the Illinois Department of Public Health. “Summer months are usually the worst for bat exposures,” she says, “August is our biggest month of all, probably because the babies are starting to fly, and they’re not flying very well, and so they tend to fly around and flop around, and people tend to encounter them when they’re very young.”
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The thing to do, Austin says, is try to put a container over the bat if you see one indoors, then call your local animal control agency. IDPH says eight bats have tested positive for rabies this year, compared to 63 last year.