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Animal disease lab confirms rabid bats in Southern Nevada

Posted at 11:58 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 09:44:47-04

The Nevada Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Laboratory has confirmed six recent positive rabies cases in bats in Clark and Washoe counties.

Bats are found all over Las Vegas and 13 Action News spoke with a pest control expert who said his company gets a decent number of calls from people in the Desert Shores area, closer to the mountains and on the outskirts of town. 

We heard reports of bats hiding out in a tunnel at a park near Washington Avenue and Durango Drive, but longtime Las Vegas resident Franco Soro said he knew a better place to see bats. 

"Everybody sees them all the time!" he said. "When I'm in my pool at night. They don't bother me. They just fly around."

He showed us a post on his neighborhood's NextDoor app showing a string of comments from areas near Mountain Crest and Desert Shores. 

"This lady just came to the valley and she is wondering if anybody has bats and everyone is responding that they see them all the time," said Soro.

There are just enough bats, 23 species of bats to be exact, for the Nevada Department of Agriculture to issue a yearly warning to remind people that a very small percentage of bats could have rabies. James Hildebrand works for Red Rock Pest Control and he said this time of year he always gets a decent number of calls. 

"You'll get high activity near the Lakes, Lake Las Vegas," said Hildebrand.

Bats are especially active during monsoon and between May and October.

 "The humidity that Nevada gets during this time of the year causes a lot of issues," he said. "So on average you will see a lot more mosquitoes they are going after and more coming out during this season."

Bats eat those mosquitos and other bugs. Hildebrand says they're good for the environment and they tend to avoid humans. But he says if you see a dead one keep them away from your pets and children. 

"I recommend not to pick them up," he said.

The state veterinarian also wants to remind pet owners to keep your animals up to date on their vaccinations to help protect them from rabies.