I hate to give more bad news in what may be the worst year for bad news in history, but… the County of San Bernardino just announced nine confirmed cases of rabies in bats in Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Apple Valley. There have no reported cases in the San Bernardino Mountains. Nevertheless, all of us—especially children—need to stay away from bats. That’s easy because bats want nothing to do with humans. If you see a bat flopping on the ground, it may be sick. Do not approach it.
Also, on the bad news front, two construction workers remodeling a cabin in Big Bear were recently diagnosed with hantavirus—a respiratory illness—which they likely contracted from breathing air contaminated by mouse droppings. Some of you may remember that 2012 hantavirus outbreak in Yosemite Park that cost a reported three people their lives. According to the CDC, the fatality rate of hantavirus is 36%. And those who survive reportedly can have health complications for years. Hantavirus is a brutal disease.
The good news is that you can easily avoid contracting rabies and hantavirus by, first, staying away from bats, and second, if you’re working in an area littered with rodent droppings—and all crawlspaces/buildups—wear a respirator and gloves. If you need to clean rodent droppings, first disinfect the droppings with a bleach solution of one part bleach to ten parts water. The same rule applies to bat droppings.
Here’s more good news: we at Home Defenders are experts at getting bats and mice out of homes. If you need our help, we’re ready to go to war against pest-borne diseases. If you have questions, give me a call.
And finally, on the best news of all front, the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains is the greatest place in the world to ride out this never-ending COVID pandemic. Have a safe and pest free week.