Canyon police are warning of the annual migration of Mexican free-tailed bats — and an associated risk for rabies — that usually begins in April or May.
Residents should notify animal control or the Canyon Police Department at (806) 655-5005 if they find a bat inside their home, according to a news release. Bats found in a home will be tested for the rabies virus and the results shared with the homeowner.
Bats found outside, hanging from a home or lying on the ground should not be handled, CPD said. If needed, animal control will dispose of them properly. Those bats will only be tested if they have had direct contact with a human.
"Handling these animals should be avoided at all cost," CPD said.
There are usually only one to three human cases of rabies per year in the U.S., but the most common source of human rabies is from bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.