• New to the
    area? Your new home may pose different health risks than your previous one.
  • In recent
    years, Mesa County has seen increased activity in hantavirus, tularemia and
    plague – all of which can be carried by animals.
  • Awareness and
    prevention are key in protecting yourself and your family against these
  • Avoid handling
    wild animals – dead or alive. Chances
    are, if a wild animal is allowing you to handle it, it is likely sick.
  • Keep in mind,
    even your pets can carry these diseases and bring them into your home.
    • Do not allow your pets to consume animal
    • Leash your pets when outdoors and keep them away
      from dead animals.
    • Talk with your veterinarian about tick and
      flea prevention for your pets, as some diseases can be spread through tick
      and/or flea bites.
  • Reduce rodent
    habitat around your home, work place and recreational areas, as well.
    • Remove brush, rock piles, junk, cluttered
      firewood and other nesting areas from your property.
    • Make sure pet food is sealed.
    • Make sure your home and outbuildings are
  • If you find a
    dead animal on your property, do not
    pick it up with your bare hands.
    • Place the carcass in a garbage bag using a long-handled
    • Double bag the carcass.
    • Dispose of the carcass in a sealed outdoor
      garbage can, away from people and pets.
  • If you notice an unusual animal die-off on your property, contact
    Mesa County Health Department at 254-4120 to have the carcasses tested for
  • Mesa County
    also sees bat migration this time of year, and some even stay for the summer.
  • Bats can carry
    rabies virus, which has been found in Mesa County in the past.
  • Examine your
    home for holes that might allow bats entry.
    • Caulk any openings larger than a quarter-inch
      by a half-inch.
    • Use window
      screens, chimney caps and draft-guards beneath doors to attics, fill electrical
      and plumbing holes with stainless steel wool or caulking and ensure that all
      doors to the outside close tightly.
  • Prevent bats from roosting in attics or buildings by covering
    outside entry points.
    • Observe where
      the bats exit at dusk and keep them from coming back by loosely hanging clear
      plastic sheeting or bird netting over these areas.
      • Bats can crawl
        out and leave, but cannot re-enter. When all the bats are gone, the openings
        can be permanently sealed.