"Vaccine containing baits are distributed from cars along roadsides in wooded, brush-covered, and wetland areas where raccoons are likely to find and eat them," reads a release from the USDA. "Bait stations are used to distribute the vaccine to wildlife in wooded portions of the area."
The bait is usually consumed within a week of distribution. If they are not eaten, the packages will dissolve.
While the vaccines are not distributed in lawns or driveways, the Town of Barnstable released the following tips if people find the bait packages.
- Use a glove or towel to pick it up. Throw it into the woods where children and pets will not find it. If no suitable place is available, dispose of the bait in the trash.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the vaccine/bait package.
- If your pet has eaten or had contact with a bait, please report the contact to: USDA Wildlife Services’ MA/CT/RI Rabies Program Coordinator Brian Bjorklund at (413) 537-9394 (cell) or (508) 476-2715 (office). The bait is not harmful to pets. We use this information to educate those distributing the baits that their baits may not have made it to their target destination.
- If you or another person has had contact with the liquid vaccine, wash the area thoroughly and call the Department of Public Health at (617) 983-6800.