(WKBN) – The fight against rabies ramps up in the Valley with the annual “bait drop.”
Pilots are dropping bait over 14 counties in Ohio, including Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
The goal is to create an “immune barrier” along the stateline to keep rabies from spreading farther west.
The baits look similar to a small ketchup pack.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the baits are not harmful to pets, but it urges pet owners to keep their pets away from them to give wildlife an opportunity to eat them. Most baits disappear within 24 hours.
The USDA also urges people who find the baits in areas frequented by pets or children to toss them deeper into ground cover. Those who are exposed to the liquid vaccine within the bait should wash their exposed skin with soap and warm water.
Anyone with questions about the baiting can call the Oral Rabies Vaccination Baiting Information Line at (888) 574-6656 or call their local health department.
Bait distribution should be completed by approximately Tuesday, Sept. 3.