What to do if you find a bat in your home and how to safely remove them

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County public health officials want to warn the public to be extremely careful if they come in contact with a bat.

Last week, Eyewitness News brought you a story of a building maintenance worker who came to the rescue of a bat he found inside a sink at a Glendale office.

Raul Morcillo gave the bat a towel and some water to help it survive.

The expert who initially spoke with Eyewitness News said if you find a bat, open the doors and windows to let it escape.

But county health officials say that's not the best advice.

"You cover it with a box or a trash can or something like that so it's contained. That way it's still there when animal control comes to pick it up," said Dr. Karen Ehnert with L.A. County Veterinary Public Health.

Ehnert says it's important to make sure your pets are vaccinated for rabies to protect against a bite from a bat.

Health officials say 68 rabid bats were found in L.A. County last year.

The L.A. County Public Health Department has a checklist on what to do if you find a bat. Officials say never touch it with your bare hands - bats can transmit rabies to humans as well as pets.

If you're indoors, place a bucket or a box over the animal, then exit and close off the room.

Don't try to release the bat yourself.

And remember, the mammals are protected wildlife and it's illegal to kill or harm them.

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