Bat encounter basics

What to do if you come across a bat

If you've seen more bats lately, you're not the only one. The Butte County Public Health Department, Animal Control Division, has reported an increase in sightings in low-lying areas. Officials point to drought conditions and heat as primary reasons bats are heading to lower ground. Bats often attach themselves to houses, fences, gates and trees in shaded areas, and usually fly away at nightfall, according to a Public Health press release. Here are some tips if you encounter a bat:

• Ensure pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, as bats are the No. 1 carriers of that disease.

• Tell children to not touch bats.

• If you find a dead bat, collect it with rubber gloves, secure it in a plastic bag and call Animal Control.