The Broome County Health Department wants you to know how to properly catch a bat.

Warm summer months see an uptick in rabies cases, particularly among pets coming into contact with wildlife like bats.

The health department says bats can be safely collected by wearing gloves and using a coffee can or similar container and a piece of cardboard.  Care should be taken to prevent further exposure and to preserve the animal’s head for testing.  The dead bat should be kept cool but not frozen if it is collected on a weekend or holiday and residents should contact the Health Department at (607) 778-2847 during normal business hours.

The Broome County Health Department cannot assist in physically removing a bat.  A video on how to catch a bat safely and other information is available at www.gobroomecounty.com/eh and click on “Rabies Control.”  People who feel they can’t do it on their own, should consult the phone directory for local pest and wildlife handlers.

In general, residents are advised to keep themselves, children and pets away from wildlife and domestic animals, including cats, they aren’t personally familiar with. Family pets need to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.