Veterinary Public Health

Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 288-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
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Are there any bats actually living in Los Angeles County?
Never touch a bat (video 0:32)
The answer may surprise you—LA County is home to a large number of bats of different species! Bats may live in urban and suburban areas, not just the countryside. Most people do not see our local bats, even when they live nearby. Bats sleep during the day, and come out at night to eat insects.

Have an encounter with a bat in LA County?
Call Veterinary Public Health for a rabies exposure consultation - 213-288-7060
Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.
Bats are an important part of the ecosystem and help us by eating insects and pollinating plants. Healthy bats will avoid humans and other animals. On rare occasions, a healthy bat may wander into your home while following insects. Sometimes finding a bat in your home means there are others living in the attic space of your home.

If a bat has rabies, it can spread it to people or pets through bites. Only about 1% of bats in nature have rabies. However, bats that fly during daylight or have encounters with people and pets are more likely to be rabid—about 10-15% of these bats test positive for rabies in our county.

Sometimes bats are found inside homes or on the ground in a yard. Encountering a bat may be a startling experience and a potentially dangerous situation, but you can safely handle the situation by following a few simple steps.

Things to remember if you encounter a bat:


  1. Stay calm. The bat’s intentions are not to harm you, but it will bite in self-defense.

  2. Isolate the bat. Make sure no pets or people are near the bat.

  3. DO NOT TOUCH THE BAT (or any other wildlife) with your bare hands. Wear thick gloves when you approach the animal, since an infected bat can transmit rabies through biting.

  4. It is illegal to keep, injure, or kill bats. Please do not attempt to rehabilitate the bat on your own or harm any bats when trying to exclude them from your house. If you find a bat in your home or on the ground, contain it and call Animal Control and ask them to collect it for rabies testing.

Picture of a Canyon bat

What should I do if I find a bat in the house?
What if I see a bat outside?
 How can I get bats out of the attic?
Are you considering building a bat house?
Which disease do bats carry?
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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