WHITE PLAINS - The Westchester County Health Department is warning residents about the possibility of rabid bats in the area.

Health officials say the danger posed by rabid bats is especially high in August, as many enter homes and apartments to escape the summer heat. They say if residents see a bat in their home, they should try to catch it and bring it in for testing.

During the first week of August, 43 bats were captured by residents and professional trappers and brought to the Health Department for testing. So far, none of them have tested positive for rabies.

Seventeen people were reportedly exposed to a bat, and had to undergo rabies treatment as a precaution because they did not trap the animal for testing.

Experts say pets should be up to date on their rabies shots, as a bite from an infected bat can prove fatal to cats and dogs.