Digital Exclusive: How Siouxland should respond to bat encounters

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sioux City Animal Rescue and Adoption responds to several calls a year about bats making their way into the homes of Siouxland, and they continue to try and keep them out of the line of fire when removing them.

Every year bats make their way through small openings and get inside homes around Siouxland, and according to Sioux City Animal Rescue and Adoption, the right course of action is to let a specialist handle it.

 “There’s some golden rules that people should look at,” said Vice President of Hannah Incorporated, Sioux City Animal Rescue and Adoption, Chris Wall, “If you see a bat in your house, try and contain it into a particular room, call us and our animal control officers will go out and get it for you. Just this morning there was a case where somebody found a bat in their house, they attempted to pick it up. They ended up getting bitten, so now you have to go through the whole procedure of getting the bat tested by the health department, and there’s obviously a concern for rabies with the bats.” 

Wall said they get around 120 calls a year for bats inside homes, and around 10 of those need to be sent to the health department for testing. He said it’s important to call and have the bats removed right away, as to avoid being bitten or scratched.  

“Just highlight, don’t put yourself in the firing line. Rabies shots are extremely expensive, and obviously there’s given health concerns. Just call animal control and let us take care of it for you.” 

According to Iowa Department of Natural Resources, you should avoid handling a bat at all but if you must, wear gloves. They are important to the ecosystem and protected by the Endangered Species Act, and Iowa law.

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