Iowa City Animal Services sees an influx of bats in homes this season

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) – Most of the time, they are harmless, but for many it’s still terrifying to see a bat try and put down roots in their home.

So far, Iowa City Animal Services have tested 14 bats for rabies after they invaded people’s homes. None have come back positive.

“If it’s where you sleep, you are going to want to catch it and contact either us or the police department if it’s after hours,” said Iowa City Animal Service Coordinator, Chris Whitmore.

According to Iowa DNR Wildlife Diversity Biologist, Stephanie Shepherd, it’s expected for this time of year.

“They’ve just finished up their breeding season during the summer, so all the babies can fly at this point. Now they are transitioning over to migrating south for the winter or finding a place to hibernate for the winter,” said Shepherd.

If an attic, or garage stays around 50 degrees, it’s perfect for hibernation.

That’s why both departments are emphasizing the importance of knowing what to do if a bat gets into your home.

“We’ll be glad to come and pick it up. Unfortunately we are going to have to euthanize them and have them tested if you’re not sure if it bit you are not. Usually when most people are asleep they can’t tell, they’re little bats,” said Whitmore.

If physical contact isn’t necessary, they say it’s best to guide a bat out by closing any external doors, and opening any windows that go directly outside.

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