SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– So far this year, the city of Sioux Falls has tested 29 bats for rabies. Three of them tested positive. Typically only one or two test positive for a whole year.

Danny and Emma Kroeze spent part of their morning planting a small garden with their three kids. They probably know a lot more about bats than they care to.
That’s because, like many in this McKennan Park neighborhood, they’ve had bats in their home.

“I learned a lot through the process too, that they have a benefit to the community and to neighborhoods as far as they’re eating bugs, mosquitoes, and stuff. Yea, I leaned a lot about how they humanly get rid of them, their nesting habits, and obviously, the potential, why you don’t want them in your house,” said Kroeze.

Of course Danny and Emma want their kids to be safe. Their almost 100-year-old home has been “bat proofed” by a professional company.

Since the start of this year, people concerned about bats in their homes have called Sioux Falls animal control 135 times. If you suspect bats are in your home or know you have them, give animal control a call and they can guide you on what to do next.

“Don’t handle bats,” said Animal Control Supervisor, Patty Beckman. “If you are able to give us a call we will come and remove them from your house for you.”

Beckman says this is a good reminder to make sure your pets are vaccinated.

“Typically if bats are sick or injured they will be lower to the ground so it is easier for pets to get hold of them. Just make sure your pets are vaccinated and make sure you have that documentation at your house so we can verify it and get your animal rabies boosted,” said Beckman.

When left alone bats are harmless and highly beneficial, but in light of the three positive rabies cases, animal control is asking people to be aware.

Rabies can be spread from pets to humans, so you should always be careful when dealing with bats, especially those that can’t fly well or appear sluggish. According to the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, all animals three months or older MUST have a current rabies vaccination.