Bat season taking wing in KELOLAND

Local News

SIOUX FALLS (KELO) — A winged intruder might have come in from the rain and settled into your home for the night. Bats are ending their winter hibernation and are getting more active in neighborhoods across KELOLAND. This is the first full year that Sioux Falls Animal Control will respond to non-emergency bat calls during regular business hours only.

Rain washes out feeding time for bats to gobble-up bugs, so those bats are looking for a dry place to hang-out.

“So, they are probably staying wherever their roost is, if it’s in your attic, or in a tree, or in an old barn,” Sioux Falls Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong said.

Animal Control is already responding to bat calls inside Sioux Falls homes.

“If that bat’s flying around, then we use a handy-dandy net,” Lead Animal Control Officer Milo Hartson said.

Animal Control only responds to bat calls during regular business hours so they can focus on more urgent calls during off-hours, like dog bites. Animal control officers will still make a priority to respond if a bat has bitten or scratched a person or a pet. But the chances of a bat carrying rabies are only about one-in-one-hundred.

“They should not be scared of bats. Bats are not trying to get in their hair or trying to bite them. Bats eat insects and they’re not vampire bats here in South Dakota, so they shouldn’t be an issue,” DeJong said.

Animal control wants homeowners to know exactly where that bat is when they arrive on the scene to save time and the trouble of tracking that bat down.

“When the bat lands, just watch it for a few minutes. Likely, it isn’t going to take off and fly again, and then give us a call, keep watching the bat,” Hartson said.

Simply opening a window can provide just the escape hatch needed to rid yourself of a bat boarder in your home.

Sioux Falls Animal Control responds to around 600 bat calls a year. Their busiest time is late summer, when young bats are just beginning to fly, and not knowing any better, end up inside a home.

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