What To Do if You Find a Bat This Fall

Sep 16, 2015

If you’ve noticed more bats lately, you’re not alone.

“It’s the breeding season, so there’s a lot going on,” explains wildlife biologist Jim Pease.  “They are also getting ready to migrate. Bats have to build up a large fat reserve, so they are out doing lots of flying around and eating this time of year.”

Pease says bats are also more visible this time of year because of the change in air temperature between the indoors and outdoors.

“There’s lots of air flow this time of year and bats follow that air flow,” he says.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Pease about the species of bats we find here in Iowa, what to do if you get one in your home and how bat populations are doing given the spread of white nose syndrome, which has been decimating bat populations across the country. 

If you find a bat in your home, open the door to let it fly outside. Don't pick it up with your bare hands, and be wary of bats you find during the day. 

"They are much more likely to be sick if you see them out during the day with rabies and other things," Pease says.

Wildlife rehabilitator and Executive Director of the Iowa Wildlife Center Marlene Ehresman also joins the conversation. She says she’s seen a large number of bats this year in need of rehabilitation.

“One woman from Winterset called and said she had hundreds of bats in her barn. She was finding them dead and dying on a daily basis,” Ehrensmen says. “It turns out the barn boards were smooth and the bats were losing their grip and falling. We set up a net, and of the bats that were left, several made it.”