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Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized new regulations to further protect the Northern Long-eared Bat. We had our own experience with bats last fall in the City Administration Building – probably the Big Brown or Little Brown Bat – but, alas, they are also protected. We’re thinking that the replacement of the shingles on the building was when the bats decided to squeeze in through the tiny spaces they take to find a new home.

bat.jpgThe first bat was discovered on the wall of an office when a co-worker walked in and calmly told the occupant to step away from her desk. It was caught by a Styrofoam cup clamped on top of it and was carried carefully outdoors.

We only wish they’d be released in Kansas instead of 50 feet from the building. Our animal control officer, Doug Zach, said it’s been said that a bat will remember where it’s home was and head back there no matter how far away you take it. Great.

The second bat was spotted clinging to the ceiling on the second floor, too high for the Styrofoam cup catch method so Doug had to come in with his special bat pinchers and grab it behind its ears. I took a picture as it was headed out the door clinging to the pincher with its sharp teeth. I’m not a fan of any bat even though they’re said to eat thousands of mosquitoes.

Since these two incidents we’re all a little watchful for black or grayish furry things that may be clinging to window blinds or picture frames or worse, under desks.

If you have a bat in your home, don’t panic. Shut the door of the room it’s in to isolate it and call a pest control company to remove it for you.

There’s a bat release every April at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha of bats caught through the winter. Don’t look for me there any time soon. (By Diane Becker, City of Norfolk Communications Director)