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Ogle County Couple Faces Challenge Removing Bats from Home

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When you think of summer, pests like mosquitoes and flies usually come to mind. But for one Ogle County family– the pests that invaded their home are anything but easy to get rid of: Bats. Because of Illinois state law, the Murphy family was unable to do anything about the unexpected guests until they got special permission from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Logan and Michelle Murphy had their first encounter with the creatures when they were in their living room and two bats flew down from the attic.

“I dont mind bats eating bugs in my front yard,” said Logan Murphy. “I [just] don’t want [bats] in my house.”

But when the couple reached out to wildlife removal companies they hit a few obstacles. They needed a permit from the IDNR to remove the flying mammals because it’s bat maternity season.

“Bats are having their young at that point in time from May to August,” said ‘When Nature Calls Pest Control’ branch manager Ryan Johnson. “On top of that you have to wait until the juvenile bats are capable of flight.”

Murphy says he and his wife were completely shocked to hear of the law. Out of fear for their infant’s safety, they haven’t been living in their home — instead staying with any welcoming friends.

“It’s sort of a sense of hopelessness,” said Murphy. “We are inhabiting this space and the bats are trying to live here and there isn’t enough room for the both of us.”

It’s illegal to remove bats from a structure if there is any chance they have young. The IDNR has to look into the case and decide whether to grant the special permit. — something that didn’t come easy for the Murphy’s.

“It’s been sometimes hard to get in touch with them,” said Murphy. “It did take a week and a half or so to hear back to get the ball rolling.”

They finally got a call back from the IDNR granting them special permission.

Animal control specialists say residents need to proceed with caution if a bat flies into their living space.

“Only trap it if you feel safe and confident,” said Johnson. “Best situation is to call a professional.”

Experts say its important to immediately to test any bats in a home for potential rabies.

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