Got Bats? Honors Hall students battle two flying mammals; residents receive shots just in case

 

 Freshmen Riley Ingalls and Megan Hisel thought they could enjoy a day off from class Monday Nov. 11, but instead they were in for a surprise. Though Halloween is over, the bats are still out.

Ingalls’ room in Honors Hall is missing its screen, so when the window was opened up on Sunday night, bats likely flew into the room through the open window. The next morning they found a bat crawling up the futon, according to Ingalls.

On Monday around noon Ingalls told Honors Hall Office Assistant Ashley Unekis that he had a bat in his room and asked for help to get it out. Unekis grabbed a trash bag from the desk in order to help get the bat out.

When Unekis got to the room, the bat was hanging upside down in the blinds. Ingalls caught the bat in the trash bag and released it out the window.

Later Ingalls and Hisel were rearranging Ingalls’ room and Hisel found another bat behind the trashcan. Ingalls picked it up with another trash bag and threw it out the window as well.

“We called Ask-a-Nurse and were told that we could have been bitten overnight, but since bats have such small teeth, they would not be able to see bite marks,” Hisel said.

Since there is a high fatality rate associated with rabies, Ingalls and Hisel went to the emergency room to get started on rabies shots. 

“It was our choice to get them, but it is better to be safe with these kinds of things. So far I have had five and need three more,” Hisel said.

On move-in day when Ingalls checked in and filled out the room condition inventory, he noted that he did not have a screen in his window and was told that something would be done to fix that. It never happened.

Ingalls said that he and Hisel began talking to people about what happened Tuesday, since there was no class on Monday. Since the room didn’t have a screen on it and Ingalls told Residential Life about it on move in day, he and Hisel are trying to get the university to pay for the rabies shots.

“They are pretty spendy,” Hisel said.

“Today [Tuesday] we took copies of the medical forms to Student Affairs and were told that they would give us a call back about it,” Ingalls said. “We also went to the hall director in Schultz Hall and she filled out 

 

 a work order to get the screen replaced.”

The incident was reported to the secretary in student affairs very late this afternoon, Vice President of Student Affairs Marysz Rames said. Because the incident had not yet been reported to residential life, it is not verified at this time.

Doug Wermedal, associate vice president of student affairs, contacted Building Maintenance employee Bryan Bisson to run a check in the ventilation to see if there were any more bats. The thought is that the bats may have gotten in during the construction, so Bisson will be doing a thorough check of the residence halls to be sure the buildings are clear. 

Wermedal will be following up with the students involved in the incident as well as Residential Life, Rames said.