Bats are driving people batty

5:54 PM, Sep 6, 2011   |    comments
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By Kathleen Berger

Shrewsbury, MO (KSDK) - We're seeing chatter on Facebook and getting emails about a problem in our area that's driving people bats. And you bet- we're talking about bats.

Wildlife management companies, and animal control are getting a lot of calls, after all it's the peak of bat activity during bat season. This means more and more homeowners may see bats in their homes.

"So two weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer here and a bat came flying down from our second floor," said Jenny McKie.

That was on a Sunday. Jenny McKie explains how the Sunday before that she saw a bat in her bathroom. Both were caught and removed from Shrewsbury.

Then this last Sunday, Jenny was going about her business when, "I just saw one sitting at the corner of our cabinet. And it just started flying around the second I spotted it."

She called St. Louis County Animal Control, but no one could find the bat. So Jenny moved her family out of the house until she gets answers.

Her attic is sealed, so at this time. Nobody can get in, but she's told bats could.

So McKie called out two companies to inspect the exterior. One said she has a bat colony in her attic, and worked up a whopping bill to seal all small openings where bats can access the house. The other said she's more or less just the victim of a random Sunday bats, so she called Critter Control.

The owner has been at her residence for 23 years, and says this time of year bats get into the living areas of the older homes, because the creatures are at peak activity in August and September.

"The young are born shortly after right around June 1st, they're able to fly mid-July to late-July, so you got basically toddler bats who got their wings for the first time and do things adult bats wouldn't necessarily do, a lot of times they're going to get into homes," said Critter Control owner Gene Jezek.

If it's not a home they established a colony, Gene Jezek says they don't want to be in there. So Jezek inspected the exterior of McKie's home looking for an entry where there might be bat droppings, a sign of bats making themselves at home.

After much work, the decree: the house is free of bats it appears, except for the one unaccounted for.

But McKie won't spend another Sunday here until Jezek makes repairs to keep bats out. Maybe then, she can let her guard down.

Because bats are the number one carrier of rabbis in St. Louis County, homeowners should be concerned.

But despite this cycle of activity, St. Louis County Animal Control and the St. Louis County Health Department say we're having an average bat season. In fact, fewer bats have tested positive for rabies this year than last year, so the county isn't concerned about bats this year.


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