Schley Co. Family unable to get rid of bats in home because of federal, state laws

Schley Co. Family unable to get rid of bats in home because of federal, state laws

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A family in Ellaville, Ga. has been unable to rid their home of bats this summer because of bat breeding and maternity season.

From April 1st to July 31st, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources highly suggests leaving bats completely alone, even if they are inside of your home.

That’s because it is bat breeding and maternity season, and trying to expel the creatures from your home could kill them. As a federally recognized endangered species, many pest control companies wait until August to get rid of bats.

Unfortunately, local resident Megan Tucker has them in her home.

“They’re breeding in my attic. Yay," she says.

She says she and her family can hear them chirping through the walls in her home.

She’s worried.

“Who’s going to clean this up? Am I going to get sick?" Tucker said. "I started researching online what can happen from them being inside my attic for so long.”

Tucker even called a pest control company to try to help solve the problem.

“The batman came out,” she said.

But, Tucker was told there’s really not much they can do.

“He said unfortunately, it’s their breeding season, and he is not allowed to get rid of them,” said Tucker.

local businessman Roger Thompson works for Active Pest Control. He said his company is doing the same.

“We’re not removing any bats at this time,” Thompson said.

In Georgia, it’s illegal to intentionally kill or harm any of the sixteen Georgia native species.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said you should only expel the bats from your home if absolutely necessary, and it must be done by a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator.

They will come and see if there are flightless young in your home and determine how many bats are present. Then they will decide if it can wait until August, when the breeding and maternity season is over.

Tucker is still concerned about potential health risks

“Their feces can make you really sick," she said. "And then I worry, ‘Oh my gosh. Do they have rabies?’”

DNR says most families will be fine until the bats leave, especially because they eat insects and are a vital part in our ecosystem.

“Bats serve a great purpose,” Thompson said.

Tucker said she can appreciate the species for their role in the environment but she still just wants them out.

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.