Thousands of bats vacate gym, school staff goes 'batty' for Hall - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Thousands of bats vacate gym, school staff goes 'batty' for Halloween

(Source: Jennifer Miller) (Source: Jennifer Miller)
(Source: Jennifer Miller) (Source: Jennifer Miller)
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    Some Fredericktown, Missouri students are having to go elsewhere for P.E. class as a large colony of bats takes up residence in the gym.
    Some Fredericktown, Missouri students are having to go elsewhere for P.E. class as a large colony of bats takes up residence in the gym.
FREDERICKTOWN, MO (KFVS) -

The gym at Fredericktown Elementary reopened after being invaded by thousands of bats in August. Now, the teachers and staff are showing off their "batty" Halloween costumes.

Students had to take P.E. classes elsewhere after what was originally thought to be a few bats turned into thousands.

Principal Joe Clauser informed parents in September that the bats had left the building, leaving behind about 180 pounds of guano.

He said a team with the National Wildlife Control Operators Association begin working to remove the feces, and then sprayed the gym with sanitizer and deodorizer.

You can read the full letter here:

Dear Parents/Guardians

"I am happy to inform you that the Fredericktown Elementary gym is officially bat-free!

"On Thursday, September 3, Mr. Ron Henson began the process of excluding the bats from the gym. Mr. Henson is a wildlife removal professional recommended by the Missouri Department of Conservation. He worked to fill many cracks around the building with foam, installed wire screens over vent openings, and installed exclusionary devices that would allow the bats to leave the building at night but not return. He also inspected the cafeteria and added screens to the vents there to ensure that the bats would not simply move across the campus. After ten days, Mr. Henson returned to inspect the gym and found that all of the bats had left. He removed the exclusionary devices and filled the holes where they were installed.

"At their regular meeting on September 15, the Board of Education approved hiring Wildlife Command Center to conduct the cleanup of the guano (bat feces) that was left behind. The company is a member of the National Wildlife Control Operators Association. Their team began working early Friday morning, September 25, removing 180 pounds of guano. They also sprayed a sanitizer to ensure there are no health risks associated with the guano, and a deodorizer to make the gym smell fresh. We have allowed three days for the smell of the sanitizer and deodorizer to settle, and we are now ready to re-open the gym!

"Beginning tomorrow, the gym will once again be used for physical education classes and other school and community activities. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we have worked to solve this problem. I look forward to seeing our students back in the gym this week!"

Sincerely
Joe Clauser Principal

So, what did the staff do for Halloween? They dressed up as bats of course! Including Principal Clauser as a bat exterminator with bat spray and a "Guano-B-Gon" vacuum.

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