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Perryville, MO

Bats take over couple's attic

Bats take over couple's attic
By: Crystal Britt

PERRYVILLE, Mo. - When you think of having pest problems in your home, critters like mice, rats and ants probably come to mind. But, that's not the case at one home in Perryville.

A couple there is dealing with dozens of unwelcome bats.  The worst part, there's nothing they can do about them. It's not a quick fix.

Kelly and Louise Pruett would get rid of their bat problem today if they could, but it's not that simple. We're talking about upwards of 50 bats living in their attic. They're squeezing in and out of a tiny hole at the top of the house.

Conservation experts say right now it's all about the bats: making sure they're comfortable, at least until after mating season.

"I'd rather have them out right now, I wouldn't mind going up there and killing all of them, just to get rid of them, but it's against the law to kill them," said Louise Pruett.

Louise is just now starting to get used to the fact that she and her husband Kelly are not alone in their house.

The Pruett's have lived in their Perryville home since 1958. They never had a bat problem until last year. One night while watching TV, Kelly said he saw the first one.

"It was wobbling along the edge here, and I looked twice and I thought I was seeing things. The last thing I thought of was a bat," said Kelly Pruett. 

He later found more...about nine total last year inside the house. So far this Spring they've found about seven.

Kelly thinks he found the source. "That small opening above that picture there, probably not even half an inch". Kelly just plugged the hole in the ceiling of a spare bedroom a couple of days ago, and so far so good.

Bat experts tell Heartland News the type of bat that's likely in their home is The Little Brown Bat. The animals are living in the Pruett's attic. We tried to get video of them, but they must have been sleeping, tucked away out of sight.

While out of sight, the Pruett's can still hear them during the day scratching above the bathroom wall. "I don't fancy having them around me when I'm drinking my beer, but they're up there, they're isolated," said Kelly. 

Conservationists tell Heartland News, as long as the bats aren't overrunning the living quarters there shouldn't be a health concern. Louise said the story might be more interesting if it were happening to someone else. 

"Were just going to have to live with them that's all we can do." Kelly said. "They're encouraging people to put bat houses out. I'm not putting bat houses out. I'm putting a sign up saying no vacancy on mine."

The Pruett's are good sports, and they say they've learned more about bats than they've ever wanted. The only major problem they're dealing with now is the bat droppings around their home. Again, the Pruett's have contacted a bat expert who will come out in the fall to get rid of the bats humanely. Then they'll have to call in professionals to clean their attic, something they hope insurance will cover.

Experts tell us bats do bite, but very few carry rabies. The main concern is with the bat guano, or droppings which can make people sick.

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