Bat infestation closes down Kentucky school

Bat Infestation Closes Down Kentucky School
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:32 PM EDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Wright Elementary School students have relocated for the week thanks to a bat infestation in their school.

According to a statement issued by Shelby County Schools, the school has moved elementary students to Southside Elementary as they “navigate the eviction of Bats.”

As we head deeper into fall, there is a chance that more Kentuckians could be seeing Bats in their homes, according to Mammalogist and EKU Professor Dr Dodd.

He states that “Here in Kentucky, with this being a fairly temperature sort of middle portion of the United States and North America - this is kind of a home that a lot of bats seek out in the wintertime”

Bats tend to be most active between March and November, and right now - many bats are looking to find a place to hibernate for the winter - leading some of the confused furry flyers into schools and even people’s homes.

”In the instances that we are describing here where somebody gets a bat in their bedroom or like in the regular living quarters of their house - the bat doesn’t want to be there, the bat probably accidentally got there,” Dodd said.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife says that 16 different species of bats have been documented in the commonwealth - four of which are endangered. And while bats can carry diseases such as rabies - Dr Dodd wants to encourage folks to gently guide the bats out of their homes to best protect themselves and the animals.

“The first thing I would say is don’t get close to the bat. Second, I would open up their windows and ensure the screens are out,” Dodd said. “The next thing is I would close all the doors, and at that point, I would contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and or animal control to see if you need someone to come in and remove that bat.”