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Davis Journal

Bats in the belfry

Aug 06, 2021 10:33AM ● By Becky Ginos

SALT LAKE CITY—Bats are a bit creepy and mostly associated with Halloween. However, Layton High had an infestation of the creatures a couple of years ago that required the district to take extensive measures to get rid of them. The Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has a few tips for homeowners to prevent bats from becoming a problem.

“We have a colony of migratory bats coming through in September,” said Kimberly Hersey, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Mammal Conservation Coordinator. “Schools had to take action to seal it up. Unfortunately they come back to use the same place over and over again if they can.”

All species of bats are protected in Utah so they can’t just be exterminated. “You have to first make sure you get them out then seal up the cracks so they can’t get back in,” said Hersey.

The older brick and mortar schools like Layton High seem to have more trouble because they have a lot of different cracks they can get into, she said. “West High school had bats a few years ago. Some of the oldest brick and mortar buildings have a lot of people in there too which is not a good combination.”

If there’s any chance they could have contact with humans a professional has to come in, Hersey said. “A certified pest control operator who has a permit can remove and handle the bats to fix the problem as soon as possible.”

Bats will occasionally use porches or overhangs of homes as a night roost, Hersey said. “If bats are regularly using a porch, try hanging streamers, balloons or other objects (like old CDs) that will move with a breeze.This seems to discourage bats from hanging out.” 

Hersey gives the following tips to prevent bats from roosting in the attic:

• Cool your attic with fans to make it uncomfortable for bats to take up residence.

• Inspect the outside of the building for openings and gaps in siding, chimneys and roof lines.

• Seal cracks and holes with caulking, hardware cloth, foam rubber, foam sealant, tar paper and chimney caps.

For more information about bats visit the Wild Aware Utah website at