Homecoming Dance Canceled due to Bats in the School Gym
Juniors at Davis High, Davis, California, received the disappointing news on Friday, Sept. 23, that their homecoming dance the following night would have to be postponed due to an infestation of bats in the school gym.
The students were looking forward to this year’s homecoming dance. Last year the dance had to be held on the quad, and they said this year it had represented a “return to normalcy.” Sadly, the plans have been disrupted, but hopefully, the dance can be rescheduled soon.
What has been done to remove the bats in the school?
The school immediately contacted the Yolo County Animal Services and the wildlife rescue group “Northern California Bats,” but according to news reports, they were unsuccessful in removing the bats from the rafters. The report said the school “waits for the bats to leave.” The school posted: “…we learned we could not remove the bats from the gym in time for the dance. Unfortunately, we were unable to identify another option that maintains the safety of our students and staff. We will reschedule the dance as soon as possible”.
Of course, it is extremely unlikely that the bats will leave of their own accord. According to the County Sheriff’s office, there are several bat colonies in the Davis area, so it is possible that a colony has taken up residence in the school as a means of shelter. A bat colony can number into the thousands, but whatever the number of bats in the school, it is understandable that the problem could not be solved overnight.
Why do bats like to roost in schools?
Professional bat removal specialists are often called to schools, and at Get Bats Out we offer specific guidance for schools facing this problem. Bats are found in schools for several reasons:
- Bats like to roost in tall places, and schools and hospitals are often some of the tallest buildings in a town.
- Older buildings, like schools, often have gaps that bats can squeeze through, giving them easy entrance. This doesn’t mean to say the school is in bad condition – a gap as small as a dime is big enough for a bat to get through!
- Bats hunt insects like mosquitos which are drawn to areas where there is still water, which can include school fields.
What should be done if there are bats in a school?
If bats are found in a school, professional bat removal services should be called so that the bats can be efficiently and safely removed. If a bat colony is living in the school, professional equipment and experience will be required to remove the bats, properly clean up bat guano, and seal up entry points to prevent the bats from returning.
It is important that people avoid contact with bats where possible. Bats can carry serious diseases, including rabies, so Davis High School has taken the right action in canceling the dance rather than exposing hundreds of students to these risks. The bats should be contained if possible, and access should be limited to professional bat experts who have the necessary PPE and vaccinations.
Parents and students will be concerned about the safety risks when their school has a bat problem. So it’s important to act quickly and keep everyone informed about the steps that are being taken to keep students safe. If the press publishes the news that there are bats in the school, taking prompt action to remove the bats will help to protect the school’s reputation.
We hope that Davis High’s bat removal will be successful and a solution will be found so the students can safely enjoy future homecoming dances.
If you have a problem with bats in your commercial or residential property, don’t hesitate to contact us for advice. If you are a school principal and suspect your school has a bat problem, read our free bat remediation in schools guide.
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