It's that time of year when the phones at Foothills Pest Control are constantly ringing. "We've been getting a lot of bat calls lately," says owner, James Kernells. The reason? Kernells says you can blame the weather. A wet winter, combined with the warmth of spring, means that bats are becoming more active. "They're feeding on mosquitoes that typically during colder weather are not out, so now that we're seeing more insects, we're seeing more bats. And we're going to see more of them now that the warmer weather is here," he says.
The pesky critters have caused problems for places around the Upstate recently. Fountain Inn Elementary School, Boiling Springs Middle School, and a dormitory at Southern Wesleyan University in Central have all had issues with bats in recent weeks. Technician Josh Anderson says that's not surprising the critters picked those places. "They like schools and big churches," Anderson says. "Easily accessible places is what they like, where they can get in and people don't mess with them."
Now that the warmer weather will soon be here to stay, both Anderson and Kernells says there are things you can do to protect your property. First, examine the outside, looking for specific "stains" or signs of droppings, as an indicator bats have been there. Also, look for any small holes in siding or along your roof, were the pest could get in. You can also install small mesh wire to keep them out.
With spring sticking around for a few months, Anderson predicts the problem is only going to get worse. "They're going to be everywhere."