School board, spending more than $40,000 for bat removal and prevention

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Bats–Belleview High School

Belleview, Florida — The Marion County School Board hired a pest control company and will need to pay an additional $18,000 on top of the $30,000 already spent to remove bats from Belleview High School.

The bats began congregating at the school in August.

According to officials, the additional $18,000 is needed to seal the buildings in order to prevent future bat infestations.

School officials said thousands of bats made the school their new home and that, the smell of ammonia and bat droppings was overwhelming.

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Marion County Public Schools Public Relations Director, Kevin Christian, said, “Getting people out of the building where the odor was the big thing. We don’t want to put people in harm’s way, so we were able to relocate them elsewhere on campus for a few days, for a few weeks. Now people are back in the building, no issue at all.”

According to FWC, the species of bat are protected and cannot be killed.

Schools officials say that a portion of the $18,000 will be used to build “bat houses.”

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