Commercial, Professional, Wildlife Management Control

Bats Create Problems at Akins High

akins-storyA colony of bats have taken up residence in the roof at Akins High School in South Austin.  Students say the smell is so bad it’s making people nauseous.

Air purifiers have been installed and three classes were moved out of the Fine Arts Building Monday because of the bats.

“Just walking into the dressing room, you just start gagging it’s so bad. From all of the bats urinating, dying, it smells like something dead,” said Akins student Crystal Hale.

About 100 bats tested positive for rabies in Travis County last year, according to the Department of State Health Services.

AISD officials say they’re not aware of anyone who has gotten sick from the bats at Akins HS.
Health officials say bats should not be handled because of the risk of rabies.

However, experts say just smelling bat feces can make people sick, if they’re exposed to it for extended periods of time.

“Being in the building everyday, it shows up as other things, like allergies, tiredness, feeling sick, run down,” said Tom Regner, a bat control expert with Townlake Construction.

An AISD spokeswoman says Akins has had a bat problem since it opened in 2000.  Regner says that’s more than enough time to get the problem under control.

“It should not take 10 years and a typical bat proofing job for us takes about five or six days.”

Akins Principal Daniel Girard says custodial staff are trying to clean up the mess and the bats do not pose a health hazard to students.

A private pest control company is also doing an assessment of the campus.

Crystal Cotti
FOX 7 City Beat Reporter

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Jan 2010, 6:29 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 26 Jan 2010, 12:49 PM CST