March 08, 2021

Bat infestation troubles southwestern Indiana county’s offices

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — County employees in a southwestern Indiana county are ducking for cover these days amid a bat infestation that periodically sends the flying mammals fluttering through their offices.

The Knox County Commissioners said Feb. 2 that a former jail building in downtown Vincennes which houses the county’s probation department, E-911 and community corrections is infested with bats that have been plaguing employees in all three departments.

“A lot of people are keeping brooms in their offices these days,” said commissioner Kellie Streeter, prompting chuckles.

Commissioners President Trent Hinkle said the bats seem to have a found a comfortable home in the building’s three attic areas.

To deal with the unwanted guests, Hinkle sought estimates on the cost of removing the animals and received proposals from two companies, the Vincennes Sun-Commercial reported.

On Feb. 2, the commissioners tentatively chose the lowest bidder, CRNAC in Vincennes, which bid $48,000 for the bat-removal effort. Hinkle said he will take that funding request to the county council at its next meeting.

The bat-removal proposal would involve creating a one-way door out, encouraging a space for the bats to leave but without allowing them access back inside, he said. Once it’s determined that all the bats have left the building, the entire area will be cleaned, sealed and insulated to prevent their return.

“And that should take care of the problem,” Hinkle said.