Schools close due to swarms of bats

Posted at 9:18 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 23:18:32-05
File photo of bat

FRANKLIN, LA – A Louisiana school will be closed through the weekend after bats were seen flying in the gym.

Officials in St. Mary Parish made the decision to close Franklin Junior High Thursday and Friday. School officials will make a decision over the weekend about Monday’s classes.

The Acadiana Advocate reports the swarms have caused similar issues in recent weeks at Zachary High, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Gueydan High in Vermilion Parish.

United Bat Control Owner Kevin Koski says the animals are migrating north from Mexico to reach their breeding grounds by spring.

Catching the creatures involves closing the doors and windows where a colony is hiding, waiting for them to wake up for their nocturnal foraging and trying to seal entryways while they’re out.

Health officials then help make sure a building is safe. State public health veterinarian Gary Balsamo says bats can transmit rabies, and their guano contains a fungus that can lead to a respiratory infection known as histoplasmosis.