Hundreds of furry little winged squatters turned up in the old Hill School Building, and officials hired someone to have them move on.
Bats were the unwelcome guests, and Rick Crump with Critter Control of Wichita, was in Marion to assess the colony, and remove them from the school’s attic at 701 E. Main St.
Typically, Crump said, there’s a standard procedure for removing the bats which includes photographing them, getting them out using a port, returning days later to seal the area, and lastly removing the bat feces.
What wasn’t typical about the Marion bats, Crump said, is that when he looked in the attic to inspect the population, there were too many bats flying around.
“There were a ton of them,” he said, estimating close to 500.
“Usually bats don’t stay in eaves and along the sides, but for some reason when I came up at that particular moment, they were circling and flying throughout the attic.”
Crump said he told school officials that he needed to get the bats out first, and then would be back on site Tuesday, Sept. 5, to take pictures, secure the exit and clean the feces.
“We have a certain way we get the bats out, and we do it safely without harming them because they are protected,” he said.
It’s difficult to pinpoint when the bats infiltrated the attic, but school officials surmise it might have been later in the summer, said USD 410 superintendent Aaron Homburg.
Regardless of when they arrived, Homburg said they have worn out their welcome.
Crump said the old Hill School Building is exactly the kind of place bats would like.
While it’s difficult to know for sure, Crump said the building could have been home to bats now and then since it was built in 1874.
Homburg said he first learned bats were living in the Hill Building when residents said they saw them in flight going in and out of the building.
The bat problem was first talked about during the August school board meeting, he said, and it was after that he called Critter Control.