PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - As Tampa Bay Rays fans gear up for spring training in a few weeks, crews in Port Charlotte, where the Rays will play, are trying to evict some unwanted tenants from the Charlotte County Sports Complex.
Brazilian Free Tail Bats have moved into the rafters. "They tend to go to man-made structures." said Conner Keller of Apex Exterminators. Apex was called in by the county to remove the bats from the stadium.
A custom-built bat house was put up about a fourth of a mile from the stadium for the bats to move to.
The exterminators will put up netting and cones throughout the roof of the sports complex over the next few days. Once the netting is up, and the bats leave the park to feed at dusk, they won't be able to get back inside. They will naturally go to the new bat house out of instinct according to Conner Keller.
The stadium has seen the bats coming and going over the last few years, but last spring training it got really bad according to stadium officials. The droppings the bats leave behind smell and make a mess of the stadium seating.
The bats won't be harmed in the moving process, and the whole procedure will take about 7 to 14 days. Stadium officials hope to have the bats out of the ballpark, by the time the Rays hit the field at the end of the month.
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