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Bat infestation at Polk County school forcing students out of the classroom

Posted at 6:57 PM, Sep 09, 2016

A bat infestation at a bay area high school is forcing students in music and choir to learn in new, temporary classrooms while workers remove the estimated 200 bats and clean up the mess left behind.

The mascot at Haines City High School is a hornet, but likely it’s the bats that have taken over the music building on campus.

“There’s just mush all over the carpets. It’s just not a good thing and it smells horrible,” said Julian Green, a choir student.

In multiple videos given to ABC Action News, bats are seen swarming in and out of open cracks and holes near the roof of the music building.

A picture distributed by the school district shows what appears to be a dead bat right next to sheet music where students study.

“It started last year when we found a couple of bats, and then this year we found a bat pinned in between the music stands so we brought in people to see if there are more and we found a whole ton of them,” Green said.

A spokesperson for the Polk County School District tells ABC Action News that four rooms are temporarily shutdown during the tedious task of sealing off the building and installing a sort-of one way door for the mammal.

“When one comes out, they can’t come back in and they go find another place to eat,” explained Jason Provo, General Manager of Centurian Services, a wildlife control company that spends much of its time dealing with bats this time of year.

Provo said it takes up to two weeks for all the bats to find a new home, and then comes to task of cleaning up their fecal matter and replacing the floors and ceiling.

“It’s more of the respiratory problems from the guano that is actually worse for the kids,” he said.

Even the CDC warns on its website to take caution around bats, due to diseases and what you could breathe in.

In all, the district said it will spend about 13-grand on the entire job.

The students tell us it couldn’t come soon enough.

“It’s wrong. There really shouldn’t be like furry creatures inside of a school,” Green said.