(KMOV) – Many residents in Wentzville have been calling police about a surge of bats in and around people’s homes.
“Snakes and bats are the things that scare people the most,” said Gene Jezek, Critter Control of St. Louis. Jezek has been with Critter Control for more than 25 years and says that right now is bat season.
According to Jezek, mother bats are hungry, getting ready to deliver their young in the next couple of weeks and since spring came so late, there are fewer bugs around. Bats went back into hibernation, but now are back feeding.
"I have grabbed hundreds of bats with gloves on over the years and I have had only one rabid bat," said Jezek. "But you never know which one is going to be rabid."
Companies say they won’t block up holes near homes to keep the bats out until August. If they do, there is a danger the newborns might starve to death in attics or inside walls.
“They are part of the ecology,” said Missouri Department of Conservation Representative Tom Meister. “They eat tons of mosquitoes, they keep our bug population down. They are good to have around.”
Meister says the overall percentage of bats that carry rabies is less than half of one percent. In the last ten years, there have been five reported cases of an animal with rabies and each time it was a bat.