Kimball board battles bats in town buildings

Kimball board battles bats in town buildings

September 5th, 2011 by By Ryan Lewis/Correspondent in News

A brown bat is craddled in the hands of American Bat Conservation Society co-founder, Heidi Hughes, in Rockville, Md. Brown bats are one of several bat species found in the southeastern United States. (KRT photo)

KIMBALL, Tenn. - City administrators are taking the fight to the bats.

The Kimball Fire and Rescue Hall and the town's maintenance building are infested with nocturnal flying mammals, officials said.

"It's becoming a health hazard and a nuisance, too," Kimball Vice Mayor Rex Pesnell said.

An inspection of both buildings revealed a 2-inch gap around each near the roof where officials believe the bats are entering.

There are also some vents around the fire hall where the bats may be gaining access, Pesnell said.

"You've got to get the bats out of there, and then you've got to seal that off somehow," he said. "I think it's something that we need to try to get corrected."

Kimball Maintenance Supervisor Mike Nelson said he recently had a run-in with the bats while getting flags out of the maintenance building to hang around town.

"There were two bats on the wall behind those flags," he said. "I've actually had one fly in my face one time. They're in the building bad."

Kimball Fire Chief Jeff Keef said he was told hanging mothballs around the fire hall would do the job.

"I've tried everything to get rid of them," he said. "I tried that. It's not working."

Keef said the fire hall now has bats and an overpowering smell of mothballs.

Nelson said getting rid of the bats would be a "pretty extensive job."

City leaders received a low bid of $3,300 with a one-year warranty from Lookout Pest Control in Rossville, Ga., for the work.

Last week, the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously voted to accept the bid to eliminate the bat infestation in both buildings.

The bid includes a $300 yearly maintenance program, officials said, which the board will consider at a later time.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at