Childress combats their bat problem - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Childress combats their bat problem

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The Childress Main Street program has partnered with the Palace Theater and Keep Childress Beautiful to help bring new bat homes to fruition.

They hope this will prevent bats from reentering downtown buildings in the future.

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The historic Palace Theater in downtown Childress is known for providing family entertainment, and most recently, bats a new home.

"We've had a lot of bat issues," said  Shelly Preston, president of the Childress Theater Company.

As they continue to renovate the Texas historical landmark, Preston said removing bats have been quite the issue.

"By closing the doors, and netting the doors, and catching them and sealing in so the bats can't return and get back into the building," said Preston. "It's a process because they can get into the smallest crack."

Executive Director of the Childress Chamber of Commerce and Childress Main Street program, Susan Leary said when they close and seal the building, the bats begin to migrate to different places.

"When the Palace [Theater] started doing their renovations, the Baptist church experienced bats diving at the congregation one morning," said Leary.

That's why Preston decided it was time to do something different.

"I did research about the bat houses and what I did was just draw a scaled version that I felt that we would need," said Preston. "We took wood that was in the Palace [Theater] that had their scent on it so they would migrate to their scent."

It took them about two days to build the two by five foot home, which is complete with hardware cloth for the bats to attach to. It even sports a bat logo. 

The City of Childress is working with the organizations to put more bat homes near the fire department along with other locations.

"Presbyterian church, Red River Sun, to name a few," said Preston. "The Lott family owns several buildings downtown so we plan to use their locations as well."
As downtown Childress continues to grow, Leary hopes the bat homes will keep them out of buildings.

"No one wants to come and look at purchasing a building or putting businesses in if they have a bat problem," said Leary. "So we're working very hard to take the bats to a new location and make sure our building are in good shape."

If you're in need of a bat home, you can contact the Palace Theater or the Main Street office.

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