bat

This northern long-eared bat in an undated photo released by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources was likely not among the bats in the Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce building.

Got bats on your mind?

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, BAT — no, not that bat.

People at the Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce did, but a call to experts took care of a recent infestation of bats in the building.

The creatures were discovered in the building the week of March 23, according to Juli Wilson, the interim executive director of the chamber. By March 26, they were gone.

“It was scary, really because you didn’t know they were coming,” she said. After discovering the bats, she put a sign on the chamber’s front door, urging people to keep the door shut and telling them of the bats. The sign was on the door for two days.

The biggest concern was bats distracting visitors or people getting hurt, Wilson said. Of course, that wasn’t the only concern.

“I had to psych myself up when I came in,” Wilson said, wondering if she could get to her office before the bats got to her.

The bats were removed by staff from AAAC Wildlife Removal. They found four dead bats and three live bats. Wilson said last week she found two dead bats.

Bats were entering through the chimneys, down to the drop ceilings in the building. Company officials put out steel wool in gaps in the ceiling to keep the bats out. It deters the bats, but doesn’t hurt them.

The building that houses the chamber office is an old building, with the mortar deteriorating. Wilson said company officials that creates gaps where bats could get in.

The building that houses the chamber might be about 100 years old. One volunteer said she was 72 and the building is older than she is. She recalled talking to a visitor who started laughing and said “There’s a bat right behind you!”

Since AAAC Wildlife Removal finished its job, no more problems with bats have occurred.

An official with the wildlife removal company expressed surprise more tenants in buildings in Court Square haven’t had problems with bats, Wilson said. Several buildings in the area were built around the same time.

Contact staff writer Robert Jordan at 864-943-5650.