CAUTION – DISTURBING PHOTOS BELOW
On Friday, Sept 8th, 2017 we received a call from a concerned citizen about bats allegedly being sealed into their roosts with spray foam at the Sanctuary Lofts Apartments located in San Marcos, Texas. The bats were roosting in a seven story parking garage and they were allegedly being entombed alive by Worldwide Pest Control, Inc.
Tenants spotted one of the bats with part of his body exposed from the foam and tried to save the bat by cutting out the section of foam where the bat was trapped. Sadly, a significant amount of foam was attached to the lower half of the bat’s body which prevented him from being able to eliminate. The bat died the following day, likely from bowel blockage and uremic poisoning.
Tenants also reported hearing more bats crying out and scratching on foam in a desperate attempt to escape. We immediately contacted the Sanctuary Loft Apartment managers to let them know that sealing the bats in alive was essentially animal cruelty, and that the foam should be removed immediately so the surviving bats could leave. We also provided information on humane bat exclusions. The manager informed us that the work had already been completed by Worldwide Pest Control, Inc.
We also contacted the city of San Marcos as well as Texas Parks and Wildlife. Sadly, there are no laws protecting bats when they roost in public structures so nothing could be done legally to help the bats. Concerned tenants decided to open a few areas and discovered dead bats in the process. However, most of the foamed areas were too high to reach and there was a dangerous 6-story drop on the opposite side.
Tenants reported hearing bats scratching against the orange foam in at least five different locations in that areas that again, were too high to reach. The next day the tenants noticed the orange foam removed only to be replaced with black foam.
A few days after printing this article we were contacted by several news companies who ran the story. We also received this letter from Worldwide Pest Control, along with this statement in a follow-up email. We sincerely appreciate the fact that Worldwide Pest Control took responsibility for the work of one of their technicians, whose actions should not speak for the entire company. While this can’t bring back the number of bats who perished under the hands of one person, it serves as a reminder to all pest control companies to regulate themselves on a regular basis.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are working on strengthening Texas laws in order to protect bats from this type of abuse and cruelty, however, this is a lengthy process that is likely to be met with resistance from the pest control industry. In the meantime, companies that engage in cruel extermination methods against bats rather than using readily available humane exclusion methods can be exposed through social media as well as online reviews. Please contact us if you see bats being removed or killed in an inhumane manner. We can be reached by phone at 940-325-3404, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page.