Florence works to remove bats from city building

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - City leaders are working to remove a bats from a building in Downtown Florence.

"They were up there about to do some structural work, and when the workers took away a section of the ceiling on the second floor, they realized there were bats roosting in the attic," said Ray Reich, City of Florence Downtown Development Manager.

Inside the Old Royall Knight building at the corner of North Dargan and West Evans, city leaders say they will be installing a device that will stop the bats from re-entering when they take to the night sky.

"And what we basically do is put a one-way door on the section of the roof where the bats are going in and out, and they will leave at night and they won't be able to get back in, and so they'll find another place to call home," said Ray Reich.

In an effort to stop those evacuated bats from migrating to nearby businesses, last week, letters were sent to downtown business owners asking them to cover up any open spaces in their buildings.

"Just putting plastic over the window openings that don't have glass in it, and trying to go ahead and get the glass placement in the open windows" can prevent bats from finding a new home, said Bo Osborne.

Osborne owns property adjacent to the infested building. He says people often stand in front of his property at dusk, to watch the bats fly out some of the cracks in the vacant building.

"They set up by my building and watch the bats come out.They come out of holes in the old Royal Knight building," said Osborne.

The Old Royall Knight building is currently owned by the Downtown Florence Development Corporation. Ray Reich said the building is possibly going to be sold, and if it is sold, the new business owners will assume responsibility for the cleanup. Reich added if there is a delay in selling the building, the Florence Downtown Corporation will have the building cleaned.

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