Bats have invaded the large attic space of Saint Edwards Catholic Church.
The church has long been plagued by bats, according to Father Jason Tyler, but the problem reached new levels recently when they stayed in the attic.
"In the last several months, we have noticed their numbers increasing. We had professionals estimate their numbers to be in the thousands," said Father Tyler.
The smell of their droppings is strong and their high pitch sound is clear as day.
On a tour with KATV, Scott Sparks said, "Not many bats have made it in the main part of the church. A few have and they will fly around and they squeeze back through one of the little holes back up into the little attic area."
The church got quotes for bat proofing, relocating and fixing the damage to the church for upwards of $60,000 but Nabholz Environmental offered to do it for $22,000. They started the last week in October. Their efforts are already working. We spotted some bats, unable to get back in.
The church can't afford to pay the full $22,000, it would take away from their mission and programs, so they are getting parishioners and the community involved by asking for volunteers to "adopt a bat" for as little as $20.
"This doesn't mean you are taking the bat home and having to feed it and play with it," explained Father Tyler, laughing. "This means you are sponsoring a bat. You get to name it. We will give you a little adoption certificate."
Depending on the level of the donation, you will also receive a bat wing key chain, plush stuffed bat or a plaque.
When all the money is raised, the church will celebrate with a bat themed party.