The Twiggs County Department of Family and Children Services building is indefinitely closed due a bat infestation.
A release from the Georgia Department of Human Services says staff have been relocated from the building on Cedar Lane in Jeffersonville to allow time for building improvements.
They were moved to the county’s Board of Education building on 952 Main St. in Jeffersonville.
Staff are able to accept applications and verification for food stamps, Medicaid, TANF, and CAPS at that building.
Staff at the Wilkinson County DFCS office will also be able to help people at their office on Payne Street in Irwinton.
Susan Boatwright with the DHS says the preliminary estimate is that the work will take longer than a month, but an exact timeframe was not given by the county.
She also said the county recently discovered the bat infestation 'within the last day or so.'
Interim Twiggs County Clerk Kathy Faulk says they have been in contact with DNR and since they are protected the bats cannot be disturbed until August.
Faulk says the bats inside are very tiny pups, and they can't do anything to prevent the adult bats from coming back into the building until the babies mature.
Mark Hunter is a licensed nuisance wildlife operator with DNR. He owns and operates Landmark Pest and Wildlife Solutions in Macon. He says baby bats, or pups, start being born “around May 1st and continuing being born through the first part of August.” He says they are ready to fly in the Central Georgia area by August 15th.
Hunter says until August 15th, nothing can be done to remove the bats from the DFCS office.
“You cannot kill a bat,” Hunter said. “I operate as my business under the laws of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, but yet we have an international law that covers bats worldwide and we cannot kill bats.”
He says the bats have to leave on their own, and once they do, they can seal where the bats came in from and areas they could come in at a later time.
“We must allow a bat to exit a structure by using little things called bat valves,” Hunter said. “Beyond that, we have to allow the bat to leave on its own desire when it gets good and ready.”