Removing bat colonies is a risky undertaking. Hazards include exposure to rabies and bat guano and working at heights. School districts must consider these dangers when deciding whether an outside firm or school employees will attempt the exclusion.
Although a license is not required in Texas for removing a bat or bat colony, proper removal of bats requires an understanding of bat biology and knowledge of legal and appropriate practices. Districts contracting with private firms should develop bid specifications similar to those for other pest control activities:
- List the area to be treated (when possible, include linear or square feet or perimeter footage).
- Specify whether it will be the district or the company that will supply such equipment as ladders and cherry pickers.
- Require a cost breakdown by campus, by hour, or by task. In most cases, the cost should be based on the building.
- Specify whether the company will monitor for bat activity after the treatment; if so, for how long and at what cost?
- Note any guarantees for the work and their duration. Most reputable excluders will guarantee their work for 5 years.
As with all contractors, districts need to consider a few key items when hiring an outside contractor:
- Does the contractor have the necessary experience for the job?
- Will the company be able to accommodate the district if it has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building or other structure that will require specific materials?
- Does the contractor have the necessary equipment to perform the scope of work needed?
- Can the contractor provide references for exclusion jobs at other school districts or large buildings?
- Does the pest control company have insurance to cover disease exposures to its personnel, or will it try to get compensation from the school district?
- Do their employees have rabies vaccinations?