By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – It’s business as usual at the Brookshire Brothers location in Crockett following a brief store closure on Saturday, Feb. 10.

According to Sally Alvis, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Brookshire Brothers, the store was closed for approximately six hours on Saturday to assess and eradicate some bats that had roosted under the roof.

After an employee reported hearing something above the ceiling, the store was closed and a service was called to relocate the bats. Once the bats left, trap doors were installed to prevent them from reentering.

“We kept the store closed for about six hours to be able to ensure there was no exposure to customer or employee facing areas,” explained Alvis. “We continue to monitor the situation and are remediating the impacted area.

“Where there were some small gaps under the roof flashing, all those have been sealed,” Alvis explained.

Alvis added that a planned replacement of the roof will take place as scheduled next week.

With approximately 40 percent of North American bats appearing on official lists of endangered species, killing bats is illegal in the state of Texas.

“You can’t just go in and smoke them out to eradicate them,” Alvis pointed out. “So, you have to wait until they fly out at night to go feed. That’s what the specialist did.”

Alvis said the store is currently open for business.

According to information provided by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 33 different species of bats are known to live in Texas. Of these 33 species, 11 are capable of living near humans and transmitting the rabies virus.

Six different species of colonial bats have been found to occupy structures throughout Texas, including the big brown bat, the cave myotis, the Eastern pipistrelle or tri-colored bat, the evening bat, the Mexican free-tailed bat and the Southeastern myotis.

Solitary bat species known to roost in Texas buildings include the Eastern red bat, the hoary bat, the Northern yellow bat, the Southern yellow bat and the Seminole bat.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.