There's been a bat invasion in Central New York in recent weeks, and you can thank old man winter for the problem.


The folks who staff the Syracuse Wildlife Control Office says their phones have been ringing and they're hearing from petrified homeowners who have discovered bats flying around thier living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens.


The bitter cold weather this winter has now forced many bats who may have been hiding in attics and went undetected to move lower into these homes, alerting everyone to thier presence and sending many homeowners for cover.


Wildlife Control Operator Al LaFrance in Syracuse says he and other officers have been busy in recent weeks reponding to bat calls all over Onondaga County. He says many of these bats have been roosting in attics since the fall. When the weather gets bitter cold and the attic becomes too cold, they follow heat sources in the house and they end up revealing themselves.


Lafrance says in many cases they're forced to remove a half dozen or so bats from homes, but he's had some cases where two to three hudnred bats have been discovered


He says the problem became worse last week when we had a thaw in our weather and bats thought it was spring. When they determined it wasn't, they quickly made a retreat back into attics and then lower into the home, seeking more heat.


LaFrance says bats have a bad reputation and are in most cases harmless to people, but he understands why many homeowners find it unsettling to see bats flying around thier livings room.