Investigators in Hamilton Searching for Banned Pesticide Linked to Bat Deaths
Ravalli County Commissioners had to make room for Investigators from the Department of Agriculture on Friday, Investigators were combing the County Administration building for traces of a pesticide that’s been banned in the U.S. for years. Department of Agriculture Spokesman Andy Fjeseth explains:
"Bats were found in July, some of them were dead and some of them were close to death so they took those and sent those samples off to get tested," said Fjeseth. "It came back that they had tested positive for DDT exposure and that is the point where we became involved to see if we can find where the source of that DDT is. We have folks in Hamilton today to do some tests."
DDT was banned by the EPA back in 1972, but according to Fjeseth, the pesticide still turns up from time to time in Montana.
"It's a thing where sometimes you will come across it when we have our pesticide disposal events," Fjeseth said. "People will find it in old barns and things like that which is where bats hang out. We don't know what the case is with this one, but it is banned. People are not using it, but it is still out there."
The DDT that killed the bats back in July may not have even come from the administration building itself. It is expected that the sample testing process could take weeks before we know for sure.