15 thoughts on “Hill Country Bat Cave Closure Raises Questions of Pesticide Safety

  1. Thanks for covering this story. It is appalling that the ranch was spraying so much pesticide in the first place! “Protecting” wild animals from insect bites that they would normally get living in the wild anyhow makes little or no sense. It is certainly not an adequate justification for indiscriminately spreading aerosol pesticides over thousands of acres of land.

    The ranch has a moral obligation to cease using pesticides anywhere near the bat cave, AND it ought to make a huge donation to Bat Conservation International. All the studies that we have about the benefits of bats consuming crop-damaging insects show the folly of spraying insecticides that harm the bats. It’s high time for the Texas Dept. of Agriculture to take stronger measures to protect the bats!

    • I totally agree!! After reading this article I’m now fearful for my two colonies of honey bees as well as the bats!!!
      I’m the trustee of the Bar None Ranch that also shares over 75% of our fence line with the Star S Ranch.

  2. Ms Maeckle – please learn what “begs the question” means and henceforth use the term correctly. thanks for the article

  3. I think especially as this is the third time the game ranch has “goofed” they need a very strong financial hit in the form of a $25,000 fine to remind their little brains that you do not spray in any wind. And wildlife do not need spraying, put the animals into a corral and treat if deemed necessary by a vet. Maybe some of the sprayed visitor’s lawyers will help remind the ranch manager too?
    They do not sound smart enough to run a ranch – next to preserve especially. I am surprised the Nature Conservancy is taking all of this without legal actions?

  4. Does it? Or does it “raise” the question?

    “To beg the question is to assume the truth of the conclusion of an argument in the premises in order for the conclusion to follow. One of the simplest examples is the claim, “Paranormal activity is real because I have experienced what can only be described as paranormal activity.”


    • You are abviously missing the point here. This is not an English assignment to be graded by you. It’s an article, informing us about a local ignorant person spraying poison close to The Seveth largest Bat Nursery on our plants!

  5. Bats are not going to eat insects on the beasts. Coming from Mexico they probably have been exposed to all kinds of pesticides. The spraying should not be done if the wind is greater than 5 mph.

    Roundup the game and put them in a corral? Are you nuts?

  6. If it has happened 3 times it is not an accident. If the ranch has 14,000 acres, they should be able to stay away from their neighbors with their spray.

  7. As per your article, Permethrin is not safe for humans either, if you read pesticide product labels and MSDS sheets it is also highly toxic to humans more so in a form of fog rather than a spray. We are presently fighting Brazoria County Texas mosquito Department who is presently illegally applying this pesticide along with malathion and dibrom, which state in black and white not to be sprayed while honey bees are forging and flying, also States that these pesticides are not to be used unless mosquitoes test positive both in house and third party and must be documented prior to spray. As for federal departments supposedly investigating, we all know where that’s going to wind up.

  8. Sounds like two big reasons to shut Star S ranch down or at least make them pay a massive fine. 1) They are repeat offenders in poisoning the bats and people, and 2) they mass profit from the “hunting” of exotic animals….connect the dots – they don’t care what happens to living things. Spray fogging animals with pesticides, and right near a protected bat cave? Dumb and dumber. $25,000 is not enough of a potential fine, as these folks make that on a single wild game hunt. Texas Department of Agriculture investigators, please make sure Star S ranch is at the very least fined $50-100,000 for their repeat offense (strike three). They obviously don’t care about any form of life if they are mindlessly spray fogging animals, bats, people and children (and pregnant women!) with pesticides. My neighbor poison a live bee hive with pesticide spray fogging… people who do this don’t think twice about how they are impacting the ecosystem, air quality, and the health and safety of living things.

  9. There clearly is an unresolved liability issue here. I too am stunned the Nature Conservancy is not responding more aggressively. This fogging amounted to a chemical attack on an innocent gathering of people on adjoining property dedicated to preserving a highly unique wildlife resource. Imagine, if the tables were turned, the response of the Star S if an adjoining property owner engaged in activies that threatened their exotic stock and made their high paying customers sick or fearful to return. There would be hell to pay. I’m not convinced much will come out of Sid Miller’s Agriculture Department investigation- I’m sure he has already received the “ heads up” from the Star S owner. Please keep a close eye on this Monica and update us on the investigation results. And please Nature Conservancy- don’t just let this slide!

  10. They need to stay true to their job at hand and stop this kind of stuff from happening !!!
    If they kill my honey bees and reduce the number of bats coming here year after, that could be very costly to the whole ecosystem of our beautiful hill country along the James River.

  11. Monika, The bat cave is apparently not opening until this issue is resolved. That is an issue, but not as important as the possible harm that the spraying is doing to the bats. I am trying to find out more information about the current status of the investigation and stopping of the spraying near the Eckert Bat Cave. Do you have any current information? Have they issued and injunction or anything? Also, the most reasonable solution would be for Star S to relocate their holding pens to a different location that won’t affect the bats or James River. Bats in the US are declining rapidly due to “white Nose” and we need to do what ever we can to protect where we can. Imagine if there were no more bats to gobble up the millions of insects each night.

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