A colony of 20,000 bats living below two interstate bridges in Port St. Lucie, Fla. is expected to cause four extra months of traffic backups.
The mix of Mexican free-tailed and evening bats are predicted to cause lane closings during their April 15 through Aug. 15 mating season because laws require crews to halt ongoing construction on the bridges, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Friday.
Experts claim the preservation of the bats is crucial to keeping bugs under control in Florida.
"Bats make up 50 percent of the total mammal population of Florida, and each one eats 2,000 to 3,000 flying insects every night. Imagine what the mosquito population would be like without them," Friends of Bats' John Greenwood said.
Officials said crews are working overtime and on the weekends to keep up with their construction schedule.