Bats invade Metairie apartment

Published: Feb. 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM CST
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METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - The sounds of nature surround the apartment building on Elm Street: birds singing, roosters crowing and the chirp of a winged creature slightly more terrifying.

Hundreds of bats took over an empty apartment, gathering in the windows and climbing into the walls.

Kiara Keasley lived in the unit until a few weeks ago, when the bats that often congregated outside started coming in.

"I decided to move out, pack my stuff and move out because the exterminator wanted to open the vents to free the bats but I didn't want them to be over my furniture so I moved everything out," she says.

The exterminator removed more than 200 bats that he plans to release outside of town.

Meanwhile, building owner Wendy Whitsett says she's making sure they don't return.

"We closed the windows, we sealed up the building wherever they had holes so they can't come into the building," says Whitsett. "We caulked the whole building."

"Any crack or crevice that you can put your pinky into is big enough for a bat to get into," says Charles Parker, a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator.

Parker receives dozens of calls this time of year about bats in buildings.

"What happens is, people find one bat inside their house, but what they don't realize is that the type of bats we have in this area are colonistic, so they like to be together, so typically, in one night, 1,000 bats show up," he says.

While the bats aren't aggressive, Parker says you don't want to get bit because they can carry rabies.

Bat droppings are also dangerous.

"Bat guano is a nitrogen-rich material, so it's different from other types of animal waste," says Parker. "Guano can support life, so things can live in it, including funguses which - if a fungus grows in there and it becomes airborne, you can breathe it into your lungs and you can get sick from that."

All the more reason to get any bats in your home out quickly.

Whitsett hopes the colony that landed in her apartment building is ready to fly somewhere else.

"Oh God, gives me the creeps," she says.

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