Bats invade apartment, why aren't they removed?

8:45 AM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Bats invade St. Petersburg apartment complex

 

St. Petersburg, Florida - Dozens of bats are taking over part of a St. Petersburg apartment complex.

Tenants of Lincoln Shores Apartments, near 4th Street North and Gandy Boulevard, say the creatures are living inside the walls.

Photo Gallery: Bats invade apartment complex

"I had to move out of the bedroom because the smell was so bad," said David Krug, who showed 10 News the hole outside his porch he believes the bats are creeping in through.

Krug says he's concerned about his health and the safety of the children nearby.

"I'm afraid that their ceilings are going to cave in with all the bat feces," he explained, "I'm 60 years old, I can't afford to get sick."

Krug says he first told property managers about the bats last July. He claims they responded by telling him nothing could be done, because the bats were protected during mating season.

But that ended in August and the bats were never removed.

Krug also showed 10 News a letter he says he sent property management three months ago, again complaining about the bats.

Property management told 10 News they had no comment on the bat situation and asked us to leave the complex.

"I don't own this place.  It's not my responsibility to get rid of these bats," Krug explained.

A private trapper told 10 News an apartment complex sometimes won't touch the bats until it gets so bad that a tenant has to be removed.

But with other tenants possibly impacted, or even nearby homeowners, why doesn't the Pinellas County Health Department get involved?

Spokesperson Maggie Hall says they typically don't until after someone handles a bat or is exposed to rabies.

"We work with doctors and the public to keep the public safe, but we have no authority in housing issues," Hall said.

However, Lincoln Shores is just blocks away from the Meadows, another apartment complex where last year children had to be vaccinated for rabies after coming in contact with a live bat.

Krug says the pattern is enough for him to move out.

"They're not going to do anything," he said.

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