New video shows hundreds of bats living above apartment

5:30 PM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
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Bats flying to and from their colony within Lincoln Shores



St. Petersburg, Florida - 10 News has new video showing far more bats are living right above a St. Petersburg apartment than tenants originally feared.

The creatures are living inside the walls at the Lincoln Shores Apartments near 4th Street N. and Gandy Boulevard.

Residents say the property managers have refused to take any action for nearly a year.

"I'm afraid that their ceilings are going to cave in with all the bat feces," said David Krug.

10 News showed the video to Mike Spanola, a specialist with All Pro Wildlife, a wildlife removal company.

Spanola counted "easily hundreds" of bats.

"You can get sick. The biggest thing is it's just not a healthy environment for someone to be in," Spanola explained.

10 News showed the video to property management on Friday, though they declined to comment for a second straight day.

Krug says after they saw the video, he was offered a chance to move to another apartment or get out of his lease.

Krug already plans to move out at the end of the month.

He says he first told the apartment complex about the bats last July, but nothing was done.

In November, half a dozen children living nearby had to be vaccinated for rabies after coming in contact with a bat.

At this point, even if property managers want to get rid of the bats, they can't until after August because the creatures are protected during mating season.

"The larger your colony grows the more at risk your whole community is for having bats in their buildings as well," Spanola said.

He says the fix could get into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how widespread the colony is.

Stetson Law professor Darryl Wilson says the complex could end up on the hook for a lot more than that.

"It would certainly behoove the landlord to do something prospectively, instead of waiting for the tenant to get harmed," Wilson explained.

10 News has also learned the Pinellas County Health Department spoke to David Krug on Friday, but he was told they don't regulate this type of thing and don't plan to take any action.

UPDATE: After Friday's story aired, property managers issued this statement to 10 News:

"We are in contact with the resident regarding the matter and have offered him alternative accommodations while we assess the situation with local wildlife authorities. At this time, we believe the issue is isolated to his apartment, but have engaged wildlife experts to perform inspections. Based on their recommendations we will take appropriate actions to address the situation."

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