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Women fighting attic bat infestation: ‘We ran out the front door’

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Two Chesterfield neighbors fed up with dozens of bats inside their rental townhouses for weeks are asking the CBS 6 Problem Solvers for help.

Latoya Mayo said she found bats all around her home, including in her kitchen sink and even hanging from a CD case. There is also other evidence of the nocturnal creatures: guano.

Latoya Mayo

Latoya Mayo

Mayo and her neighbor Nicole Freeman are concerned for their children after Mayo's son spotted the first bat weeks ago.

“He called upstairs and said, ‘Mom, it's a big bug down there,’” Mayo said. “So what I did was I ran upstairs with my flip flop. Once I hit the corner I said, ‘Oh, that’s not no big bug, it’s a bat.’ And we ran out the front door.”

The women said that after contacting their landlord, a company was dispatched to remove the bats.

A worker installs a one-way check valve so bats can not get back inside the townhouse.

A worker installs a one-way check valve so bats can not get back inside the townhouse.

A worker installed a one-way check valve Wednesday so that the remaining bats, possibly 30 or more, could fly out of the attic, but not get back inside.

Additionally, a RRHA health inspector was called out to check on the tenants' health and safety.

“Ultimately, I would like to have my house to myself and not filled with bats -- or just move,” Freeman said.

Richard “Bat Man” Perry

Richard “Bat Man” Perry

Virginia Wildlife Management's Richard “Bat Man” Perry called the summer months a “blackout phase” when people were more likely to see bats and their babies.

And if a home or apartment is infested with bats, Perry warned that if the entire building is sealed, and only the adults are removed, the babies may be left behind.

“Those babies, when they don't have their moms to depend on go, they are going to go and they are going to start looking for another source of food,” Perry said. “And they’re going to start coming out everywhere. They’ll come out from underneath baseboards, ceiling fans, light fixtures, ceiling fans, air conditioning units – anywhere you have a tiny little gap.”

This photo shows conditions inside the attics.

This photo shows conditions inside the attics.

Perry said anyone who comes in contact with a bat should do their best to seal off the room the animal is in and call in an expert. And if you think you've been bitten or scratched, see a doctor as a precaution.

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