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ONLY ON 3: Bats invade Wilmington apartments

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some Wilmington residents have some unwelcome visitors with wings. Several Cypress Grove Apartments tenants found bats in their homes over the weekend.

“I came home, and our roommate told us there was a bat in the house,” tenant Debera Oehrle said. “I was, like, a bat?”

“I encountered the bat on Friday night around 11 p.m. on my wall in my dining room,” recalled tenant Linda Jones.

Oehrle and Jones are neighbors in building five of Cypress Grove Apartments who both found bats in their homes over the weekend. Ben Mitchell of Critter Control has been working on the complex’s bat problem for about a month. He had to figure out which buildings the bats were in, keep them from inhabiting others, capture them and seal all the buildings to stop any future problems.

Over the course of about a month, the Critter Control guys have found around 400 bats total in the complex, with the majority being found in building five, where they found around 250 bats stretched across the attic.

“A lot of times, people have bats and they don’t know it for a long time,” said Mitchell “They come out at dusk and go back in before dawn. People are usually in, and they don’t see them. Really they are so fast at night, if you’re not looking in the right spot, you’re not going to see them up in the air.”

Although they do not intentionally attack people, the bats still shook up Jones and Oehrle.

“I was real itchy,” said Jones. “I was scared. It was real stressful. It’s a lack of sleep now.”

“I check my blankets every time I get in, and when I go in bed, I check that, too,” said Oehrle. “So, yeah, it’s a little creepy.”

Mitchell captured the bats and handed them over to animal control, which then euthanized them and sent them to Raleigh for testing. Some are small brown bats and others are Mexican Free-tailed. Mitchell said the complex’s colony is relatively small and should be cleared out by next week.

Both Oehrle and Jones went to the hospital Sunday to be checked and tested for rabies.

This is the same apartment complex we recently did a Troubleshooters report on for having mold. In both cases, apartment managers refused to comment.

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