By Brittany Pieper – email
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –Cody Mikesell moved in to the Aspen Apartments in Shreveport about 9 months ago. Now, he's moving out because he's not the only one living within his apartment's walls. He says he's counted 100s of bats.
"From the smell of bats, the noise, and we've been complaining since March when the bats started acting up. You hear them all day long scratching," he said.
Mikesell says every night at dusk the bats fly out of the walls outside, and every morning around 5 or 6 a.m. they fly back.
"They'll swoop down. I've had them hit me on the back of the neck. I've had them hit me on the shoulders. I mean it's just a swarm," said Mikesell.
We took a KSLA News 12 camera to the apartment complex around dusk, and in about an hour we saw more than 30 bats fly out from Mikesell's building. We went to the front office at the Aspen Apartment Complex to ask about the bat problem, but they declined an interview and referred us to their corporate office. KSLA News 12 called the corporate office multiple times and left messages, but they have not returned our calls.
Residents say it's an annoyance, but Dr. Martha Whyte with the Office of Public Health says it could also be a serious health hazard.
"The biggest issue you have with bats is rabies. That's our biggest fear," she said.
While the chances of getting rabies from a bat are low, it's still a serious concern with so many in one residential area.
"It's not a healthy situation, and it would not be a situation I would want my self or my family to live in. It's something I think that apartment complex has a responsibility to the people that live there and that are renting from them to do something about," said Whyte.
Dr. Whyte says bats can be especially dangerous because their teeth are so small you might not even realize if they bite you. She says if you see one, leave it alone.
"We've called and complained. They tell us there's nothing they can do or that they're working on the problem. They've been working on the problem since March, and they've had no progression," said Mikesell.
Which is why he plans to move out and find a new place to live, with fewer unwanted residents.