Some Fayetteville residents need relief from bat problem

August 29, 2013 1:47:00 PM PDT
This week Cumberland County reported its 12th rabies case of the year, and three of them come from one Fayetteville neighborhood.

That's where an apparent bat problem has one family undergoing a series of rabies shots, and wildlife damage crews opening up the roof and attics.

"So I was coming down and I saw the shadow on that far wall and I got about here and kind of looked around and it came straight at my face," said Takeasha McLean, who lives in a home with bats.

Friday evening was McLean's third encounter with what's being considered a rabid bat. This time it was in her home. She had to scoop up the kids and get them out of the house as soon as possible.

"It kind of just eats at me a little bit day-by-day and it's really kind of scary," said McLean.

Fayetteville's Melvin Place, where she lives, has been home to a serious bat problem for several months.

The first rabid bat was found near McLean's back porch in June, the second in July near the front porch and that third case, considered positive because test results from the state are inconclusive, found Friday.

The housing authority has brought in wildlife crews, who opened up the roofs and attics of McLean's building to find hundreds of bats over the weekend.

"Everywhere, bats everywhere," said McLean. "Yes, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's wild."

Evidence of their habitation is in the widespread stench of their droppings.

"The smell is absolutely horrible," said McLean.

Now, parts of McLean's home are duct taped, but it's no comfort

"If they want to come out that's not going to stop them," she said. "They're going to find a way."

McLean, along with her six-month-old son and four-year-old daughter have just started undergoing a series of rabies shots for their close encounters. Now, she wants out.

"I just got out of school," said McLean. "So, I'm working on finding a job and getting out of here myself, but I'm asking them for their help and I'm not receiving much feedback."

Dawn Driggers, who is Executive Director of the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority, told ABC11 Thursday that the problem has been solved.

Mims Wildlife Damage Control has found the tiny opening where hundreds of bats flew out of the shingles of McLean's building. They let all the bats out and sealed the opening.

Driggers says the mess, including the droppings and its odor, will be cleaned up by week's end.

They will not be relocating residents because they believe the problem has been solved.

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