Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Imagine waking up to some unusual sounds, and spotting a bat flying around in your home. That’s what’s happened to a number of people living in two apartment complexes in Harford County that are infested with bats.
Monique Griego has more on what’s being done.
The Health Department is not taking any chances. That’s why anyone who has had contact with a bat is being treated for rabies.
The Perrywood Apartments are calm by day, but at night the creatures come out.
“At night time, I hear them flying real close to us,” said Michael Jones, a resident of the apartment complex.
Jones lives in one of two Harford County complexes that have been colonized by black bats.
“I had to help him catch it and he ran in the closet,” he said. “I had to help him and I let the bat out.”
While Jones isn’t too worried about his new neighbor, a bite or scratch from a bat can be deadly.
“Once rabies becomes a virus in the human system, people die,” said Bill Wiseman of the Harford County Health Department.
Wiseman says the health department has not been able to catch a bat to test it for rabies, so anyone who has had contact with one is being treated for the deadly disease.
“What we’re doing is treating people preventively to make sure they don’t contract the rabies virus,” Wiseman said.
So far, 28 people have started treatment. Twenty-two live at the Cranberry Run complex and six at Perrywood Gardens.
Although the apartment complexes have closed off vents and put up screens to try and keep the bats out, Jones says it hasn’t worked.
During the days it is bright outside, the bats hide out inside the building’s walls, and tenants tell us they can hear them travelling through the vents.
“It sounds like people crawling or scratching on the wall,” Jones said.
Wildlife leaders are working to get the bats out for good. They say it could take days.
Health department leaders say that because bats have such small teeth, many people may not even realize they’re been bitten. That’s why they’re asking anyone who’s had contact with a bat to seek treatment.
Wildlife experts do not kill bats to get them out of a building.