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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest6969696969

    maybe WE ALL should build a *bat Cave” on the proposed baseball site,
    As the Bats will eat the “critters” on the Waterfront, in the mean time collecting “GUINO” to ferterize all the plants & shrubs down-town…
    Win Win for everyone…

  • dittos

    Brilliant reporting…. “WE HAVE A FIRE AT DUPLEX APARTMENTS..COME QUICK!” where?…”DUPLEX!!”….where? “DUPLEX”….what address…”HELL…I DON’T KNOW…JUST DUPLEX!!…COME QUICK!!” Hey Asha Dave….when your doing a story…might help if you tell your reader where your story is happening…you know….LOCATION????. I’m guessing your a UNC grad though “I’m not sure where” JUST SAYIN’….

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    The answer to all you seek shall be revealed.

  • Sadie Godfrey

    The news on TV mentioned HUNDREDS of bats were caught and euthanized and sent to Raleigh for testing. What is wrong with people? Why did they not just euthanize a few and send Those off for testing? Well guess who is going to be complaining about the millions of mosquitoes this summer? Bats are beneficial to our evniroment and need to be protected. They could have taken the captured bats out to a wooded area along a creek or river somewhere and released them.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    We have tens of thousands of bats dying from white nose syndrome in the Northeast, but Animal Control felt it necessary to kill these? Was anyone bitten by a bat? Were we trying to determine if one or more was rabid?

    They are very beneficial and they should have been relocated.

    Why would we simply kill them?

  • GuestMan

    Who relocates bats in this area?

  • Guestblps

    I certainly wouldn’t want to come home to bats in my house but i definately don’t want them killed either. They are highly beneficial to our environment. Mosquitos people! they feed on Mosquitos! I live in rural Pender County and we have LOTS of bats in the summer time and I’m thankful they are there to eat the bugs. Just like most other creatures, their habitat has become over run with humans and they adjust to our world. They have the need to make your home theirs. Capture and relocate them, don’t KILL them!

  • taxpayer

    Batman? :)

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …I’d sure as heck find some way to do it. Are the phone lines to all the major universities down? No one on the East Coast knows anything about bats? We couldn’t afford to construct a large bat box for temporary shelter, until we could figure out what to do with them? Get them out of the apartment house, close off their access, transport them fifty miles and simply release them if that’s all you can do; it’s warm enough for them to survive as they split up to form multiple colonies.

    They’re called Animal Control, not “animal executions.” Sometimes the easiest, fastest solution isn’t the best solution.

  • Guest9999

    I would think the “Critter Control” guys that captured the bats and sent them to Raleigh to be killed would be my guess…

  • GuestMan

    How much will that cost and who is going to pay for it? Or do we just pluck the money off the money tree?

  • GuestReality

    I know bats are great for the environment and all that, but when you have to live with them in your house, they creep you out!

    My sister had bats in her attic for several years. She was told she couldn’t kill them because there was a law against it. Sometimes they would get out of the attic and dive bomb her in the kitchen, or the hallway, or her bedroom. Once, they even dropped into a pot of stew that she had uncovered on the stove, she put the lid back on, not noticing the bat was in the stew, and put it on the table. Imagine her family’s shock when they sat down to eat and she took the lid off the pot of “bat” stew! It totally ruined everyone’s appetite. Finally, she found someone who used some kind of wire to string across the opening where the bats were leaving her house at dusk every evening, and that prevented them from coming back. I heard a few weeks later that the bats had moved to a house a few blocks down.

    I’m glad they kills mosquitos, but I really hate bats! They’re so scary!


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