Bats causing problems for Central Florida homeowners

Pest control can't remove federally protected bats until August

A problem is starting to invade Central Florida homes. Bats are shopping around for new places to live and News 6 found out there is nothing you can do right now to get rid of them.

Biancha Brown's new neighbors are driving her batty.

"I just saw something out of the corner of my eye fly and I was like, 'What is that?'" Brown said.

Brown says she started noticing bats flying around her Orange County home a few weeks ago. They are living in a small hole in a brick column in the front of her house.

Brown tells News 6 she has seen at least 10 of them and some even flew into her garage.

"We find them in the soffit, we find them in the attics, any little nook and cranny and sometimes it's the size of a quarter and they're going into," Matt Harrison with Critter Control said.

Harrison says it is normal to have bats in Central Florida, but his crews get more calls complaining of the dirty, nighttime creatures during the summer months.

"Just probably a lot more movement, a lot more activity," Harrison said. "There's more mosquitoes out, so they're moving around, probably looking for new places to stay."

Harrison tells News 6 it is also breeding season, which means pest control cannot remove the federally protected bats from homes between April 15 through Aug. 15.

"We don't want to kick them out of people's homes right now because of the small bats are unable to fly, so if you take the parents away you're killing all those baby bats inside the attic," he said.

Harrison says all pest control companies can do is seal any spots to prevent them from moving to other places. He says crews will come back after Aug.15 to remove the bats. He adds pest control companies cannot catch or kill the bats.

This leaves customers like Brown stuck in a batty situation.

"I was like, 'No that's terrifying. So what are we supposed to do?'" Brown said. "But I feel confident with them getting rid of them. So as long as they can stay outside, I don't have a problem."

Harrison says if you live in an area that has bats, you can take preventative measures to make sure they don't colonize in your home. That includes closing up any holes or openings where they can get in.

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