Maitland bat infestation causes foul odor

Residents call for cleaning of Maitland Boulevard overpass

MAITLAND, Fla. - Residents in Maitland are pushing for the state to get involved with an infestation of thousands of bats under the Maitland Boulevard overpass.

The Florida Department of Transportation maintains the bridge and estimate thousands of Brazilian Free-tailed bats have squeezed into the dark crevices of the bridges. FDOT says they have pressure washed to help get rid of the guano, or bat excrement.

FDOT says they haven't kept up with the pressure washing over the summer because they didn't have access to the area because of SunRail construction.

Bessie Arnold said the smell from the bat guano is so bad her mother gets headaches.

"The smell it's unbearable to your nose. It burns your nose," she said, adding that the bats have been under the bridge for years but more and more have been coming there.

"I would like to see the bats gone cause it makes my mom sick," she said. "I don't like to see my mom sick. She's too old."

The state says it has looked into netting around the bridge to keep bats out but it's too expensive. They said instead, they will try to keep up with the pressure washing to keep the smell at bay.

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