DAVIE (CBSMiami) – A South Florida community is going batty with hundreds of the nocturnal creatures swirling around their condo complex.
A bat colony is living in the roofs of the Jasmine Lakes Condominium Complex in Davie.
“It’s a little nerve wracking to see them fly around and flying nearby you and your hoping that you don’t collide,” said resident Sharon Ragoonan.
Many people are afraid to go outside after dark, with the bats flying to close for comfort.
“It attack me,” said Patricia Munoz who had a run-in with one of the bats. “It was in my head and back and forth and I was so scared.”
Residents say bat droppings are all over balconies, walkways and even cars, creating a stench they can’t stand.
“The smell, the poop, it’s very disgusting, dirty,” said resident Cesar Sevilla.
The bats are also causing a health concern.
“We may be tracking in some of the residue from their droppings into our homes and that could be creating a hazard for us,” said Ragoonan. “We just want to make sure that evbdys protected and we should be, we all deserve to live in an environment that’s healthy and safe and that we can all enjoy.”
Bats can carry rabies and diseases that cause respiratory illness.
The Florida Health Departments first inspection found the complex and found no sanitary nuisance. During a second check, they found a “sanitary nuisance” and served the management company with a notice ordering them to clean up.
The Jasmine Lakes Condo Association says maintenance is on the property 7 days a week to clean the droppings, but other than sanitation, their hands are tied.
Bats are a protected species and regulations don’t allow their removal during mating season, which is mid-April to mid-August.
In a letter to the residents, the Board of Directors explained the bats have been around since the complex was built and the association has “invested thousands of dollars trying to get rid of them” but they keep coming back.
Right now they are “exploring options to exclude the bats once and for all… Please be aware that all of these options are extremely expensive and would involve an assessment for the community.”
They said replacing the roof could cost upwards of $300,000.
Residents have tried every home remedy in the book, like moth balls, to repel the bats but they won’t leave. They hope the situation gets handled by a professional as soon as legally possible.
“So that next year everybody is kind of co-existing together harmoniously,” said Ragoonan.