Georgia house infested with 20,000 bats

March 30, 2011 at 3:57 PM
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TIFTON, Ga., March 30 (UPI) -- An empty home in Georgia is infested with as many as 20,000 bats and officials say they've declared it unfit for human habitation until the bats are cleared.

"The interior and exterior walls are just full of guano," Melissa Skidmore of Tru Tech, an animal removal service, said of the home in Tifton, Ga.,

"Some of it is old and has turned to dust and it is just a cocktail of pathogens. People going in will need proper equipment to cover their skin, clothes and noses. We are talking about between 10,000 and 20,000 bats," Skidmore told The Tifton Gazette Monday.

The infestation of Mexican free-tailed bats was one of the worse she had ever seen, she said.

A local code enforcement officer said he had no choice but to post the declaration when he saw several live bats upstairs and spotted several dead bats on the bottom floor of the house.

"We just want to get the neighborhood safe," Russel Gay said. "It really doesn't need to sit here like this for another six months."

Local real estate agent Julie Smith said the house is in foreclosure with an agency that has a buyer interested in purchasing the house.

"The goal is for everyone to work together so that a family can live here safely," Smith said. "We hope it can again become a house in the historic district that is a viable property on the tax digest."

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