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Posted: March 30, 2011 5:59 a.m.

Bats invade foreclosed Atlanta home

ATLANTA - Neighbors living near a bat-infested Georgia home in foreclosure are trying to figure out what to do about the flying mammals.

They say the smell outside is so overwhelming they can't sit on their porches and enjoy the spring weather.

"To go out our front door has always been a big issue during the summer months because the smell has just been breathtaking almost," said Becky Campbell, who lives across the street from the home. "Even the mailman said he hated to stop at the mailbox because of the smell."

Code enforcement officials posted a sign on the home in Tifton's historic district, prohibiting people from entering the home, said W. Joe Lewis, a Tifton city councilman who represents the area.

Lewis was among several Tifton residents, including many who live in the neighborhood, who gathered outside the home Monday as a worker from an animal removal company assessed the situation.

"The interior and exterior walls are just full of guano," Melissa Skidmore of Tru Tech told the Tifton Gazette. "Some of it is old and has turned to dust and it is just a cocktail of pathogens... We are talking about between 10,000 and 20,000 bats."

Skidmore told the newspaper that her company has sent the bank which has possession of the home a plan for removing the bats - described as Mexican Free-tailed bats - and how much it might cost.

Lewis said he's no expert on bats and only attended the meeting as a representative of neighbors in the area. But based on what he heard at the meeting, time could be of the essence because "there's a point at which they will begin to have babies."

 

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