DeFuniak is haunted by bats and residents want a solution

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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS Fla. (WMBB) — On Halloween thousands of trick-or-treaters will be collecting candy in Historic DeFuniak Springs beneath thousands of real-life bats, an issue the city has seen.

Residents said bats getting into their homes, is a real problem. But experts said it is important for people to learn how to coexist with winged creatures.

“If you walk out into this area of DeFuniak Springs on any given night, you will see literally thousands of bats,” said DeFuniak Springs City Public Information Officer Chris Mitchell.

DeFuniak City officials said nearly 90 percent of homes in historic downtown have a bat infestation. Including the library many years ago.

“Clean the guano out and remove the bats, but it’s a delicate process since they are protected,” said DeFuniak Library Manager Laura Moree.

Unfortunately, bats like to return.

“We have recently discovered a bat,” she said.

So, Moree and the library are going through another round of mitigation. And the old Lakeside Hospital building may also need work.

“I walked up the steps and looked down and saw this pile of brown stuff and then when I looked up I saw some oilish brown stuff at the very top of the casing,” said Mitchell.

While bats are a challenge, people need to learn how to live with them, because they help control mosquitos.

Bat houses can be seen right outside of the library in DeFuniak Springs. Residents are wondering if this is the solution to co-existing with bats. In the meantime, wildlife officials continue to study bats and teach people how to safely and legally remove them from their property.

Wildlife officials spoke at the DeFuniak citizen services expo at the Chautauqua Hall to learn more about a solution to the bat problem visit their website.

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