Bats infest Eastside apartment building

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A Bellevue mother says her family is being terrorized by bats in and around her apartment.

The situation is so bad that a mother and her daughter are going through painful vaccination treatments.

Now the family says they are trying to get help in getting rid of them after already going to extended lengths.

A mother of a special needs daughter, Kara Latchinian, was told an entire colony of potentially rabid bats could be living in her walls.

Latchinian says she has tried for months to quietly resolve the problem with her apartment’s manager, but out of frustration and fear for her family’s safety, she called KIRO 7.

Her family has already had one round of several rabies shots after coming in contact with bat saliva, and they’ll have to go back for more, Latchinian says. She says the rabies vaccine has some nasty side effects.

Latchinian says the first sign of trouble was nine months ago during a late-night when her daughter woke her up and told her there was a bird in the house.

Her daughter had captured what she called a bird on video, but it turned out to be the first of several bats, which flew into their bedrooms. She called animal control experts, and they told her for every one bat they saw, there were likely many more nearby.

She showed KIRO 7 where they roost and where were having pups, raising them in her walls.

Latchinian says she contacted the building’s manager, King County Public Health and others who contacted the manager.

“It went ignored…and so that was you know, about nine months ago,” Latchinian says.

Just weeks ago, she says they had an even bigger bat problem.

She showed KIRO 7 were the bats were flying in her apartment and in her daughter’s room. She says a different species of bat flew in.

Latchinian says, “It was much larger, you could hear the wings flap. It looked like a Halloween decoration. It looked pretty menacing.”

She says it attacked her and her daughter who has severe medical issues. It also attacked one of her cats.

“It was swooping down at me over and over again, and I was crawling on my belly trying to pull a cat away,” she says.

Latchinian says the cat and the rest of the family were advised by health officials and a doctor that they could be at risk for rabies since bats are the primary animal carrying rabies in our state.
"He said I had to go to the hospital and start a series of rabies shots," says Latchinian.

Someone came over last Monday and patched holes where the bats were using to get in and out, she said. She showed KIRO 7 were the foam was. It appeared to not to be a permanent solution.

Latchinian also showed another area where there was foam. She says she has a very limited income and her apartment is low-income housing.

“I’m not independently wealthy, I can’t afford to go to a hotel, you know, I didn’t really have options.”

Her only request is to have a safe home.

She says she even called the Bellevue code inspector about the situation.

On Thursday Bellevue code enforcement issued a violation to the owner of the apartment complex, Imagine Housing, and Allied Residential Property Management company.

Villette Nolon told KIRO-7 Imagine Housing was aware of the problem and had a pest inspector check the property. She said the property management company had holes filled inside the unit.

“We’re really very upset concerning anything that may be pests or bats or anything that might have come into the unit at our building in Bellevue. We take anything like this very very seriously.” “We’ve already called a pest control company but we’ll be getting a second pest control company to come in an actually review the work the first group did and we’ll be sending that information on to the city.”

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