Bats biting Kansas City woman’s neck lead to health department investigating apartments

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A recurring bat problem is leaving a Kansas City woman feeling helpless.

Beverly McCall told FOX4 that bats have bitten her four times, and her landlord isn't doing enough to get rid of them.

"There's just holes all over the place," McCall said.

McCall was hoping her new apartment would be the ticket to a fresh start. She got her first few months rent free, thanks to a program helping women transitioning out of prison.

"We're starting a new life and trying to get our stuff together and go on and be productive citizens," McCall said.

Nevertheless, she said her five months in the unit have been frustrating. She took pictures of water leaks around a window sill, and she still has holes in her utility closet.

Now, her latest and most concerning problem is with bats.

"Now, when I lay down at night, I can't sleep because I wonder what's in bed with me," she said. "It's terrifying."

McCall also has pictures showing bat bite marks on her neck, head and ear. Her ear is still sore and visibly swollen. She also has hospital discharge papers showing she was treated for a bat bite and given a rabies shot.

"[The landlord] needs to make it right and do something about exterminating the place, fixing the place where it's habitable," McCall said.

In an email to McCall, the owner wrote, "There is no law which says I have to do everything that comes out of your mouth." He also told the maintenance man, Shaun, not respond to her anymore.

But after two residents complained to the Kansas City Health Department, inspectors with the Healthy Homes program ordered repairs to seal up holes where the bats are getting in, and told the owners to clean up bat guano around windows.

"We've had exterminators spray everything, and we've had holes patched," said Shaun, the property maintenance manager,. "When things come up, we take care of them as quick as we can."

But McCall's not convinced the patch jobs will fix the problem. She and her case manager are now looking for a new place for her to live.

Tuesday was the deadline for the owner to turn in proof of repairs to the health department. If not received, they'll face a fine.

FOX4 talked with the property owner. He told us he had not received any proof of bats being in the unit. He said if that is true, he'll take steps to remedy the situation. The owner also indicated he was aware of past bat problems at the property. He said a chimney covering was replaced to keep them out.

He also said McCall has made a "litany of complaints" and wanted hand-outs, including free furniture.

Both the owner and maintenance manager insisted other tenants in the building are happy, and that FOX4 should speak with them.

We spoke with several other past and current tenants of the property as well as Beverly's case manager. All of them indicated that, since new out-of-state owners took over last year, they've struggled to get things fixed, including heat, plumbing and appliances.

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