01/13/09 — It's enough to drive them just plain batty

View Archive

It's enough to drive them just plain batty

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on January 13, 2009 1:46 PM

Full Size


Howard Peterson waits outside his house on South Andrews Avenue in Goldsboro for an emergence of bats.

When the sun sets on Andrews Avenue, the dusky sky near the home of Howard and Mary Peterson starts looking like Halloween.
Bats, as many as 50 at a time, have been flying around the Petersons' home for weeks. And no one seems able to do anything about the problem.
The black blurs start appearing about 6 p.m., swooping down and making life a little too spooky for the couple.
"All I need is a pumpkin on my porch, a jack-o'-lantern," Peterson said.
Some of the bats occasionally wander to a neighbor's home -- once, while a neighbor was working on his computer, a bat zoomed in front
of the screen, Peterson said -- but they seem
to prefer the Petersons.
Although Mrs. Peterson said she has lived in the house for more than a dozen years, the bats have only been a problem for the last few.
And it seems to be getting worse.
"They just fly, fly, fly, and zoom over our heads," Peterson said. "I was out here smoking one day, and they were all around. ... I went back inside real quick."
The bats, the Petersons say, are trying to get into their attic, but Mrs. Peterson's brother put up a screen over their vent last year to stop them.
Still, they keep trying.
"One night, I felt something fly by my face. I had to turn every light in the house on. I couldn't sleep for about a week after that. I had to make sure all the bats were out, and no more could get in," Mrs. Peterson said.
They couple has sought help from every source they can think of, to no avail.
"I have called the police department, animal control, the wildlife people -- no one knows what to do with them," Howard said. "The animal control people gave me two biologists to call. I called them, and they didn't know what to do either. The police department came out and took pictures, but I haven't heard anything from them."
Mrs. Peterson even called an exterminator.
"As soon as I said, 'bats,' they wouldn't come," she said.
They have tried every tip offered, such as trying to
shine a bright light directly
on the bats. No good.
So, every evening, the Petersons either have to hurry to and from their vehicles, or stay outside as little as possible to keep the pesky flying rodents at bay.
"I don't know what it is that they want in there, but I want rid of them," Peterson said. "I don't want any bats. I don't want Dracula."
But even though the Petersons are more than tired of their evening guests, they still find some humor in their situation.
"Maybe we should try hanging garlic next," Peterson said.
Anyone who might have a way of helping the Petersons get rid of their bats can e-mail amyers@newsargus.com and the News-Argus will relay the information.