bats in an attic hibernating in a colony

Bats in Attic of Air BnB Turn Friend’s High-School Reunion into “Horror-Movie” Nightmare

A group of friends who rented an Air BnB home in Michigan in July for their 50th high-school reunion have filed a lawsuit after bats in the attic entered the living space. They described their vacation as turning into a “horror movie” scene. 

According to news reports, it was on the third night of their stay at the Air BnB home named “The Castle” when the bats started to appear. At first, just one bat was seen flying around a bedroom, and the women thought it was just one lone bat. However, soon afterward, the other bats in the attic followed, and the stairwell, corridor, and bedrooms were filled with bats. The report noted that the women had to hide in their beds and “cowered underneath their covers” as more and more bats came down the old lathe walls and through gaps in the baseboards. The bats were active until around dawn the following day.

How many bats were in the attic?

An exterminator found a colony of Michigan Brown Bats in the attic of the vacation home. This rental had a full-blown bat infestation, and the exterminator estimated there had been bats in the attic for several years. A well-established bat colony can number into the hundreds, even thousands. We don’t know the exact size of this colony, but the exterminator described it as a “large colony.” Even contact with a single bat can put a person at risk of contracting diseases like rabies. Therefore, it was unsafe for anyone to stay on the property. The exterminator also found several inches of guano (bat droppings) piled up on the attic floor and bat urine stains on the basement walls. Accumulations of guano can harbor harmful fungal spores, which, if inhaled, can cause a severe respiratory illness known as Histoplasmosis. Clearly, this rental property was a dangerous place for anyone to stay in.

bats in an attic roosting together

What happened after the bat infestation?

The women were all advised to receive a course of post-exposure rabies vaccinations after at least one was bitten and the others had contact with the bats. They have since filed a lawsuit against Air BnB for allowing the home to be listed on their site and against the property owners for negligence and failure to maintain the property to safe standards for renting.

Rabies post-exposure vaccine bottle

Homeowners – do you have bats in your attic?

News reports such as these are a sobering reminder of how much distress and damage can be done by failing to maintain properties. If you are a property owner, we urge you to ensure you carry out regular inspections of the whole of your property, including basements and attics. At this time of year, bats will be starting to hibernate or migrate depending on the species. Therefore, it’s essential to stay alert to the signs of bats in your homes. If you suspect you have bats in a rental home, don’t ignore the warning signs. Although we don’t yet know the outcome of this particular incident, property owners have faced enormous fines for negligence in similar cases. The impact of the bad publicity will surely mean this rental is off the market for quite some time. In addition, no one should want to knowingly put guests through the emotional stress of suffering a bat infestation like these Michigan guests. 

If you suspect you have bats in your home or another property, contact your local bat removal specialist today. We can conduct a thorough inspection of your building to determine whether you are indeed dealing with bats. We can also bat-proof your property to protect your home against potential bat visitors. To learn more about spotting signs of bat infestations, check out the links below. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about bats.

team of bat removal technicians working on a house

Your Local Bat Removal Specialist,

Michael Koski

Get Bats Out Owner and President Michael Koski

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