Bats, protected by federal law, pose problem at this Littleton apartment complex

Problem Solvers

LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) – Bats seem to be everywhere in a Littleton condominium complex, and now a family with a new baby is concerned about their health.

Infestations of bats, raccoons and mice can be common in Colorado, especially in areas closer to the foothills.

Migratory bats are protected by federal law. It is illegal to kill them.

Emily and Marcus Holtz tell the FOX31 Problem Solvers they first noticed the bats flying above their balcony, then they noticed droppings collecting on the patio floor and the ground below.

“The droppings — yes, sure, 80% of them end up on our porch — but there’s 20% on the ground right now, that your dog is licking up right now, and they’re going to have a bad time with that” Marcus Holtz said.

The couple tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers their homeowners association has made an effort to address the issue by installing a bat mitigation system.

“We think it’s a safety concern. It should’ve been taken care of and mitigated instantly” Marcus Holtz said.

The Problem Solvers contacted the HOA. They told us the effort was stalled for a short time for financial reasons, but they are working to continue the project this week.

“We’re thankful that they’re actually doing something,” Emily Holtz said.

The Tri-County Health Department told the Problem Solvers that while bat feces can present a health hazard, a bigger problem is the threat of rabies.

Environmental Health Manager Monte Deatrich issued the following statement to FOX31: “If you have been bitten by a bat or woke up with a bat in your room, you should make every effort to safely capture the bat to have it tested for rabies. Contact your healthcare provider and local health department to determine if you may have been exposed; and call a veterinarian if a pet may have been exposed.” 

Legal experts added that landlords and HOAs are required to maintain a living environment that meets health and safety  standards.

Attorney Bryan Kuhn told FOX31 that there are requirements for landlords.

“The law doesn’t require that it be luxurious or special or anything like that, but there is a baseline that people are entitled to. It’s well recognized in the legal code,” Kuhn said.

For more information on bats, visit the CDC website on bats and rabies.

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