Downtown Tuscaloosa dealing with bat infestation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Some nocturnal animals are lurking in several buildings in downtown Tuscaloosa.

The bats are federally protected, so removing them is a challenge. It’s a problem most people in Tuscaloosa don’t even know about.

Wiley Latner is an expert at removing bats. He has removed and relocated thousands of bats from downtown Tuscaloosa buildings since 2007.

“Whether it’s one bat or five thousand the process is still the same.  You have to seal the structure and be very thorough will all cracks and holes and then exclude them.  Once they are out they are out if you have done your job properly.  Because they are mammals they have to feed like we do so every night they come out to look for more food,” Latner said.

Latner says the animals are attracted to the Tuscaloosa area because of the rivers where they feed on mosquitos. He says the large population is causing problems.

“You can find them roosting under your shingles, a big problem is the houses that have large vents,” he explained. “They can get into any cracks of holes behind your gutter system under your patio or decks.”

Another problem Latner says is bat feces. It can cause respiratory illnesses for humans if the animals are not removed. There are seven species of bats living in Alabama. Four on the list live in Tuscaloosa.

Latner owns Anicon Wildlife Control. He encourages residents to call an expert if they see bats living in their home or business right away.

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