Going Batty in American Canyon

Colony of brown bats takes over vacant mobile home

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Apr 22, 2010  |  Updated 9:20 AM PDT
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Weirdest Creatures of the World

Ronald Gonzales/DFG

Brown bats eat mosquitoes and other bugs.

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When Bats Take Over

A colony of brown bats that moved into a vacant mobile home in American Canyon is scaring neighbors.
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Residents of a Northern California mobile home park are living a scene right out of an Alfred Hitchcock film.

For about the past three years, a colony of brown bats has taken up residence in an abandoned mobile home in the Napa Olympia Mobilodge in American Canyon. They took over the place after the woman living there died.

June Jewell lives next door to the bathouse and she says over the years, the winged ones have become bolder. They swarm her door when she turns on the porch light, she told the Vallejo Times.

"I don't like having bats for neighbors." Jewell said. "I would rather have the crabby (human) neighbors."

The bats are turning the residents into prisoners in their own homes.

"I'm scared to death of them," 80-year-old Audrey Johnson said. "They're ugly little bastards, and I don't want to get bitten and I don't want them in my house, and they're not the least bit bashful about coming at you."

Jewell has appealed to the county health department and to the mobile home park's management office but the bats have yet to be evicted. She says the health department told her of the bats' imoprtance in keeping the bugs in check and that they couldn't do anything about them.

The paper talked to Rubin Garcia, with the mobile home park's management company. Garcia said he had sent an on-site manager to the bat-infested structure, who found no evidence of bats. Garcia told the paper they're sending "someone to look at it in depth, right away."

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