Woman bitten by bats several times claims infestation in Mo. apartment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF/CNN) - A Missouri woman is looking for a new place to live after she says she was bitten on her neck, head and ear and had to receive rabies treatment, due to a bat infestation in her apartment.

Beverly McCall was hoping her Kansas City, Mo., apartment would be the ticket to a fresh start. Thanks to a program helping women transition out of prison, she got to live rent-free for a few months.

"We’re starting a new life, and we’re trying to get our stuff together and go on and be productive citizens,” she said.

But McCall says the apartment isn’t really habitable, and her five months in the unit have been nothing but frustrating. She’s had water leaks and holes in the utility closet, but her latest and most concerning problem is what she says is a bat infestation.

“Now that I lay down at night, I can’t sleep because I wonder what’s in bed with me, and oh, it’s terrifying, you know?” she said.

McCall says the bats have bitten her neck, head and ear. She has hospital discharge papers showing she was treated for a bat bite and given a rabies shot.

She says the property owner isn’t doing enough to get rid of the animals.

"He needs to make it right and do something about exterminating the place, fixing the place where it's habitable,” she said.

The property owner says he has not received any proof of bats in the unit but admitted the building did have a bat problem in the past. He says a chimney covering was replaced to keep them out.

He also claims McCall has made a “litany of complaints” and wanted handouts, including free furniture.

In an email to McCall about other maintenance requests, he wrote, “There is no law which says that I have to do everything that comes out of your mouth.” He also told the property maintenance manager not to respond to her anymore.

But after two residents complained to the Kansas City Health Department, inspectors ordered repairs to seal up holes where the bats may be getting in and told the owners to clean up guano around the windows.

"We’ve had exterminators spray everything, and we’ve had holes patched. When things come up, we take care of them as quick as we can,” said the maintenance manager.

McCall is not convinced the patches will fix the problem. She and her case manager are looking for a new place for her to live.

Tuesday was the deadline for the owner to turn in proof of repairs to the health department. If not received, the complex will face a fine.

Several other past and current tenants of the property indicated it has been difficult to get repairs done, including those to heat, plumbing and appliances, since new out-of-state owners took over last year.

Copyright 2019 WDAF, Tribune via CNN. All rights reserved.