Caught on camera: Bats infest south-side apartment complex; residents claim management is ignoring the problem

A renter sent KENS 5 footage showing a swarm of bats making their way inside an apartment building at Hillside Manor Apartments.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonians are no strangers to bats, but one south-side renter is fed up with an infestation at her apartment complex.

She claims bats have been making their way inside units and alleges the complex is not addressing the issue.

The renter wanted to remain anonymous. She sent KENS 5 a video Monday night showing a swarm of bats making their way inside an apartment building at Hillside Manor Apartments, off Koehler Court.

“They come out almost every night,” she said. “They fly super low. There’s at least 50 a night that can fly out of the wall.”

She said her husband has had to help two of their neighbors capture bats inside their apartments.

“She has a pull-out couch and she pulled it out and it was right there,” the renter said.

She said her husband managed to get them inside jars and bins then set them free. She said her neighbor complained to the apartment management, but they met her with pushback.

“They told her, ‘Well, they’re endangered. We can’t remove them from their habitat,'” she said. “I don’t understand that, because that’s where we live.” 

State and federal laws protect bats from being killed. They can, however, be relocated. 

“Our process is non-invasive in the fact that we just install what we call a one-way exit tunnel,” said Daniel Watson said, president of Critter One, a wildlife removal company. 

Watson said it’s important to let professionals handle flying mammals. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in the country. 

However, Watson said people should be more concerned about their feces.

“It could become harmful respiratory-wise to people,” he said. “Way more so than having rabies and attacking you.”

The resident said she can’t afford to move. Instead, she is relying on the complex to take action and call for professional help.

“It’s an eerie feeling that bats can be anywhere in your apartment at any time,” she said.

KENS 5 has tried multiple times to reach the property owner of Hillside Manor. We have yet to hear back.

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