HOUSTON — Since June, a Houston woman said she’s been trying to get her apartment complex to take care of a troubling problem; bats inside her unit.

But to no avail.

To make matters worse, Shauntell Smith said management at Terra at Piney Point on Woodway Drive has blamed her for the critters.

The first time Smith came face to face with a bat was in June. She said it literally dropped in.

“The baby bat fell from this home vent,” Smith explained.

She says the ordeal terrified her but once the bat was removed and she calmed down, she brushed it off as a fluke.

“I was thinking that it was like a one-time incident and so I didn’t worry about it,” she said.

However, since then Smith said she’s dealt with bats circling overhead in her bedroom, found a dead one on her living room floor, which she put in an airtight container as proof. 

And on Aug. 3, she took cellphone video of a bat seen squeezing in through a crack in the fireplace.

“I’m always kind of trying to leave a light on to see if something’s going to try to crawl under the door, or if something's going to come through a vent,” she said.

Because bats can carry disease, Smith is worried about her safety.

“One concern is the feces," Smith said. "It’s easy to contract a lung infection. This is a life-and-death matter. This is a health issue.”

What Smith finds equally as frustrating as the bats is the way management has responded.

“They were trying to sweep it under the rug and blame me from the very beginning.”

According to Smith, management suggested perhaps she let them in through an open door or that they may have hitched a ride in her moving boxes. Both explanations she says are not possible.

“I felt like I was really being taken advantage of because I pay my money to live here.”

Smith provided documentation that shows a pest control company did come out to her unit while she was not home. In an email to Smith, management wrote, “there were no entry points or any bats in the fire place or around the area.”

Smith would like Terra at Piney Point to bring in a professional to inspect what’s happening inside the chimney walls or the attic to determine how the bats are getting in. She recently moved into the complex in April to be closer to her job and school and does not want to move.

KHOU spoke with Robert Avalos, the community director at the complex on Wednesday. When asked about the bats and if his team plans to provide any other help, Avalos responded with, “no comment.”

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