COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Columbia woman has been forced to temporarily leave her apartment after finding out it's infested with bats.
"This is the craziest thing I’ve been through, I don’t know what else to do," Dionne Wilks said while tearing up.
Wilks and her 4-year-old son recently moved into Copperfield Apartments in Columbia. It wasn’t long until she started noticing bats flying around her home.
"There’s hundreds of bats in that building," she said. "They’re coming through my walls. You open your drawer, a bat fly out," she said. "You open your closet, a bat fly out. You wake up in the middle of the night, a bat fly out.'
Wilks said she called management and submitted a maintenance request for help, but it took them several days to send someone.
"I have to stay in [hotel] rooms, I have to find family or friends to stay with because me and my son can’t sleep at night. I haven’t been to work in three weeks because I'm up all night trying to watch him," said Wilks.
She added that she's afraid to sleep because she doesn't want a bat biting her or her young son.
News 19 reached out to Copperfield Apartments. They said maintenance came to the unit Friday to tape up the vents to prevent the bats from coming through from the attic.
Management is also paying for an animal control service to remove the bats, clean out the attic and patch up the exterior.
In a written statement sent late Monday evening, Copperfield Apartments said, "we respect our responsibility not only to our residents, but also to our community, the City of Columbia and the state of South Carolina. We will continue to communicate with all residents affected and see that they remain informed of the progress through to completion. We want Copperfield Apartments to be a safe and pleasant place to reside and we will be reviewing our onsite maintenance procedures to prevent any instance similar from happening in the future."
The animal control service began their work Monday but told Wilks they won't be done until Friday.
"What am I going to do from Monday until Friday for a place to stay? I just have to live with the bats?" asked Wilks.
Wilks said she thinks the complex should give her somewhere else to stay, but they'll be staying with close friends until the work is done.
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