SAND LAKE, Mich. (WZZM)- An update now to a 13 On Your Side story we first reported last week. The Kohler family's West Michigan home is infested with bats and insurance won't pay to fix the problem. But after our story aired, a company called Creature Control offered to help.
Jason Sutton with Creature Control says there is a, "large maternity colony of small brown bats" which can be heard fluttering their wings from outside of the home.
Derek and Stephanie Kohler purchased the home in 2009 but didn't know there was a bat problem.
"This summer, it smelled really, really bad. It was horrible, horrible smell. We didn't know what it was," said Stephanie Kohler.
It was coming from the attic. We Jason a camera to show us the damage. As he moved through the rafters you could see piles of bat droppings called guano.
"I have seen, so far, 12 dead bats...4 of them right here," said Sutton. He figures there are about 50 to 100 live bats hiding in the attic.
"Today, it's just hot, you can hear them fanning themselves. They're all sticking out in soffits where they are getting that fresh air."
The bats also carry bat bugs which are making their way into the home and biting the homeowners. The remediation is expensive. The Kohlers received an estimate from another insurance company for over $14,000. Their insurance company denied the claim.
Creature Control is having success in fighting a similar case on the east side of the state. They will go ahead and start evicting the bats in the Kohlers' home.
The next step would be cleaning up the mess and bat-proofing the home. It is a big job, but with help from Creature Control and an attorney, the Kohlers hope to reclaim their home very soon.
By Sarah Sell