GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - When Shannon Williams moved into the Mark IV Apartments not long ago, she was caught off guard by her new neighbors - bats in the wall.
"I hear them every night, all through the night," Williams said. "They sound like they're actually about to chew through the wall. It's scary."
Williams says that the temporary fixes to fill the gaps have only closed the bats in tighter. She's even had to close off vents because of the smell.
The walls show markings that she says is a result of the infestation. Next door neighbors say that although they also have a problem, not everyone in the complex does.
"I haven't even brought any of my furniture in here because of this issue," Williams said.
And, of course, there's the noise.
"I actually have to play my radio really loud, play the TV really loud, so I won't hear the chirping and the flapping of the wings of these bats," Williams added.
Tami Hataway, a bat specialist with Wild At Heart Rescue, says there are several species of colonial bats. The bats at the apartment complex congregate to keep warm in the winter. Disturbing the guano can case fungal infections in humans, who are susceptible to the rabies virus.
Williams says the on-site manager has been reluctant to get rid of the bats.
"He actually told me that if I can't deal with the bats, then just move out. He said it was too expensive to remove these bats," Williams said.
WLOX asked the manager to respond, but he would not comment nor identify himself. But when he came to the apartment to inspect, Williams confronted him and asked for her money back.
"I shouldn't be living in this inhumane condition," Williams said. "It's inhumane."