Trapped in own home as bats invade backyard

 

A MOUNT Isa family is being held hostage in their own home because thousands of tick-ridden bats have taken over their back yard.

The stench from droppings and urine paired with the threat of ticks and fleas means the Craig children haven't been able to play outside for two months.

The bats have been crawling over the children's toys, flying into the side of the house and screeching so loudly the family wakes up in the early hours of the morning.

Brooke Love and Darren Craig with their two children Ena and Zac standing in front of their home as bats hang over their back yard. Picture: Anne Hartung
Brooke Love and Darren Craig with their two children Ena and Zac standing in front of their home as bats hang over their back yard. Picture: Anne Hartung

Darren Craig and Brooke Love have been battling with the smelly creatures during all hours of the day since mid-August, even having to take their children Ena, 3, and Zac, 10 months, to a nearby park so they can play without the fear of becoming sick.

The horrifying situation comes amid the Katter's Australian Party's push for the State Government to act, with Member for Traeger Robbie Katter claiming local councils were left to foot all costs while having to adhere to stringent and "often unworkable" approval processes.

Mr Craig said the bats were so loud, he could hear them screeching over the top of his motorbike, while wearing a helmet, from seven houses down the street.

"They don't leave," he said.

Brooke Love with Darren Craig and their two children Ena and Zac aren’t able to play outside because of the bats. Picture: Anne Hartung
Brooke Love with Darren Craig and their two children Ena and Zac aren’t able to play outside because of the bats. Picture: Anne Hartung

The bats have occupied neighbouring trees which hang over the family's yard, however they've also taken to hanging from shade sails out the back.

The 22 solar panels on the family's roof are "hardly working" because they're covered in bat poo.

Mr Craig said the local council was going to move them along but he was concerned they would return next year.

He said the State Government needed to help.

Ms Love said the Government should get rid of them.

"What I don't understand is, yes they're protected, but what about our children and our quality of life?" she said.

 

Brooke Love with Darren Craig and their two children Ena and Zac standing in their back yard as bats hang overhead. Picture: Anne Hartung
Brooke Love with Darren Craig and their two children Ena and Zac standing in their back yard as bats hang overhead. Picture: Anne Hartung

Mr Katter, who said other residents were also affected by the town's bats, challenged Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch to take a look at the family's living situation and decide if she would accept this as her home.

"We need to get the balance right on this - if the Government is opposed to a cull, then at least assist us to be able to move … bats on urgently and practically," he said.

Ms Enoch said local councils were best placed to respond to and manage flying foxes.

"The Palaszczuk Government supports a balanced approach to managing our native wildlife that conserves and protects vulnerable species and their habitat, while managing the safety and expectations of a growing community," she said.

 

Picture: Anne Hartung
Picture: Anne Hartung

 

 

Picture: Anne Hartung
Picture: Anne Hartung

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