• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Bat plague: Macquarie Fields residents terrorised by flying foxes

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 16, 2023

Thousands of bats are wrecking havoc on a southwest Sydney suburb as neighbours complain their cars, homes and clothes are covered in poop.

More than a dozen residents living in Macquarie Fields have spoken with A Current Affair after months of growing frustration over a neighbouring flying fox colony.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been covered in poop,” neighbour Hussain said.

“The poops are everywhere, on my windows and doors, my car and if we go outside at the wrong time we get hit.”

About 20,000 bats are estimated to live in the bush reserve just metres away from his property.

Nira lives in a villa that backs onto the reserve and said she wakes in the middle of night to the bats’ eerie screeches.

“They start screeching at 3.30am. My kids and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep for years,” she said.

Jim has lived in the area for 50 years and said he was starting to feel like the bats had more rights to the land than the homeowners.

“The bats have more rights than us and our lives and homes are being ruined,” he said.

“They moved in a few years ago but because they are a protected species no one is allowed to touch them.

“But what about us? Why aren’t we protected?”

Cars have been stripped of their paint, as the highly corrosive acid contained in bat droppings needs to be removed immediately to avoid permanent damage.

The bats’ smell is also so offensive, many people keep their windows and doors sealed shut all hours of the day.

“Our lives are miserable and we are trapped here,” Jim said.

“Who’d want to buy here with these things as neighbours?”.

A Campbelltown City Council spokesperson said the council was trying to balance the concerns of residents with the requirement to protect flying foxes under environmental legislation.

“Work has started to revegetate nearby habitat in order to attract the flying foxes away from the affected houses,” they said.

A residential assistance program also provides financial support to residents for the purchase of products and services to mitigate the impact of living near a flying fox colony.

Council is also investigating the effectiveness of installing a sprinkler system to create a buffer between the colony and affected houses.

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