Critter Alert: Wild Animals in the Attic

That's the approach Doxrude is taking with her bats.

"It was to the point where we couldn't even go outside," said Doxrude, 32, who has two young children. "[The bats were] screaming at you. They would swoop down at you."

To get rid of the bats, the Doxrudes replaced their siding and removed the asbestos beneath it. Then, at the urging of a local naturalist, Dino Tlachac, they donated the old cedar siding and bat guano to build bat houses in a nature preserve on their street.

"They already have the scent of the bats," Tlachac said. "They think they're at the same house, because we use the same wood."

Amid West Nile virus, Doxrude and some of her neighbors don't mind sharing the area with the mosquito-killing bats.

"They'd rather have them living in the bat houses than in our house or their house," Doxrude said. "They [the bats] are very beneficial. We like them around."

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