Bat infestation so bad that Ottawa family's home will be need to be rebuilt
An Ottawa-area family says they feel like they’ve won the lottery after an insurance company finally agreed to rebuild their severely bat-infested home.
Matthew Dewan and Katrina Arcand bought a 150-year-old farm house in Kemptville, Ont., in late 2015.
They say they knew it was a fixer-upper, but didn’t expect that they would soon have guano (bat droppings) dripping through the ceilings into their children’s bedrooms.
They say they realized something was wrong in the summer of 2016, when the home started giving off an overwhelming smell, similar to a hamster cage.
At first, they figured that it might just be dead mice. Then they started seeing bats fly out of the house. One was so big that it frightened Arcand.
“In my opinion, it was a mini pterodactyl,” she says, “It was petrifying.”
They hired bat specialist Stephane Boucher, who went into their attic – a part of the house that the pre-purchase home inspector had skipped, they say.
Boucher says there was “a foot, two feet in some spots,” of guano, which had piled up due to hundreds of bats that may have been living there for decades.
Cleaning it would have costs tens of thousands of dollars, and it had also damaged wooden parts of the structure, like the roof and trusses.
The couple’s insurance company initially refused to pay, so Arcand’s sister set up a Go Fund Me page that prompted an outpouring of donations.
On Friday, they got the news that the insurance company would, in fact, pay to completely rebuild the house.
“We won the lottery today, that's what I would say,” said Arcand.
Dewan said through tears that they plan to return all the money donated by Go Fund Me.
With are report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr