Roofers find thousands of bats under shingles

Homeowner says bats were there for years

MIAMI - A Southwest Miami-Dade family's unwanted, uninvited, unwelcomed house guests became an Internet sensation on Monday.

Thousands of bats were caught on video as they were released from inside the Pomares family's roof. It happened as a local roofing company was replacing old Spanish tiles with a new metal roof.

"I never even knew there were bats in Miami," 12-year-old Paolo Pomares told Local 10's Baron James.

Paolo's dad, Polo Pomares, said the bats had been living underneath the tiles for at least three years.

"The population grew and grew over the years. They were swarming. You'd typically here them chirping under the tile. They never got into the house, thank God," he said.

The Pomares' said they tried practically everything to get rid of the bats, their noise and odor.

"At Halloween everybody would come to our house to see the bats," 14-year-old Enzo Pomares said.

The bats reminded the roofers with Istueta Roofing as they hacked away on top of the house that a hard day's work can sometimes be horrifying. Finding animals isn't completely out of the ordinary for the roof repair company, which has had other wild experiences.

"We have found iguanas. We have found before snakes on the roof, raccoons," said Frank Istueta, of Istueta Roofing.

A video of the bats escaping the roof was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, and so far, it's gotten more than 240,000 hits.

The Pomares family said they have nothing against this species of bats--which an expert said was either the Mexican or Brazilian fruit tail. They are known to eat pesky Mosquitoes and other insects. But Polo Pomares said they just didn't want thousands of the bats as house guests. And since the roof replacement in January 2011, they haven't seen any more bats.

"Now you get all your friends calling every time they see a bat or make reference to a bat," Polo Pomares quipped.

The family said a "bat-proof" roof has been installed at the home, and it has been bat-free ever since.

Click here to watch the video.

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