Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gone Batty

Have you ever been to Carlsbad Caverns or a similar spot at dusk to see the bats leave for the evening? Well, we don't have to go any where to see this sight. It happens every evening for a few weeks each summer right here at our house. We have a colony of bats that has moved in. They used to live underneath the flashing on our chimney until 2 years ago when my husband plugged up the gaps. So they moved into the ridge line of our house! Ever since I have been asking my husband to do something about the problem. The situation came to a head about dusk last night.

My son and husband were reading bedtime stories while the cat and I were watching TV. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something fly into the kitchen and then down the hallway. I turned toward the hallway just as it was coming back. IT WAS A BAT!! I jumped up, screamed and ran out the front door. My husband came running out to the living room. He said he thought that men with guns must have broken into the house by the way I screamed. I yelled at him through the screen door that there was a bat in the house. I didn't really need to tell him that because the bat was flying around the living room and dining room looking for a way out.

I stood outside while my husband shut doors trying to trap the bat. I'll spare you the details. Actually I don't know many of the details because I was outside. It took him about 15 minutes to trap it with our sons bug catching net and a magazine over the opening. He let it go outside and we tried to resume our normal routine. I slept downstairs in the guest room last night though because I just couldn't relax enough to go to sleep upstairs.

So how did the bat get inside? We aren't sure, but we have a theory. Our house is technically classified as a 1.5 story house. Which means that because of the steep pitch of the roof, only half of the upstairs is usable space. On either side of the house there is about 6 feet of space by the length of the house that is just storage space. To access this area the previous owners finished the upstairs using pine walls. At various places there are knot holes that you can put your finger through and pull to reveal a hidden door that accesses the storage area. We are guessing that it came through one of these holes. They have all been sealed now.

I am trying to find someone who can safely remove the bats, clean up the mess I'm sure they have created and then seal the openings so they can't get back in. The closest company I have found so far is located in Colorado Springs (about 120 miles away). I have contacted them but have not gotten a response yet. I don't know if they are willing to come this far. We called our local Division of Wildlife last week about the problem but you have to leave a message and they have not called back either! At this point I don't know what more we can do.

My son and husband are planning to go camping Wednesday and Thursday night. Normally, I would be eagerly anticipating their departure. In light of recent events, I'm not sure I want to left home alone! I will probably be completely stressed out at dusk tonight. I'm not sure I can handle a bat in the house two nights in a row.


Stephanie in Michigan said...

Oh, my gosh. I can't stand it when bats get in the house. They can get through the smallest holes! I wonder if you put some bat houses up outside if they'd leave your house alone more. I like having bats around (just not in my house), because they keep the mosquito population down. You probably don't have a real problem with mosquitoes, however, in your neck of the woods. Good luck with them. I am with you! I wouldn't want them in the house with my husband gone. Animal Control will come out to your house and get the out for you if one gets in while your husband is gone. They might also be able to help you find someone to help fix the problem...

Barb said...

Good luck with the bats....it can be scarey

Here in Amerika Samoa they come out every night at dusk, they fill the skies...and make these horrible noises....so I understand.

brooks1986 said...

I doubt that our Animal Control department would do anything about bats...it's hard enough to get them to respond to a stray dog call. Call Brad Weinmeister (Ashley's dad), he works for the Division of Wildlife.