Are you afraid you have bats in your belfry? Do you hear strange noises from your attic at night? Do dark shadows swoop around your yard just as darkness descends? Are you getting freaked out? Then keep reading to learn more… You may need Grumpy’s rodent control services.
A Bat Story
A fictitious story based on bat fact.
By Mark Newton
Wow, I have bats in my attic. I couldn’t believe it. I never heard of anyone ever actually having bats in their attic. My first thought was “Where am I going to sleep?” and my second thought was “How do I kill them?” I had to figure this out. I was kind of freaking out. It’s Saturday night and there is nobody to call until Monday morning. I need rodent control now! I decided to put the shotgun away because the Spokane Cops would probably shoot me for shooting the bats.
So I finally settled down. This all happened in the span of 5 minutes. The bats and I were lucky that one of them hadn’t come out of that hole. We’d both be dead. So now I only have a baseball bat. Nervously laughing about how funny it would be trying to hit that bat with a bat. I saw them fly. It was amazing.
I decided I had to be a MAN. I was going to get rid of them myself. So I looked up bats on the internet.
Wow, they are amazing creatures. Did you know that there are 16 different species in Washington State and they don’t bite people. They eat insects! A whole bunch. What a relief! At least I can sleep in my house. They are probably the Big Brown Bat species (Eptesicus fuscus) or they could be the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus). Those are the two most common house bats in our state.
Their biggest hazard to me, besides the heart attack they almost gave me, is rabies. Or Histoplasmosis which is an airborne disease caused by their dung. I need to put up a sign saying “Do Not Disturb Bat Shit”. When I finally get into my attic I need to wear a respirator and gloves to clean up the dung. And I need to dampen the dung to keep the dung dust down. That’s my biggest hazard, the dung dust.
I can’t get rid of these guys till August because they have babies up there and they can’t fly until sometime in August. Then I need to count how many come out at night, which will tell me how many are up there. Could be a thousand of them. But I can start getting ready. I have a lot of prep work just to get rid of them.
First I need to build them a new home, maybe a few. These guys eat so many insects, as much as a lactating female’s body weight in a single night. So I want to keep these guys around. I’m going to build a few bat houses I found on the internet and put them in different locations. That way they have their pick, I don’t want to lose my bats, and I’m becoming quite fond of them.
Second, I need to find all their entrances. That may take some time without disturbing them. I could disturb them, but I don’t like the thought of bats flying around my head. Plus their babies called pups, need their sleep. So after I find all their entrances I need to start closing them up with screening material, foam insulation, wood, caulking, whatever it takes to seal up the holes. Bats don’t chew through things, so almost anything will work to patch the holes. This is very hard because these bats can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil (3/8”). I don’t start sealing the holes until after the babies start flying. A few days before final eviction is when I start sealing all the holes except the main one that I saw last night.
On eviction night, otherwise known as fright night, after my new friends take flight, I will put on my leather gloves, a respirator, and my football helmet. Please note that the helmet is for head protection in the attic in case I need to run like hell. There are a lot of rafters up there. Should duct tape my sleeves and pants, just to make me feel safer. Don’t want one of my buddies crawling up my leg. Sends a chill up my back. I may look stupid as hell but it’s the only way I’m going there.
Anyway, I need a flood light up there to chase any of my friends out of there that might be left. Hopefully that works. Then I get out of there as fast as possible. Now I seal up the final hole. And while I’m dressed for it, I might as well start cleaning up the dung. Maybe I can sell it on Ebay.
There is a flip side to all this. My in-laws won’t be visiting this summer. I love my Bats.