Two months ago a bat entered the house and has taken residence ever since. She swoops, squeaks and flies circles around our heads, nightly.
She came crashing down while we were having a dinner party, much to the amusement of our party guests, I’m sure! My husband quickly picked her up with a tea towel and put her outside.
I thought that was the last, of the crazy bat house.
I thought wrong.
See, I’ve worked well into the night for the past month, returning home at midnight, sometimes beyond. I was too tired to notice, or care if bats were swooping or squeaking, and went straight to bed.
One evening I decided to stay up a little longer to catch up on some blog reading when out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow flash. A shadow so small and fast that in an instance I knew she was back.
She swooped and flew fast circles around my living room. She gave me a good freak out that I grabbed the broom and started swatting at the poor thing. I know … totally wrong thing to do in this moment, but … but … I was scared and opening the door meant she had to fly right past MY head.
Then the light went on in my bat-crazed head. The light! Turn … on … the … light!
She’s gone, but really?
I’ve been off work for almost a week and have had a good chance (several times too many) to witness again the terrifying site of a bat … in my house! Above my head and in my living-room! Swoop, flutter, and squeak.
It’s that time where daylight is edging into darkness, that time when darkness takes hold of the day, the time when the bat comes out to play.
I squeal and scream my annoyance to my rustic-country husband “AJO, c’e un pipistello! There’s a bat! OMG! OH MIO DIO! GET IT!”
Husband – “What do you want me to do about it?”
Me with head buried deep under blankets and pillows – “Non lo so. I dunno … prendiiiiii … ti prego … AJO. C’e…c’e….auito…!”
Husband – “Relax, non fa niente.”
And he does nothing, my husband that is! This is a guy that has dreamed, since childhood to sleep with a family of lions! Yeah. Therefore a little bat is not going to ruffle his feathers, he doesn’t even bat an eye lash.
So, it’s up to me.
Still entrenched in my make shift full body protection of pillows and blankets I get up from the sofa, open all the doors and turn on all the lights. I’m safe for now and Husband goes to bed.
I continue to watch the nightly TV when she makes her grand re-appearance … again. (Now I’m fully bat-crazy). Swooping and sashaying though the air like dynamite, freaking me out … again, I quickly turn everything off and jump into bed with a lion, still in full body protection.
I vowed to Google the bat-crap out of these flying mammals; and this is what I’ve come up with:
6 Tips to Capture a Bat Flying Inside a Building
- NEVER try to capture a flying bat and NEVER squat brooms at them either. A flying bat inside a building is looking for a way out, give it one.
- Always wear gloves when handling bats.
- Open all windows to the room and close door.
- Dim the lights. This will give the bat a chance to find its way out.
- Wait for the bat to land. Capture it with a towel. Be gentile.
- Release the bat at dusk! (Yeah, I won’t be waiting that long, she’s out the door before you can say supper).
Information about the capture of bats from: Bat Conservation Trust
There’s even a bat hotline number if you are in the UK: 0845 1300 228 (I wonder if they’d come to Sardinia?).
DID YOU KNOW?
“A single little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour, and is one of the world’s longest-lived mammals for its size, with life spans of almost 40 years.
Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. With extremely elongated fingers and a wing membrane stretched between, the bat’s wing anatomically resembles the human hand. Almost 1,000 bat species can be found worldwide. In fact, bats make up a quarter of all mammal species on earth!
Size: Bats are divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera, meaning large bat, and Microchiroptera, meaning small bat. The largest bats have a 6 foot wingspan. The bodies of the smallest bats are no more than an inch long.”
Source: Defenders of Wildlife – Bats Basic Facts
For two months I’ve gone bat-crazy watching her swoop flying circles around my living room. Is she here to stay? Does she have a nest?
I can’t handle the battiness any longer.
My house has become the Crazy Bat House of Sardegna …
Have bats taken up residence in your home? What have you done to eradicate them?
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Dios mio! What an adventure. You are far more braver than me. I would have moved out almost immediately! Yikes!
Trust me Monica I wanted to move out. Those things freak me out! I haven’t seen one in the house for about a week. Crossing my fingers.
If you don’t see her before sunset then I think it’s unlikely she is roosting in the house. It does sound like maybe they just come in chasing insects and go out again.
I don’t know if you are still after a local contact but this fellow is a bat and other animal rehabber in Rome http://www.flickr.com/photos/leonardoancillotto/ . He may be able to give you some local advice about the bats.
Do email the British mob – they may have contacts with english speaking people in Italy (or Italian speaking people, since you might be able to manage that)
Is there any chance you can put up fly screens in your place? Then they just need to be put up once the bat is gone out after the night and – leave the screens in place and the doors shut. Physical exclusion is by far the easiest way to resolve your issue.
I’d like to have a pip living in my house but I like bats. Good thing we are all different 🙂
Thanks for the advice but putting up screens is out of the question. My husband loves his nature! 🙂 I’m pretty sure they are living in our rafters, I just don’t understand why they stay there. I say to leave the windows open at night to let them out, my husband on the other hand says to close all windows so they don’t come in. But Im convinced they live in the rafters and wait out the day light hours …
What’s not to love (from a bat’s perspective) about your rafters? They are dry, predator free and otherwise fabulous roosting habitat (if unusual). As a cave alternative, they sound fantastic to me.
If living in your house the bats go out at night but will be back in before dawn. If they are not living in your house, but just coming to visit (and eat any insects) then in after dusk and back out before dawn so they can safely roost away from predators. A pile of droppings would suggest to me they are inside during the day in one place, asleep.
Various people suggest moth balls and other scents to discourage bats from roosting in places but a. I expect you don’t want your home to smell of moth balls and b. the suggestions are usually toxic.
Thank you SO much for this advice.
Im actually finding the droppings in the morning after they have circled around the house a few times at night. And it’s not a lot of droppings, but a little pebble here and there. There is no pile of droppings which is good. So maybe they have just come in during the night, got locked in during the day … hmmm. I should set up a camera.
In this moment on CBC 1 Toronto they’re talking about bats!! What a coincidence!
LOL! Too bad I’m in Sardinia. Do they say how to get rid of them in your ceiling rafters INSIDE your home?
Unforunately, not! It was an interview with a professor of Biology but I will try to get more informations if it is possible!
LOL! Thanks Giuseppina!
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Ohhhh my, I was ducking my head and weaving around reading this post! You poor thing.
I know I’d certainly not be waiting till dusk to release the bat. I do hope you find a solution soon…!
Love your post Jen! I can understand you freaking out over the bat, you should know though, that in Greece it’s good luck having flying residents in your home. 🙂 So, apart from the panic it caused you, your bat also brings good luck! 🙂
Thanks for the luck! Next time she comes swooping out Ill be sure to remember that!
LOL… sorry I laugh at your problems, but it does sound funny how you tell it 😉
Maybe build its own bat house… ? Here in Canada they are starting to get more popular. People encourage these to live in their yard to help with the mosquitos, so they put up bat houses. I have never had a bat in the house (thankgoodnes and knock on wood). Shanghai has tons that we see come out at dusk. I am hoping being 14 floors up is too high for the little critters.
I quite like bats, not that I want one in the house. We have them living in the trees outside our apartment in Brisbane and they squeal at night and leave a mess on our balcony, but I still like them.
Oh, Lordy, we’ve never has bats. We had rats in Vietnam, which I guess is worse, but the swooping of bats wouod drive me, well, batty! Hang in there–and I swear there’s no pun intended.
Funny 🙂 We used to have the occasional bat get into the house when we lived in the plantations and drive us crazy! Next morning they would be hanging upside down from the highest rafters! Eeew! Don’t exactly remember how we got them out though.
Tonight, I will try to capture a photo!
this is a wonderful tale and where did you find those tips?
Glad you like it! Thank you. I got the tips from the sites I’ve referenced … oh please tell me I did reference them!
you did, I am just a shitty cognitive reader 🙂
Just love the humour in your writing Jen. What a great story!
Humour? What humour? There’s a crazed bat living in my house and I’m going batty! 😉 Glad you liked the story!
While she eludes you – I hope she doesn’t grow into the 6ft wingspan variety!!
Oh my … me too! I would run for the mountains never to return!
Great post, Jennifer! But sorry you’re going so batty! We have bats on our terrazza. They live up in the cracks between the beams and the walls, and…we love them. We’re building them a bat house this summer. What can I say? I’ve never been afraid of bats, and it gives me great pleasure to see them swoop out of their hidey-holdes and go eat mosquitos! Once in awhile, they get into the house, but they always go back out through an open window. Good luck!! By the way, I’ve just added your blog to my Blogs list…so honored!!
Thank you! Im sure Ill get used to it, but seeing bat poop on the living room floor every morning is getting tiring. And when I want to watch my nightly crime shows she always comes out, flies too close to our heads for my liking … think I need a bat hat!