I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Halloween party, or a haunted house. But if you have, you’ve probably at some point at another been through what I call a haunted hallway. What that means is that there is an alley or hallway that is decorated like a haunted house. Meant to scare you in a short amount of time, these little rooms are jam packed with your worst fears. Now for many people these only occur during the Halloween season, and they end when you exit the hallway. For me, the hallway was year round, and it didn’t end until I faced my worst fear.
Now many of you are probably thinking, what does she mean? Does she have a permanent haunted hallway in her house? The answer is no. Or, at least not one of my own creation. My haunted hallway is the hallway in the back of my house that has bats living in the walls. I’m not sure if you’ve ever come face to face with a bat, but believe me when I say that it is the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had. Imagine, one day you are innocently doing your laundry when all the sudden a flying black mass, infected with all sorts of diseases, soars into your face. I know, not the most pleasant image. Now imagine that happening every time you walk down that hallway and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
I’d been in contact with my local animal control specialist for months, trying to fix the problem in a way that would prevent them from coming back. Lucky for me, the man I hired was the right man for the job! He walked me through every step of the process and he answered every question I asked. He was able to get all the bats out and after words he cleaned up the spaces in the walls. He made sure that every nook and cranny was secured to keep this from happening ever again. I don’t know what I would’ve done without him!
I’m no different than any other 17 year old girl. I go to school, hang out with my friends, go to the occasional party (where there’s parent supervision of course), and I work. Of course my job isn’t typical of a 17 year old. Most of my friends work in the fast food business, or even at a mall or some kind of clothing store. Now don’t get me wrong, I love food and I love clothes, but I would never want to work there. When people ask me about my job I usually tell them I’m a personal assistant for a private contractor. It’s just easier to say that instead of explaining what I actually do. I have the coolest job ever. It’s never boring, and it gives me the most insane stories to tell!
I’ve done everything from wrestling snakes, to saving baby birds! You get so much knowledge from a job like this. You learn all about problem solving. People always have problems like raccoons stuck in their chimneys, skunks in their window well, or even snakes under their porch! Can you even imagine your surprise if you walked out onto your porch one day to see a three foot long blow snake sitting on your porch?! Well, in my experience, not very many people would be very excited about that. Now you may be thinking, what kind of 17 year old girl finds this kind of job entertaining?
I’ve never been the kind of girl who screams when she sees a spider or a snake. I was the girl who was wrestling around with the guys and looking for snakes to take home for the weekend. Now, you would never classify me as the girl who works as a part time trapper. I wear high heels at least three times a week, I never leave the house without my eyebrows filled in. But after school you can catch me crawling under porches, into attics, and even down chimneys in order to catch invasive wildlife! In fact, my favorite part of the job is helping people restore their homes to the peaceful ways they were before the animals invaded. After all, no one wants to hear bats in the attic, raccoons in the chimney, or skunks under the house! Which is why I get so much joy in helping people solve all of their wildlife problems. After all, it’s just another day in the life for me.
‘Tis the season for bat problems. Late spring and early summer are when we as wildlife control specialists see an influx of bat related calls, so we want to give you some important information to help keep your home safe from these intruders. First of all, bat problems are not something to take lightly, bat guano can contain traces of the virus Histoplasmosis which is an airborne virus which means it mainly affects people through the air they breathe. While it’s not an all-too-common thing to find in household bats, it is a serious illness that can cause major health problems. With the risk of illness, it is important that when you are cleaning guano, you have protective gear like masks and gloves.
Sealing entrances can be tricky because bats can fit into a multitude of gaps in your home; as long as a space is larger than ¼ of an inch, bats can squeeze right in. Common bat entrances include broken tiles/shingles, gaps in soffit, attic vents, gaps between the roof/walls and chimneys, gaps in overhangs, and places where pipe and wiring enter the home. There are, of course, many other places where a bat could gain entrances, but it is unique to the home making them hard to identify for the untrained eye. It is important that you don’t seal off your home with the bats inside, and we recommend hiring a professional to assist in the removal process to make sure all the animals have gone before and final sealing is done.
It’s also important to remember that, although they prefer higher places, it is just as common to find bats in basements, cellars, and other rooms in the lower parts of the house – which, again, just makes finding entrances more difficult. While bats are good for the environment and kill many harmful insects like mosquitos, they can pose health hazards to you and your family’s health if they are in your home. Above everything, your safety comes first, so if you feel uncomfortable with your bat problem, and you don’t want to take care of the problem yourself, don’t be afraid to call for help. That’s what people like us are here for, to protect you and your home from wildlife.
It’s not uncommon for leaky pipes to lead to bigger problems; but how often do they lead to BAT problems? When the my sink pipes started leaking, I knew there was a concern; when the ceiling started showing water stains from the attic above my apartment, I knew there was an issue; and when I called the landlord to take a look at what was going on, I knew there had to be a solution. I didn’t know, nor could I ever have guessed, that this was the bigger picture that all of the pieces would lead to.
Everyone’s pipes leak now and again, so last month when my kitchen sink started to have a little drip, I called the landlord immediately for maintenance so that we could stop the problem early. Except, it didn’t stop; or at least it didn’t seem like it had. Last Friday, I became aware of the growing stain on my bedroom ceiling that seemed like water leaking from the pipes in the attic so again, I called maintenance right away trying to control this problem before serious damage was done. I was a little disappointed that they weren’t able to come immediately because they were out of town for Memorial Day Weekend, but I settled for a Monday appointment and waited out the weekend with my ever-growing pipe leak and tried not to let it ruin the family barbecue.
Unfortunately, my good weekend was ruined when Monday morning, the head maintenance worker climbed up into my attic and found something much more severe than a leaky pipe: a bat problem. Instead of a rusted bolt (or whatever makes pipes leak), he found 50 plus bats hanging from the louver, unbothered by the visitor. Along with the animals themselves, he found a pile of guano sitting directly above the “water” stain, which didn’t turn out to be water at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we’re tackling this bat problem now, but I’m a little upset that I have to stay in another apartment for 4-6 weeks while they clean out the guano, vent out the bats, and return my apartment to a no-pet apartment.
I need some serious help with a bat problem, and I need it fast. Early this morning my son woke up screaming bloody murder. I ran into his room terrified that something was happening to him, when I got into his bedroom I found him sobbing under his covers, cowering away from his closet. I wasn’t sure what was happening so I asked him what was wrong and he told me a big black bird was flying through his room trying to hurt him. I honestly had no idea how to react to that, there was no bird in sight and absolutely no sign that there had ever been a bird. I told him it was just a bad dream but I turned off the lights scooted into bed next to him to help him fall back asleep.
We laid there together for maybe an hour in the dark, the only light came from his small night light next to his bed, when all of a sudden I heard something banging into his window and my son started screaming again. I opened my eyes and saw what did look like a big, black bird flying wildly around the room. Only it wasn’t a bird, it was definitely a bat. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t scream before I scooped my little boy into my arms and ran him out of the room, shutting the bat inside. I really couldn’t believe it, we have never had a bat problem in this house before, and now I’m asking myself ‘what if there are more?’ I’m even more concerned about the fact that when I sent my husband into the room to get the bat out later in the morning, he couldn’t find it.
I won’t lie, I’m panicking a little bit about this. There’s a vent in my sons closet that it could have gone up, I’m not sure if it leads to the attic but it’s definitely a possibility. And what if this isn’t just one bat? What if it just got separated from a whole bunch of other bats that are living somewhere else in my house!! I know that realistically, it’s probably just one, but it’s one that is missing INSIDE MY HOUSE! I just need help with this as soon as possible, I don’t need a bat problem on my plate right now.
I have been living with bats in my house for 5 years now, and I am DONE! I guess technically I live in an apartment, or a studio? Whatever you want to call it, it’s part of a beautiful old Victorian home and the landlord rents 6 rooms out; all of us have experienced wild bat problems at least once since we’ve all been here, and one of the renters just moved in two months ago. We have all approached the landlord about it since he is an exterminator, but he says that it’s illegal to kill bats and basically told us to deal with it – and I have, for a very long time.
I have no problem with bats at all, I understand their importance in the food chain and I appreciate them for eating mosquitos. Actually now that I think about it, I haven’t had a mosquito bite since I’ve been living here, I only get them on vacations. BUT, ignoring that, I am at my wits end with these things sharing my apartment. The only time there should be bats in a house is if it’s abandoned or belongs to Van Helsing; bats belong outside, period. You might be wondering why, after 5 years of this, I am just now getting truly angry about the bat problem; well, I’ll tell you.
Early this morning, in the wee hours of dawn, I was sleeping peacefully dreaming about gumdrops and candy canes when all of a sudden, I’m awoken from my slumber by a BAT LANDING ON MY FACE!! I am not kidding! I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but I do know that I am beyond my limits of what I can take – and I also know that my landlord got an earful at 4 am this morning because of it! I have done all that I can, but I can’t live with bats in the house any longer. Either they go, or I do.
When you buy an older house you expect it to come with quirks like maybe it’s haunted or the doors are on backwards; we expected these kinds of quirks, but we were not expecting bats in the attic. This house was built in the 1800’s and the attic is actually HUGE, so in reality we were prepared for the possibility of there being bats in the attic so we had an inspection done to check the house for any kinds of wildlife problems. The inspector came out an hour later and gave us the all clear. No bat problems anywhere.
Two weeks later and here we are. Six days ago I went to the basement to put some boxes away and I found a dead bat on top of the shelves; three days I had to pull a dead bat out from behind the stove when I started to smell something heating up as I cooked dinner. From six days ago until now, I have found 8 bats dead in my house. I thought to myself, ‘this has to be a coincidence, the house doesn’t have a bat problem!’ I started to dig around to find out if these dead bats were just old or if we were dealing with something larger altogether. I didn’t have any luck finding any live bats and I was starting to become more hopeful that there wasn’t a bat problem at all, until I got to the attic. I cracked open the door and shone my flashlight around the large space; I could see that there was definitely guano covering the floor so I moved my light up towards the ceiling and I almost screamed. What had to be more than 100 bats were hanging peacefully from the rafters.
I am so unbelievably upset! Not only are there bats in the attic of my house, but the inspector that was supposed to look for the bats was either incompetent or he lied straight to my face! There is no way that a problem this extreme just happened in the last two weeks, especially since we actually moved in a week ago and we started finding bats immediately! Okay, what I need is to first take a deep breath, and second is some serious help. I need someone to get these bats out of the attic before I lose my mind and burn this house down. I have been patiently dealing with the quirks of my (new) old house, but I cannot handle this without some professional help; be it a therapist or bat control. I need SOMEONE.
My landlord is a vampire. There’s no other reason he would ignore so many bats in the walls for so long; they must be his relatives. But seriously, we have been renting this house for two years with an ongoing bat problem and have still received NO help from Mr. Dracula whatsoever. How could anyone in their right mind let people live like this! We’ve complained and called and asked for help countless times, but he will either ignore the calls, the question, or just us completely! I don’t know how to deal with it anymore, it’s worse than it has ever been and our landlord is much farther than “a phone call away”!
They’re in the walls on both sides of the house, and I’m pretty sure they come in and out from the air vents, but I read somewhere that they need just a ¼ of an inch to get inside so I guess it could be anywhere. You can hear them leave the house at night, and it can be terrifying when you aren’t used to it. There’s screeching and fluttering and it lasts for a good 10-15 minutes and then in a couple of hours as they all come back it happens again! In the morning the front step will be covered in bat guano and we’ve even found dead bats in the past. Not to mention that you can smell them from the inside of the house (the chimney is the worst).
I know you’re probably wondering why we haven’t just moved yet, found a different house or even an apartment; why would we live in a bat cave? Trust me, we are looking for houses and are planning to leave the second our lease is up, but we really don’t want to leave this for the next family. I have three kids that are terrified by the bats in the house and will sometimes go stay at grandmas to get away from it; I’m even scared by the problem. I’m hoping I can make the overlord, excuse me, LANDlord address the problem before it becomes someone else’s. No one deserves to sign up for Dracula’s army unknowingly.
I’ve been a mailman for about thirty years now, and boy let me tell you about some of the things you see. And it’s not just the people, either! I’ve seen my fair share of home drama, yelling, throwing lamps, and storm outs; but it’s the encounters with animals that I’ll never forget. At this point I’m surprised they don’t train you in animal control as well as package identification! Beyond dogs and cats, I’ve seen raccoons, bats, mice, and a load of other wild animals.
The most common ones (for me at least) are the snakes, especially during the hotter months. They’ll lay themselves out on sidewalks, driveways, and even porches. When I was a Boy Scout I learned to identify most of the snakes in my area, so I can always tell whether or not they’re poisonous, but the people inside the house aren’t as capable. Once, when I was delivering a package that needed a signature, a big ol’ bull snake was out sunning himself on the porch. Well when the young miss from the house opened the door and got a look at him, she screamed so loud I just about dropped the package, then she fell unconscious right in front of me!
Another time, I was trying to deliver quite a large package but no one was answering the door so I opened the screen to leave a note with the date and time I came and a bat flew down and hit me square in the head! I guess it had been sleeping between the screen door and the front door and I had woken it up with my door bell ringing. I even got sprayed by a skunk once! I was walking down the steps after dropping off some mail and out of nowhere (but actually from under the stairs), a skunk sprayed everywhere. I guess I had spooked it from stomping around, who knows? All I know is after all of these years, I definitely consider myself a well-rounded expert on both mail delivery, and wildlife.
I don’t know what it is about it, but wild animals are attracted to my garage. I’m serious! I’m more accustomed to walking into the garage and finding a random animal than not. Usually they’re just one time sights and then they’re gone, but occasionally the animal (whatever species) will stick around for a while. There have only been two times where we had to call a wildlife specialist in to remove them, however. The first time was a squirrel nest about five winters ago. They crawled in through a hole where the wall met the roof and began nesting on top of the fuse box. We thought they were just coming in from the cold for a couple of days but soon we discovered they had actually had babies! We ended up having to wait a couple of months when the little ones were mobile and would be able to survive outside of the nest before a professional came and removed them; that was an adventure.
While the squirrels were frustrating (mother squirrels are very defensive!), that was nothing compared to the raccoons. It was summer time about two years ago, I still to this day do not know how they got in but one night I came home from work to see one full grown raccoon staring at me as my garage door opened. I pulled in hoping it would run out the door but instead it scrambled up to the top of our storage shelves. Again, I left it alone hoping it would be gone by morning. Instead, the next day I woke up to find my car covered in dirty paw prints and to see several of our storage boxes knocked over and opened. This happened every night for about two weeks before we could get someone to come out and get rid of them.
In between the squirrels, the raccoons, and now, we’ve had a few other interesting run in’s; these, however, were just small. Not long after we first moved in, my husband went into the garage for a bike pump and got sprayed by a skunk that had wandered in the night before (that was a bad day). A couple of months ago my daughter found a bat hanging from the roof, not long before that we had a robin sleeping on the garage door runners, and just last week we had an actual deer sleeping on the dog bed! Along with a few other random encounters and a mice problem a few years back, I can’t figure out what animals are so attracted to in my garage! I guess it’s a mystery we’ll never solve.