Tag Archives: bat in house

Bat in the House

I recently dealt with a bat in the house, and had a whole adventure with it before finally calling Allstate Animal Control to get rid of the bat and make sure I didn’t have any more living in the attic or chimney or anywhere else.  Before this all happened, I had no fear of bats.  I saw them in the zoo.  I caught glimpses of them flying around the nearby park when I was running at twilight.  I know they keep insect populations down, especially mosquitoes, which are a real problem around here.  I know they are pretty amazing animals.  So, I never had a fear of them.

Until I stepped on one in my bare feet.

Yep, that was pretty awful.

It was mid afternoon.  I’d just come home from class and I was getting ready for work.  I’m trying to get my bachelors degree, and then I want a masters in business administration.  Between work, school and my social life, I keep myself pretty busy, and I don’t spend a lot of time at home.  So, I didn’t know I had a bat problem.  I had grabbed a bowl of cereal for lunch (don’t judge me), and was taking it back to my room so I could eat while looking for my shoes, since I didn’t have a lot of time before work.  I turned the corner into my room quickly and as soon as I stepped down, I knew something was terribly wrong.  Something hairy, squirmy and very angry was wriggling beneath my foot.  I pulled my foot up, and this black shadow flew straight up to the ceiling, bumped around up there, and then settled out of sight on the top of my book shelf.  I didn’t even have breath left to scream, and I desperately needed to disinfect my foot, make sure I didn’t have a bat bite, and probably hire a hypnotherapist to make me permanently forget the memory of stepping on a bat.

I certainly didn’t want to investigate to see whether the bat was still alive.  I pulled the bedroom door shut, washed my feet about twenty times, cleaned up the spilled cereal, pulled on a different pair of shoes from the downstairs closet, and headed out to work.  During my break, I called United Wildlife Control so they could send a professional out to get rid of the bat in my house, and check to make sure I didn’t have a bat colony lurking around anywhere else.

Now, of course, I’m terrified of bats.  I’ve gone running in the park a few times since then, and every time I see one out of the corner of my eye, innocently swooping around in the air to catch itself some dinner, I stifle a shriek, start to shake, and my foot involuntarily curls up.  I’m sure my reaction will lessen as time goes by, but in the meantime, I think I’ll join a gym and run on a treadmill.

San Diego County Exterminator

“See?  This is why we should have called the San Diego County exterminator instead of trying to get rid of the bats by ourselves.  We had no idea what we were doing!”

“But, the internet said you could exclude the bats and the problem would be solved.”

I love my husband, but he’s a constant do-it-yourselfer, without a lot of expertise.  He has a huge honey-do list that he’s written for himself.  I don’t have to give him any projects to do, because he’s constantly finding them.  He’s great at changing the oil in my car, taking care of the yard, keeping hinges oiled in the house, and a thousand other little things, and I’m grateful to him.  However, he does have a problem.  He doesn’t know how to do a lot of the projects he takes on.  He loves to tell me, “I’ll learn as I go.”  And, that’s why there’s a crack in the pipe under the sink, a basement that’s been “nearly finished” for over a year now, and a partially reupholstered couch in our front room.

Occasionally, he’ll get instructions on some internet site or another, but he only skims the article and doesn’t read all the way through.  So, when we found bats roosting in the attic a few months ago, he wouldn’t let me call the San Diego County exterminator or anyone else to help us with our problem.  He got online, said “Hmm mmm” a couple of times, and went to work excluding a colony of bats.

Now, I did some research of my own, and quickly learned that we most likely had a maternity colony roosting in the attic.  If the bats were excluded improperly or at the wrong time, we could really harm the animals as well as unintentionally causing a bigger bat problem for ourselves.  Plus, I realized there were state and federal laws that protect bats and govern when and how you can remove them.  I didn’t read through the laws myself, but begged my husband to contact the San Diego County exterminator at least for some advice.  He told me not to worry, he’d take care of it.

Sure enough, over the last couple of weeks, we’d both noticed a smell that was getting stronger and stronger.  It took us a while to locate the source, and unfortunately my husband discovered some new projects he wanted to undertake while we searched.  Finally, though, it was clear the smell was strongest in the part of the attic where the bats had roosted.

It was worse than I expected, though.  A few baby bats lay dead and rotting on the floor of the attic.  Bat urine and feces hadn’t been cleaned up, so it had dried and stained the wall and insulation.  I didn’t look any closer – I didn’t want to think too much about maggots or anything else that was crawling over that mess.  I think my husband finally saw the look on my face, because he immediately went downstairs to call the San Diego County exterminator for help.

Bat Removal

bat removal
The realtor was excited to show this particular house, newly built, spacious, prime location, but he had no idea he would have to do a bat removal before he could sell the home.

He daydreamed about what he might buy with the commission from this house as he pulled into the brand new subdivision.  He drove around a pile of old lumber ready to be placed as a concrete form, carefully watching for construction debris.  His new car was the result of selling most of the homes in this new neighborhood, and he wasn’t about to let an errant nail puncture the tire!

The builder had spent a lot of extra time and attention to this particular house.  There was no furniture in the home, no need to “stage” anything.  The sumptuous interior spoke for itself.  Pristine white carpet was extra soft beneath his feet, the large windows let in the afternoon light, and expensive wood moldings gleamed, dust-free.  He felt optimistic as he opened the door for his first appointment.

The prospective buyers were obviously impressed as they walked into the home.  With delight, they surveyed the huge front room, with its gorgeous stone fireplace that took up an entire wall, and . . .

“What’s that?” the wife questioned, innocently.  Her husband and the realtor tried to make out what she was looking at, and with horror, the agent realized it was a bat, happily hanging from a stone in the fireplace.  It was obvious the wife realized what it was, too.  Both husband and wife turned their eyes on the agent.

Bat flying around
A bat flying out of a box.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

He stammered, “I had no idea, I mean, this never happens . . . “   He looked around for something to frighten the bat out of the house.  It was an empty home, though.  No brooms, no tennis rackets, not even a pair of protective gloves.  The couple decided they’d come back another time and quickly left, leaving the hapless agent to figure out some way to remove the bat before his next appointment arrived.

He ran out to his car to see what he could possibly use.  There!  He dumped the pamphlets out of the box, grabbed up the snow brush and his extra shirt he always brought with him.  It would have to do.  Armed with these makeshift bat removal tools, he went back into the house, made sure the bat had not moved from its perch on the fireplace, and gathered his courage to put his plan into action.

Holding the box as close as he dared under the bat, he quickly swept it into the box and threw his shirt over the top, holding it down over the sides as tightly as he could.  The bat fluttered and battered the inside of the box, but he managed to get it all outside, threw the box as far away from his as he could, screamed and ran in the opposite direction.

Heart still pounding, he smoothed his hair down again, picked up the now-empty box and shirt and replaced everything in his car just in time for the next appointment.  He wondered if it was possible to add bat removal service as part of his commission.