Thursday, August 18, 2011

The bats of August

It began as a slight fluttering at the edges of my consciousness.  At 3 a.m., I was in a deep sleep and the sound filtered in vaguely at best.  The blinds rattling in the breeze?  A mourning dove settling on the windowsill?

Then the pieces fell together and I sat bolt upright in bed.  "BAT!"

The sound alone was enough for me to jump up and head for the door.  En route, all I saw was a shadow circling around the ceiling.

From my refuge in the hallway, I could hear Tom crashing around and saying, periodically, "Bat.  Come on, bat" in a flat tone of voice.  He couldn't seem to persuade it to leave, but eventually it lit on the curtains and he was able to whack it out the window.

This morning, we remarked about how it seemed to be around the same time of year when we last had bats coming into the house--and in fact, the last time we blogged about this was on August 20, 2009.  I think we may have had some last August, too.

So, we're looking for some answers:  why do bats only seem to want to get inside in the late summer?  And is it possible to keep the windows open at night and keep the bats out?  A friend suggested that those noise-emitting devices that keep mice away work for bats, too, so we'd be interested to know if anyone's had luck with that, or any other technique. 

In the meantime, we'll consider training them, as Neil Gaiman apparently does:


Erica said...

I can't stop laughing at, "Bat. Come on, bat."

Rosemary said...

Erica, I'm glad that "translated." Wasn't sure I could properly capture the peculiar mixture of sleepiness, pleading, and boredom I heard from the hallway!

Needless to say, bats don't respond to verbal appeals to leave.

Anonymous said...

Bats found in a room with sleeping people or those unconscious should be taken to the local health dept and tested for rabies. You can't tell if you have been bitten due to the bats tiny teeth.

Jane said...

I'm a little confused. Do they get in screened windows? That's sly.

Rosemary said...

Jane, one of the problems is that our screens only cover half the window--they can slide up or down, but don't cover the whole area. So, there's a small gap between the top of the screen and the window itself--and since I read somewhere that bats can get in through a space as small as 1/2 an inch, that's apparently enough.

I'm not even sure we could have full-sized screens made for our windows, but believe me, I'm going to be looking into the possibilty!