I like bats. I really do. I love that they eat mosquitoes by the pound, and like nothing better than to watch them soar around the garden.
I do not, however, like to have them in the house.
Five years ago, we had a bat make a visit. Of course, as they are nocturnal creatures, this happened during the night. I heard a fluttering sound, woke up, saw the bat zooming around the bedroom.
Bats don’t, as a rule, ever go anywhere else in the house. Only the master bedroom. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because they know that Mr. C. really really likes bats. Maybe they know he’ll help them. Maybe all the mosquitoes in the house (there aren’t many) are in the master bedroom, intending to feast on us. I don’t know, but it’s always the bedroom.
That bat was persuaded to leave, and the next day, Mr. C. closed all bat-worthy entrances to the house.
All was good, until last night. I woke up to hear that fluttering sound again. I’m still not sure how this bat got into the house, and evidently it had forgotten as well. It was a bit freaked out as it zoomed around the bedroom. (Always the bedroom!) I shared in the occasion by becoming a bit freaked out myself. This did not help. The Queen Bee, sensing that I was freaked out, woke up and became agitated herself.
Mr. C., ready to help the bat, encouraged me to go to another room. Immediately.
That was good logic as they seem to only like the bedroom. I ran to the living room, that being a goodly distance from the bedroom. The dog ran with me. Mr. C. followed, ever vigilant as he watched for the bat in need of his assistance. The bat, apparently not wanting to miss anything, came to the living room as well. Bat and I freaked in unison while Mr. C. calmly opened the front door. The bat must have felt the draught of cool air because it promptly exited, stage left.
Phew. Mr. C.’s bat magic works again. We’ll call him the Bat Whisperer.
At least the dog went right back to sleep.
It’s not a coincidence that this happened the last time almost exactly five years ago. Bats, as I’ve since learned, shop for real estate in August. The young males seek promising locations where they can establish new bat colonies. So, it’s pretty typical to have a bat turn up where it isn’t wanted in August, and for that bat to be confused about how it got there. An explorer bat will always travel alone, and I can only hope that the trauma of getting trapped in the house (and the drapes!) will discourage further expeditions.
At least for this year.
Bats do have pretty bad PR. Generally, they don’t want much to do with humans. We’re too big to be a good nibble. They can bite, but I doubt they do so unless they are cornered and/or provoked. The ones here are pretty small – mice with wings – and they tend to mind their P’s and Q’s. The big risk is that they can carry rabies – so if you are bitten, or you choose to mess with their guano, you can become infected. As long as they’re out there, soaring around the garden and eating bugs, there are no issues between us.
All the same, Mr. C. is on Bat Entry Patrol today, trying to figure out how this little adventurer made it in – or even better, trying to ensure that another one doesn’t.