Hunting Bats

As of July 27th, 2006 I have had nine "encounters" with bats in my house the last five years ... and the score so far is "Alek-9, Bats-0" ... although all but two bats were "returned safely" back outside ... so it's possible I've had some repeat visitors. I wish I knew why/where these guys are coming from, but I really wish those pesky critters would stay outside and eat the bugs. BTW, if you have bats in your house, the first thing you should do is go get your digital camera (like I do! ;-) ... and then close the doors so they are confined to that room - then deal with 'em!
  1. 2001_07_31: Bat versus Alek (in his birthday suit) armed with a pillow
  2. 2002_08_08: Bat versus alek armed with a frisbee - scroll on down!
  3. 2004_07_31: Bat versus Alek & Myke armed with golf ball retriever
  4. 2004_08_31: Bat versus Alek armed with a shoe box and a Wall Street Journal
  5. 2005_06_21: Rabid Bat on the stairs - wlll the Hefty Bag be able to take him down?
  6. 2005_07_25: Bat in the Kitchen Sink!
  7. 2006_07_12: Bat Tupperware to the rescue
  8. 2006_07_12: Two furry flying critters in one night!
  9. 2006_07_27: Bat Fan - window screen prevents one from entering from the attic
Here is some Bat Email and if all of this isn't enough for you, be sure to check out all of the hunting varmints stories plus these about rat hunting and squirrel hunting. Bats ain't pretty so some of these pictures may make you squeemish. In April/2008, a bird got loose in the house ... but no bats sighted since July/2006 - yea!

While I like animals (and certainly don't advocate wanton hunting of them), I just don't like 'em in my house, especially since I have children. Bats are especially helpful - they eat a lot of mosquito's - but again, I just don't want bats in the house - would you?!? ;-) And as noted in my stories, I tried my best to get 'em outside in one piece. Along those lines, I got a nice note from RobbM pointing out some great PDF documents about bats; a detailed 28 page document and shorter 6 page summary that are "Homeowner's Guide to Northeastern Bats" but I'm sure applicable elsewhere - thanx Robb.

Be careful with bats since because of their small teeth, you may not know if you have been bitten, and while most don't have rabies, some do! In fact, a common recommendation is to kill the bat and have them tested for rabies, just in case they got you.

UPDATE: I found the bat entry point. The screening had fallen off of one of the attic vents, so they entered from the outside there. In the summer, I open up the attic entrance so I can place a box fan (to blow the 130°F air out in the evening). So the bats were squeezing through the slats - pretty impressive as seen in the last bat encounter. My "solution" is to add a screen ... which was successfully "tested" in the last encounter! I subsequently double wrapped all of the attic vents ... and since then, no bats ... that I know of! ;-)

Alek goes Bat Hunting and puts a gnarly zone-D on a bat!

So I'm sitting at my desk in my home office at about 10:00PM tap-tapping on the computer and about to register for Fall/2002 Ultimate Frisbee. The kids are asleep and Wendy is at a book club shin-dig, so the house is quiet ... and then I hear a rustling from the closet (which is open). My initial thoughts are it must be the wind ... but I then realize it's not blowing. I notice a jacket moving and start getting up ... and all of a sudden a BIG 'OL *BAT* comes flying out of the closet and starts doing "war circles" around the room!

Note that the last encounter with a bat was almost exactly a year ago - I can hardly wait for 2003 ... imagine me being (kinda) like Indiana Jones - - "I hate bats!"

OK - back to Mr. BAT. While circling (and hoping like heck he won't decide to land on me), I have the presence of mind to close the door to the hallway and also the closet door - so he can't leave the room ... and it is just Mr. BAT and me ... and only one of us is leaving willingly! ;-) Mr. BAT finally decides to take a break and lands over in the corner of the room ... so I grab my trusty Canon G2 Digital Camera and take some pictures - just what you would have done - right?!? ;-)

My home office is semi-rectangular - this is looking West and I'm standing just to the left of the (now closed) door to the hallway). The closet Mr. BAT came from is visible on the right.
hunting bats

I'm kneeling next to the closet door now ... the camera is on FULL 3X optical zoom - so far, Mr. BAT hasn't moved ... but lets just say my blood pressure is elevated and my heart is beating a bit fast. That's my son Dirk in the mousepad picture - I haven't used it in a while ... plus it looks like I haven't dusted my office in a while either! ;-)
hunting bats

Here's a closeup of the above picture - Mr. BAT is a nasty looking critter!
hunting bats

So I'm thinking "now that I got these lovely pictures, what do I do NOW?" So I decide to open up the windows in the hope Mr. BAT will leave peacefull and quietly - no hard feelings you know! And as I take the screens off, I realize these should be pretty effective "shields", since his radar will see this as a solid object. Note the cleats next to my feet and the disks to the right (plus one very handy black disk, as we'll see in a minute, that is out of the frame). And in case you are wondering, the mattress on the floor is for my kids - they enjoy jumping on it. This picture is looking East and is what Mr. BAT sees coming toward him - kinda scaring looking, eh?!? ;-)
hunting bats

Note the 1998 GRU T-shirt. Folks that have played with me know that I enjoy playing "the cup" in Zone-D ... do I look this gnarly to the handler's?!?
hunting bats

Despite this fiercesome pose, Mr. BAT doesn't move ... so I nudge him a bit with the screens ... and he starts the war circle again. He definately steers away from the screens ... and I'm thinking I can "herd" him toward the open window ... but as we get partway across the room, Mr. BAT circles BEHIND me (man, that is scary!), so I have to start over. I try this a few times and same basic thing happens - all I'm doing is causing my heart to skip a few beats. Mr. BAT then lands back on his original position and sneers at me. This picture is shot from the closet looking at the window to the South - the bat is just to my right now.
hunting bats

So scroll up and look at those pictures on top - he's hanging out on some (dusty) magazines/mousepads ... so I now get the brilliant idea that maybe I can "trap" him and just chuck Mr. BAT out the window - how is that for bat hunting - but is there anything in the room that might work? And then I see a 1999/Fall GRU frisbee on the floor - PERFECT. So now alek is "going in" ... I creep closer to him, pop the frisbee on top of him, and Mr. BAT starts squeeling up a storm - I don't quite have him completely trapped ... but in about 3 milli-seconds, everything in my hands is just sent FLYING out the window onto the lawn below. This picture is shot FROM the window (the flash overexposed the frame/window) and you can see the remnents below - no sign of Mr. BAT ... but I didn't leave the window open very long to find out! ;-)
bat hunting

After about 10 minutes, I wandered downstairs and ventured outside. Mr. BAT was gone ... and here's a ground level look at the remains of the great battle.
bat hunting

YES, it really was a Fall/1999 GRU disk ;-)
BTW, I completed by Fall/2002 league registration at 10:42 that evening - #34.
bat hunting

That's one way to get rid of bats in your house!

In June/2017, my wife's company came over to make a bunch of bat boxes for "Habitat Building Day"
We put one on the outside of our chimney ... and ironically (as of mid/2022), we have yet to see any signs of bats using it ... ;-)

2017 bat