Bats!!! In the Belfry (Where Else?)

I live in an apartment in the city most of the time, but I have a place in the country, where my big garden is. Oh, the joys of having a Place in the Country! The fresh air, the space, the moon, the stars, the wildlife….the…wildlife that actually lives in your house, with you.

Strike that last one off the joy-list. Wildlife outdoors: Good. Wildlife indoors: Not as good.

I’ve have had mice for years, that’s a given. I’ve even had the odd grouse who broke in at the window, and last year, a weasel. But the crowning glory of all wildlife sleepovers I’ve experienced is—did I say crowning glory? Sorry, I meant to say devil’s spawn—The ds of wildlife sleepovers is: bats. And when I say bats, I mean BAAAATS!!!!!!!!!! Extremely large quantities of bats. Bats so numerous that when you stand outside in the twilight and witness all the swooping and diving and aerodynamic swishing about—if you were a movie director setting up the scene outside Dracula’s castle, you’d say to the bat wrangler, “You’ve overdone it a little, even Dracula doesn’t have this many children of the night! Nix a few thousand.” That’s how many bats I have. I’ve counted them, coming out of a seam in my metal roof at sundown. Over 100 at one count.

My house is an old, brick, very leaky, very draughty former schoolhouse. It’s not suprising that bats have taken to the place. I could almost title the place: Crevisses R Us. Five years ago I paid a lot of money to oust these creatures. Realize now I didn’t hire the right company, cause they are back, in spades.

Bat eviction companies don’t kill the bats, just deter them. We don’t want to hurt the local bat population, as they are a valuable part of the natural eco-system, so the process involves installing a one way exit for the bats – sort of a floppy bat-chute – and sealing up every crevisse so that they can’t re-enter the building. Cause, believe me, they really, really, want to re-enter the building. The idea is that we are forcing them to find a newer happy hunting ground. Or, new sleepover joint.

I had some large holes in my attic which I got sealed up, and recently, before the bats arrived from wherever they hibernate, had my entire attic de-battified, new insulation and all. Well, apparently bats can enter holes 1/4″ thick. They can squish their little bodies pretty flat, and creep their way in, grabbing with their little claws. (ooh, I just shuddered, thinking of the movie on attic bats I watched this morning. It put me in mind of the scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula where Nosferatu exits out the window and scuttles down the side of his castle….euuughghghg…..that’s really the way bats move, when they’re not flying)

Anyway, the bats must go, for real this time and I have two phone numbers I am going to try today, to see if I can find the ultimate bat removal people to rid me of these troublesome bat-mares. Wish me luck, as I don’t think I can possibly plant enough garlic for this one.


  1. good luck with your bat problem. i had a run in with a single bat years and years ago. it came into the house through a chimney. my sister was upstairs when she came across the creature in the hallway: "there's a bat in the house" she cried out. my mother and i said "what?" "there's a BAT in the house!" she locked herself in her room and didn't come out. we did some shooing and a lot of screaming before finally covering it in a towel and releasing it outdoors. it was terrifying at the time but absolutely hilarious now. somehow I don't think your hundreds of bats are so hilarious. hope it all works out.

  2. Wow, really?! First I can't get past that your country house is an old brick school house – that is so beautiful! (Brick is scarce out here in earthquake country) Then all those bats, crazy. I happen to love bats but I think that many at once would really unsettle me. But, at least you probably don't have mosquitos!

  3. Thanks for all your bat comments!

    Kelly, for the record, this picture is my "artist's recreation" of what my bats look like in flight.

    K. Dilley, I have TONS of mosquitos. Although the bats eat a lot, there's plenty more where they came from! There are quite a few wetlands a short distance from my house, so fresh supplies of mosquitos are only a hop, skip and a jump away.

    Ms. Wis, I used to wonder why some people didn't love old houses with "character", now I'm starting to see the benefits of sealed-tight new buildings!

    OIM, one of my most wild evenings was chasing a bat around with a net + and an album cover to capture it, after it flew into the living room. My cat actually jumped 7 ft straight UP trying to catch it. Fun + much shrieking was had by all!

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