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Bat update

It's been a while since my last bat update, so now's a good time to check in on that topic. Matt from Skunkworks, our local bat removal specialist, came back to my house on a Friday afternoon for an outside inspection. I happened to be off work that day and was on the second floor when I was startled by heavy footsteps on the roof.

Upon inspection, the west side of the house appeared to be sealed up tight, but on the east side there were a few crevices where dormers came out from the roof. Some possible spaces where a bat could enter and exit, but no definite sign (i.e., guano or urine) pointing to one location.

Part 2 of this outside inspection was what I called "BatWatch." Matt came back that evening with a coworker, Stacy, just before 9 p.m., when it started to get dark. The two of them staked out opposite corners on the east side of the house. I stood with Matt in the front yard. We watched and waited quietly. As it got a little darker, a gentle wind picked up. He said this usually signals their flight to begin. The question was: How many bats, if any, would emerge from the roof? Matt has counted as many as 600 bats stream out of an infested house. A huge number like that wasn't likely to be in mine, thankfully, since the inside inspection failed to turn up anything.

More waiting. I glanced around at the other houses on my street, wondering if any neighbors were curious why we were standing in the dark and staring at the roof. Then Matt spoke up. "There's one flying!" I cringed and looked to the side of the house, where he had pointed his flashlight. I saw nothing. It took about a minute until I finally spotted the bat to which he was referring, now circling high overhead above the pine trees. We didn't see any others after watching a few minutes more. The window of time for their emergence from the house, if there had been any others, was over.

One bat. After finding three in the house, on three separate occasions this spring, I had feared that there were hundreds living in my attic. So compared to this worst-case scenario, one bat is a relief.

The only thing Matt didn't see, which was important, was where it emerged. It will take another daytime inspection of my roof to figure that out. Matt hasn't been back for that yet. I haven't thought about the bat much in recent weeks, but last night as I drifted to sleep by my open second-story window, I heard something fly by and emit a few high-pitched "eee-eee-eee" squeaks. The bat? I think so. I'll be giving Matt a call.

July 14, 2005 in Pest horror stories | Permalink

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