August 17, 2007 – They Call Me the “Bat-Man”

Last night, I awoke in the middle of the night to some strange sounds. After a while, I figured out it was a bat in our bedroom. There are some pretty firm division of labors in our household (and some not so firm), but I immediately knew that a bat in the bedroom fit into the “crunchy bug” category, and therefore the solution to removing the bat relied on my ingenuity as I saw Linda duck under the sheets.

Hmmm. First step, dash out of the bed and shut the bedroom door so the critter doesn’t get into one of the kid’s rooms. Mission accomplished, hop back under the sheets to make sure Linda is still OK.

Plan A. Take the shades off the window and remove the screen while draped with a blanket. Wrong answer – the screens don’t come out easily with the new replacement sash windows and the shades seem screwed into the window frames.

Plan B. It’s looking more and more like direct contact is needed. So I run downstairs and put on shoes, long-sleeve quilted shirt, jeans, thick leather gloves, and a hat. I grab a plastic basket about 1/4 the size of a laundry basket. Now, I’m ready to initiate bat capture. Bats aren’t necessarily bad critters – they just don’t belong in the house! We had seen one flying outside while we were outside watching the meteor showers. I think it must have flown in the door on one of the many beverage runs by adult or child into the house. It’s the second time we’ve had a bat in the house in 10 years, so it isn’t a common occurence.

So, I’m all dressed up, with a blanket draped over me, trying to figure out how to catch it. I’ve got about 1 inch of exposed flesh between my shoe and pant leg (did not put on socks). Of course, the bat managed to fly into that bit of leg and I just dropped the blanket on the bat and then gingerly unfolded the blanket until the bat was revealed and put the basket over it. Then I slipped a piece of cardboard under it and brought it outside and didn’t want to have it close to the house, so I put it in the back of the truck and drove to a wetland about 5 miles away and released it into the air. The trip was rather erie – middle of the night, intermittently pea soup fog condensing on the window so fast I needed the wipers on.

The marsh is right next to a four-lane highway, so I felt a little sheepish out in the dead middle of foggy night pulled over, doing something that looks unusual. Thankfully, nobody stopped to “help” so I was able to get back home and back to sleep. Sorry, I wasn’t too motivated to get the camera, so there is not a picture of the critter.

one year ago…