Going batty

The Daughter was startled by a noise she feared was a bat.

bigbrownA friend of mine recently saw a bat on his screened-in back porch. He ducked out onto the “porch where said bat was pinwheeling in the air madly,” opened the door, and the creature departed.

From having bats in our house EVERY YEAR from 2002-2007, I find that my racquetball racket was good at stunning bats without hurting them, putting a cardboard box over the creature, some sort of plastic or metal tray underneath, take ’em outside, then kick the box away.

My friend expressed concern that with brown bats near extinction in the Northeast due to ‘white nose’ fungus, it was against his nature to use such a tool to down a bat. But another guy agreed that “swat, stun, put outside, leave ’em alone, they fly away.” The Wikihow says: “A tennis racket is an appropriate tool to catch one in flight, but use gently.” You needn’t swing the racket. For whatever reason, a racket screws up their echolocation and they practically run into it.

While it is true that if you do get bitten & you don’t catch the culprit the health authority will insist on you getting rabies shots – I can say with painful recall – it seems that fewer bats are rabid than was generally thought.

Three days after that discussion, at about 3:30 a.m., the Daughter got up to go to the bathroom but was startled by a noise she feared was a bat. It is true that one can hear the bats outside, and they sound like they’re inside the room. So we prepare, with head covered, hands covered (I had oven mitts, she rubber gloves), arms and legs covered. We closed all the other doors in the house.

We meticulously went through the towels hanging up, the bathroom shade, and the shower curtain; no bat. At least when she IS confronted by the creature, she’ll be prepared.