Vespertilionidae for the season

2002-2007, 2009…

batI’m told that Vespertilionidae is one of the bat families found in North America. For a while, every year in October, I would note the bat sightings in our dwelling.

The situation actually predates this blog. Back in 2002, not only did we have a bat in our bedroom, my wife and I ended up getting rabies shots. We’ve had bats in the house in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. When we didn’t get one in 2008, we thought we were done with the creatures, only to find one in 2009.

Then not again until 2014, when one of our cats pointed it out. And because it’s 2020, naturally we got one on Sunday, September 6. My wife saw one above the stairwell going from the first to the second floor. It was high on the wall, near the ceiling, and moving not much at all. After we watched it for about 15 minutes, we decided to go back to our morning schedule, eating breakfast.

Then my wife checked on the bat and it was gone. It had moved to the bricks above the fireplace downstairs without us noticing. Interestingly, that’s where the much smaller 2014 bat decided to hang out. Time to put on the gear: long-sleeved shirt, pants, shoes, a hat, and gloves. My wife used the kitchen coverings, while I went with winter wear.

To war!

My wife got up on the stool trying to trap the bat in a shoebox. Well, she sort of did, but the creature was now trapped on the OUTSIDE of the box. Soon, the bat is on the loose, flying between the dining room and the living room in figure eight, of sorts.

Over the years, we have determined that the weapon of choice is a tennis racquet. It messes up the echolocation. When I’ve indicated this method in the past, some folks have complained that this is mean and cruel. I don’t think so, from everything I’ve read. Actually, solid items, such as a broom – my grandma Williams’ tool of choice – tend to be inefficient.

After five or swings of the racquet, I manage to stun the critter long enough to put the box over it, and then slip the cardboard underneath. From the scratching sound, we knew the bat was still alive.

Our contractor will be patching up the ceiling where the animal likely got in. Even though we’ve dealt with bats for years, I could feel my heartbeat accelerating during the hunt. It’s ALMOST back to normal now.