Got bats in your belfry?

Do you have chiroptophobia? I think I do, but I doubt that I’m alone. It’s the fear of bats … you know those creepy things with the ugly faces that fly at night. That “ew-w-w factor” resurfaced this week as an officemate sent an email asking if any of us knew of a company that could help get rid of bats in a home her clients owned.

I certainly sympathize with her clients as I grew up in a home that had a bat problem. My parent’s home was over 100 years old, out in the country with a small creek nearby. black batsA colony of bats had decided to take up residence in the 3rd floor attic. In those days, people didn’t know about the hazards that exist with having bats in the attic. It just seemed to be a common occurrence in old, drafty homes. The creek and nearby fields provided an abundant food source, so I guess that’s why the bats chose our home to make into THEIR home.

black batsOccasionally a bat would make its way into the main part of the house, which often was my 2nd floor bedroom. During the summer, I would be in bed, about to go to sleep only to hear one fly over. As I threw the sheet over my head, I would be screaming for Mom or Dad to rescue me.

black batsMom would come running up the stairs with her favorite dustmop fully prepared to beat the little critter down, all the while both of us were screaming if it flew toward us. One night, we were screaming so loud and so frequent, that the neighbor across the road came running, thinking we were being killed.

My Dad was no help, as he would just say “it’s a harmless little creature that’s more afraid of you guys swinging that dustmop”. That’s like a man saying, “it’s just a tiny mouse”. Not a wise thing for a husband – or father – to say.

bat houseDuring the summer, we couldn’t enjoy sitting outside when it became dusk. The colony would begin their exit from the attic in their nightly feeding frenzy for insects. They would crawl out between the slate roof tiles, then take off. We kept badminton racquets handy to swat at them, but usually we had to retreat inside.

I remember the first time I was at the bird seed store and noticed that they had bat houses for sale. I commented to the sales clerk as to WHY anyone would want to ATTRACT bats to their yard. She went into an explanation as to how bats eat thousand of mosquitoes …. blah, blah, blah.

You can keep your bat house … just give me a can of Deet. I’d rather fight mosquitoes than bats.

Read what the Center for Disease Control says about bats, rabies, and “bat-proofing” your home.

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