I usually don’t get freaked out by spiders, snakes, salamanders and slithy toves, but I have recently found that there is one creature that I don’t care for flying around my bedroom. Yeah, the bat is the guilty one.
I actually have spoken highly of bats. The fact that they eat around 2,000 mosquitoes in one night makes them heroes in my book. That still stands. I’ll let them swoop down knowing that they won’t get tangled in my hair (nothing but pine sap can get stuck in what little hair I have left). I welcome the presence of these flying mammals decreasing the surplus population of mosquitoes in Michigan. I even built a cedar bat house recently. The problem comes when they are in MY house.
Over this summer we have had several evenings of interrupted sleep. It starts out as a fluttering sound integrated in my dream. A bird scratching in the dirt. A superhero (me) running at swift quiet speeds. But then I come out of my dream and realize that a bat is flying back and forth across the room. I can barely make out the black ghost fluttering across, up, circling around, over and then down. There is no way I can get a good night’s sleep like this, especially after watching some Discovery Channel show about a guy who sits himself out at night at the mercy of blood sucking bats. Captured on camera, the guy (pretending to sleep) gets bitten and lets the bat lick the blood up until he freaks out and scares the bat away.
That bat’s gotta go. I lean over to my wife and whisper, “There’s a bat in the house.” She mumbles “Oh” and turns over to go back to sleep. “I can’t sleep with it in here. I have to get it out,” I tell her.
So I get out of bed, ducking so it won’t fly into me, or worse, land on me. I open the door to our balcony and then leave the room, bent over the whole way. Of course I close the bedroom door to contain it to one room. I gather the necessary tools: a broom, and a mesh reusable shopping bag. After puting the bag on the broom stick, using it as a net, I first try guiding the bat toward the door open to the outside. I then try to catch it in the bag as it lands on the window curtains. Several swoops by the bat bring me diving to the floor. Kirstin has been watching for a while now.
Without warning she calmly stands up, walking across the room fully errect, gently grasps the broom from my hand, and says, “Here, let me try.” With that, she calmly waves the broom at the right moment and sweeps the bat out the open door.
That’s it. Braver than I can be when it comes to bats. My wife, the “Bat Mama.”