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2012/03/17

Bats in my basement

When I bought the big house 3 years ago, it had been empty for about 2 years so just long enough for the wild life to find its way in.  The house has 5 bedrooms but I wanted the basement so I could spread out and have a place to go and recoup.  It is over 800 sq feet in my room alone. So as you can imagine I have plenty of space for my sewing, reading, TV, computer and a king size bed.  It was a little strange the first few nights sleeping in this hug room even the dogs snoring echoed down there. It was not long less than a week when I heard my first bat.  Now I don't know its a bat, I just hear the flutter of its wings as it flies by.  I am not pron to fear and am able to keep it together in moments of uncertainty, confusion and things that go bump in the night. But I was totally on edge because I do not have a lamp yet and I have to cross a large gaping area to get to a light switch. I am thinking I hope this is a bird but can't believe one would get into the basement.  I gave myself a couple more moments of frozen in the bed fear and then talked myself into getting over to the light switch. To my surprise its a bat.  It took a minute for this to sink in,why is a bat in my basement. I guessed it was because the house sat empty for so long.  I got a towel and started waiving in the air shooing the bat toward the stairs. This worked but my lack of for thought sent the bat into the rest of the house where it was less easy to shoo him,  I went back open the door and started again.   This took about 30 minutes to get the bat out and get back to bed and another hour to calm down and go back to sleep.  Two nights later I am awakened by the fluttering of wings in the night.  So I jump up and run for the light switch then to the top of the stair open the door grab a towel and start shooing the bat out the door this time it went much smother and less time.  But I can not figure out if its the same bat or is there a flock of the damn things in my house.  So I set out looking for where they are hiding. I even went to the attic and stuck my head up there to see what was hanging from my rafters; nothing at all.   Now this time I have spent way more than 30 min. looking for bats.  The next day I am complaining to coworkers about my bat problem.  I was told to google the problem, I found that this was a not so easy fix to find out how they get into my house as they are masters at squeezing into and under the smallest little openings. My life with the bats haunted me for 1.5 years at least 3 or 4 times a week.  I got where I could shoo them out in my sleep.  Some nights I would have two at a time.  I would sit out at sun set and watch the top of my house looking to see them fly away so I could find their access in and out.  This never got me any answers.  My friends all laughed at me about my bats in the basement.  The oddest thing was they were not up stairs only the basement. Now the dogs mostly did not pay any attention to the bats. I am not sure they even knew what the hell I did in the middle of the night with a towel. Then one night I woke to the sound of scratching on the window above my head. It sounded like a bird trying to fly though the window I could hear its wings flapping on the window with great vigor and what I thought was talons scratching the glass. Then it stopped and I heard digging, scratching and clawing sounds as if they were in the wall. But I am in a basement its bricks. I listened as the sound move along the top of the bricks up in the rafters of the floor above me. As my house is over 100 years old it has been remodeled, picked up turned around and had a second addition added to the existing basement.  But as a result of the updating and remodeling they took the ceiling out of the basement to put in new wiring and heat and air ducting.  They never put it back because the ceiling would be to low.  I used some cloth I had and made a ceiling that covers the wires and floor joists. You can see the heat and air ducts  but not the rest.  It has a couple of places I could not staple the fabric down but mostly I like it.  Now as the sound moves along the top of the wall then it turns and starts moving down the other side, it became hurried and faster till it broke free of the confined area and then I heard the familiar sound of bat wings fluttering and swooping around in the dark, Gotcha I know how your getting in now.  The next day I went out side and found a space between the siding and the brick foundation. It was a rather large space so they could access my room by wiggling up in there and then down and around the wall till it could fly. I am not good at fixing things so I always have to hire some one to do the work but money was tight back then so I looked for something to just stuff in the space to keep them out.  My solution was a hunk of Styrofoam from some appliance we bought. I broke it up and stuffed it up in the space. Now for the next year and a half I have been bat free till last night.  Now from the sounds I heard there must be three down here but confined in the fabric ceiling they are not flying just scurrying around up there. But now the Damn Dog are on alert and they start in running around the room barking. Ya didn't care when they were flying around the room now you want to cause a ruckus.   So I go out and look and they have chewed, scratched and clawed at the Styrofoam and made a new opening.  I must now wait till the little bastards fly away tonight and plug my hole again. Kids, Damn Dogs and now bats in my basement.

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