Monday afternoon will be a time I don't soon forget. My baby girl was in her swing sleeping, my big boy was playing and watching one of his shows and I was working on a blog post while I had a few moments to myself and our pup was sleeping at the foot of the couch. It came to my attention that I was hearing rustling somewhere around my stairs. "What in the world am I hearing?" Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fall off the side of the one step going to our second floor. "What in the world just fell!" Of course my dog was right over to check things out, but luckily she quickly backed away. I turned around in my chair to see the floor and realized that what I was looking at was a bat.
I have never had to deal with a bat in my house, so I had to idea what to do. I did know that I could throw a towel or something on top of it to try to keep it from flying and try to keep it in one place. I found an old child's towel that I had made into a flat diaper (but didn't end up liking it) and I put that on the bat. He then tried crawling out from under the towel so I had to put shoes and things around the bat to keep him in place. NOTE: bats cannot take off from the floor, they need a place to hang from in order to fly. Getting the bat on the ground makes it easier to get them out of the house.
*So, Bat on floor, check. Towel or some thing to surround the bat and keep it from hiding, check.*
|our heater grate|
Then "Bat Manuel" (yes, Hubby named him that, from the Tick) went outside. This is also about the time my Mother-in-law called back thinking that maybe, just in case, we should call the health dept to see if they want to test it to make sure it wasn't rabid. So, I had to go back outside, find the bat who had started to crawl to a nearby tree, and put a bucket over him.
Then, after talking to the guy at the health dept., I learned what you should do when you find a bat in your house and you want it tested. If anyone had any non-protected contact with a bat or is bitten, it should be tested (this includes waking to a bat flying around your room).
*Get the bat into a plastic container and tape it shut* (you can add air vents if you really want to)
*Get the bat chilling (in a fridge or in a cooler with ice around it)*
*Call your local health dept and schedule a pick-up*
Bats can chew out of a box, so use plastic. Also, if the bat should die before they come to pick it up it needs to be chilled or the testing cannot happen. If they start to decay at all (kept too warm), the test cannot be done. If they freeze, the test will come out inconclusive. Fun stuff. So, once I was able to get "Bat Manuel" into a tupperware container and taped shut, it was time to put it in a bag and into a cooler to chill out. That is then where he stayed until my in-laws came over later that night to take it to the state lab that is only about 30 minutes away. This was a little better because otherwise the little guy would have to stay in our cooler until Wednesday morning. This also gave us an excuse to have dinner at the nearby Cracker Barrel. :)
Everything turned out fine, which made my mother-in-law feel so much better.
We still have no idea how the bat came into our house, but we did learn that it only takes a small space for a bat to come in. They are like mice in that they only need a space large enough for their head to fit through in order to get in somewhere. This time of year, that more times than not can mean spaces around a window AC unit. Needless to say that we have since made sure to go over every space around our AC units to check for places bats could get in. They follow cool air currents and once one makes a path more follow the same path.
Side note, we had a second bat the next day too. John found that bat and came over to me telling me he found, "'nother animal. 'nother animal." He is not scared of these little guys, though he does not feel the desire to touch them (thank goodness!).
For those who do not already know this, the human shots for rabies are now a series of 4 shots. It is no longer the 30 shots (1 each day for a month) like it had been.
I hope through my new experience, may I never have it again, you have been able to learn something new today.
Have you had any bats in your house? Do you know how they got in?
Until next time... Happy Learning Something New Each day!