Chapter 9: Why is there a colony in my house?
I was asleep one peaceful night in my wonderful house. Suddenly, I was awakened by a strange noise. I opened my eyes to listen and observe what might be there. Abruptly, something flew into the ceiling fan and over my head. I (like the girl I am) screamed and threw the covers over my head. I grabbed my phone. It’s 2am. Whatever this is needs to die because I was finally getting some sleep. Finally.
Well... I can’t get much done under the covers and there’s no one in the house so clearly I’ll have to get myself out of this jam...
I turned my cell phone light on. It was a damn bat. I’ve had a bat in my house one other time in the 11 years of owning the house, which is why I am assuming it is a bat. Keep in mind, I am allergic to a decent amount of stuff including mosquito bites. Bee and wasp stings could send me to the ER. I have no idea what a bat bite might do.
I flash the cell phone light all around the room. Whatever it was it seems to have left, so I quickly get out of bed and head to my bathroom. I gotta think my way through this but the problem is I’m panicked. I’ve been in some emergency situations before and I’ve learned the first thing I have to do is calm down so I can think clearly.
I left that bedroom and redirected myself into the 2nd bedroom which is actually a closet. All of my essentials are in this closet: Clothes, car keys, wallet, shoes. This is where I need to be to calm down. Suddenly, I hear a screech and flapping. I ducked to avoid the bat and my foot slid on the hardwood floor. Down I go. Yes. Fell on the damn floor! I beat the bat out the door and slammed it behind me. I go to the bathroom and turn on the light. With the hall light on and the bathroom light on, my guess is these won’t be rooms Mr. Bat will fly into. I grab a towel and cover the gap between the door and the floor. I don’t even know why I did that, but I did.
I realize I’m breathing like I ran a marathon and my mind is racing. This isn’t good. I calm myself. Everything in me says it’s time to leave. I’m hearing scratching noises all around me. Humm… I wonder what that could be? I open the bathroom door slightly to see if I can tell what’s going on. That’s when the scratching got louder. This little mf-er is on the floor crawling underneath the door to get out of the room I locked him in. What?!?!?!!!
I slammed my bathroom door as I didn’t want to be Mr. Bat’s destination. I hear him (note whenever there is a pest, we tend to use the pronoun: “him”, no offense) fly downstairs.
Safe for now. I go to each room and turn on the lights and close the door placing a towel to cover the gap under the door. I go back to the closet room, locking myself in. My mind is assuring me that Mr. Bat won’t remove the towel then crawl under the door to join me. Without thinking I’m packing a bag and getting dressed all at the same time. MrBat wins. I’m going to a hotel to sleep. And Live. And will possibly burn this house down.
With my bag packed, I swung the strap over my head and shoulder. I have to escape to the car. To do this, I have to join him downstairs, pass the dark living room and even darker foyer where Mr. Bat may be hiding.
I’m brave, I tell myself, as I prepare to run away from my house to the car. I’m brave! I took a deep breath and ran down the stairs and out the door. I escaped!
But now what? I do some quick online searches in the car and realize there are bat removal services and one opens at 4am. It’s now 2:30am.
I am outside in the car contemplating what I did with my life. Mr. Bat has driven me out of my own house. I began recounting this morning’s events. Yes, I fell running away and I got angry. Yes, I grabbed a broom to chase him down, however, but when Mr. Bat decided to hide, I had to leave.
Mr. Bat had won (hence the respectful “Mr.” in front of his name). But I had a plan. He isn’t taking over, damn it (I thought).
I called the wildlife removal company and explained to their voicemail that a bat ran me out of my house. I asked for a reply ASAP.
Hey, they are supposed to be 24/7 - why am I talking to a voicemail in the first place???
I drove to a nearby Hilton Garden Inn. It is now 5am and I am tired. I need a little more sleep so I can fight Mr. Bat (who is in my house, not paying rent by the way). I arrive and immediately visit the front check in desk. I quickly learn they want a full night’s hotel fee of $180 with a noon check out.
“Come on man…” I pleaded. “I am not even getting a full night!”
He found a $90 rate that made me feel a little better.
“Can I get a late check out?“.
He hesitated and said: “Yes, 1pm.”
A whole hour. This guy clearly doesn’t understand the concept of a favor. I didn’t complain. I was looking rough, tired, no makeup and probably didn’t smell too good and it is 5am so..
“Thank you sir…” I mumbled, grabbed the key card and up to my room I went.
I am awakened by a screaming child.
I look out the peephole of my hotel room. There is a whole trashy ass family allowing their trashy kids to repeatedly run through the hall yelling at the top of their lungs. This little broken condom wouldn’t stop screaming and no one said a word to prevent it. Just let her scream.
This is some bs, I thought... but then I realized I did pay $90 a night for this room. This is actually THEIR hotel. I need to leave and let them have their hotel back (evicted again -- this is twice in one day, WTF). ...And go snort a line of birth control.
I shower and leave. The wildlife guy is at my house and he is super geeked. I was impressed because he was completely tatted up with huge hanging holes in both lobes. Nicest guy ever which was a change from the Trashy Family I had the pleasure of meeting earlier.
Anyway, he was excited to catch the bat and he couldn’t wait to get in the house. I told him my version of what happened. He laughed and told me I should write books the way I tell stories...
Duh man... but who has time to write a whole book? I would much rather amuse my friends with my whacky stories via email but thank you!
Let’s kill all this talking... this is costing $225.. Less chatty-chatty and more catchy-catchy...
He thanks me for my business and quickly goes inside. Before going in, he tells me I can stay outside.. Oh gee, thanks, I hadn’t thought of that (as I am standing in the driveway).
An hour goes by... I am getting hungry as it is almost noon. I leave to get lunch. I quickly drove back and decided to eat my lunch in the car so the bugs would stop feasting on my legs. I noticed there were now TWO wildlife company trucks in my driveway, so I guess the first guy called for backup.
Suddenly, both guys come out of the house. The new guy is grinning widely and the original guy has a sealed bucket in his hand.
“WE CAUGHT IT! HERE LISTEN YOU CAN HEAR HIM MOVING AROUND AND SQUEALING” He said.
“No thanks, I heard him enough. Good job.” I uttered.
“There were two bats you know, right?” the first guy said.
“You need to fill out this form so the Health Department can test it for rabies” the second new guy said.
Ok, this is way too much for me right now. He handed me the form and at the top it requested my information. The first line said: Victim Name.... I have to sit down somewhere.
As I entered the house, the guys followed. The Wide Grin second guy bragged that he found the bat inside one of the towels I was using to block the door.
Mental note to self, burn towels.
The original guy wasn’t able to find the bat after an hour of searching, so he was understandably salty that the Wide Grin guy came in and found it right away. The second bat was in the basement behind the furnace. Dead (I didn’t do it).
Then, the two guys announced it was time for their inspection. To complete their job, they planned to go into the attic to determine how the bat got into the house. I watched patiently as they scattered, searching high and low for a point of entry.
Once their inspection was over, it was time for their big reveal. First, they discovered there were multiple entry points a bat could get in from outside.
Great, I sighed. Just what I needed after no sleep and a Trashy Baby alarm… a huge bill… On the other hand, I definitely didn’t want a new visitor flying into my bedroom at 2 a.m. ...
My thoughts ended when interrupted by the service guys. They showed me pictures of entry points around the roof and around the attic’s gable vents... However, the worst news was yet to be revealed. I was shown a picture from their cell phone of what looked like pink insulation filled with black and gray rocks. One could say that this picture contained more black and gray rocks than pink insulation.
“What am I looking at?” almost scared to ask. I have enough real estate knowledge to know that those rock looking things should NOT be covering insulation in the attic.
“Oh, yeah, you have a COLONY of bats living in your attic.” Wide Grin guy said matter-of-factly. “That’s excrement.”
I stared at the picture in horror. How in the world have I owned this house for years and never known there was a whole bat colony living there with me? Never smelled or heard anything! Apparently, all these bats have been doing in my attic is flying around sh!tting all day. Every day. They have literally ruined the insulation.
So after I told them I needed a seat and a stiff drink, they promised to return later that day with another team to seal the house. Additionally, they planned to install a special door so bats can leave the attic but never return.
In the meantime, I have sealed off the fireplace with a large piece of cardboard as that was the suspected entry way. The bats are going to the lab to be tested. Nothing touched me but they told me it is safer to have them tested anyway.
Public Service Announcement:
Bats are protected species and should not be harmed nor killed. It’s the law. However, someone has to catch you to be prosecuted. If I would have found him, I would have saved $225, cause his little A&& was mine but since he hid in the towels he is going to a nice bat colony in middle Missouri. Good for him....
I know what you are probably wondering… what about that first bat? Well, I have a story about that too…
A year or two before the incident you just read about…
I was watching tv upstairs. I heard a commotion coming from downstairs. I live alone and someone was definitely in the house. I can hear them on the stairs. Paralyzed with fear, I managed to call the police.
“911, what is your emergency?”
“Someone is in my house and I am on the second floor!” I gave my address and was assured someone would be on the way.
I moved quickly from the tv room to my bedroom, closing the door and locking it. This bedroom faces the street, so I could tell immediately when the police arrived. The police dispatch was still on the phone with me, noises downstairs seemed to get closer but not on the second floor.
The police finally arrived and inspected the exterior of my house. I saw bright lights from the flashlight from the windows as the police examined any possible entry points.
“Ma’am, all doors and windows are secured. You need to go downstairs and let the officers in.” Her voice was calm but stern.
“I’m not going downstairs!” I insisted. There was no way I was unlocking the door and walking into the arms of my intruder.
Just then, the sound started to get louder. I could hear something which sounded like flapping on the hardwood floors. I realized what might be going on at that moment.
It was a damn bat. That is why all the doors and windows were still locked. I listened to the noises until they sounded far away. I told the dispatch what I suspected the sound was and my assumption that the bat moved downstairs. The dispatch insisted that I open the door so the officers could inspect to make sure. I thanked her and ended the call.
When it was safe, and the noises sounded like they were in the basement, I ran down the stairs and closed the basement door. I then opened the front door where the officers were waiting patiently.
The officers entered my home, one tall the other, uh, round. Yup, he was short and round. They began to take my statement.
“Thanks for coming, I think I figured out what was going on.” I said looking at both officers.
“We need to sweep the house to ensure everything is safe. What do you think happened?” the tall officer inquired.
“I think it was a bat” I started.
“A BAT?!?! WHERE????” the round officer shouted. He literally jumped as if the bat was on him at that moment. The taller officer and I looked at Round Officer simultaneously. I hoped he couldn’t hear my thoughts. But then I blurted them out anyway:
“Uh, sir, why are you concerned? You are the one with the gun.” I gestured toward the basement door. “He’s down there anyway.”
Tall Officer shook his head and rolled his eyes.
“Are you sure?” Round Officer Asked.
I heard an audible sigh from Tall Officer. Something tells me this isn’t the first time Round Officer exposed his fear of animals, or at least bats.
“We need to rap this up.” Tall Officer said as he opened the basement door. Round Officer backed up instinctively. Tall Officer instructed the Round officer to “Go upstairs” as he began walking downstairs.
Yeah, take yourself upstairs, I thought. The bat is definitely not there, that’s where I was hiding. Maybe we should go up there and hide together?
After a few minutes the officers finished their inspection and were ready to leave. I thanked them for their time. They couldn’t find the bat anywhere, so they assumed he flew back up the chimney which is how they suspected he got into the house.
Mental note to self: Board up both fireplaces….
Why was there a colony living in my house? Two words: Home Inspection. Make sure those shits are complete before buying your next house.