Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Batman VS Ninja Woman

We have a bat problem. We had bats living inside the kitchen rafters last year and we (successfully?) evicted them, but they have returned!

It's a problem because:
- it's too late in the season. To humanely evict bats, you should do so in the spring. By June, they may be nursing their young who cannot fly away with the parents.
- I happen to like bats. They keep the insect population down and our ranch has been relatively bug-free, so I have the frogs, lizards and bats to thank.
- Big Dog doesn't care to have them living in our house. And neither do I. Bat pee ranks up there with some of the worst smelling animal pee. I want to say 100 times worse than cat pee, but I think cat pee is pretty bad, so I'd say 10 times worse. Last summer, even after the eviction, I could smell bat pee in the air upstairs when it got warm.

It's a problem because we didn't anticipate them coming back. If I had, I would have prepared a swanky bat house for them. Now, I have to just chase them out.

First, Big Dog went to check, two nights ago, after I saw them flying out. It was dark and he didn't have a good flashlight, so I'm not sure what kind of checking out he was able to do, but he went up on the roof with some chicken wire fencing.

"You think it's mesh-y enough? All the web sites say bats can get into holes a quarter-inch in diameter," I look suspiciously at the chicken wire. The mesh is about…three quarters of an inch big? "I guess if you wad it up enough, though…"

He comes back moments later.

"Ugh. A bat got caught in the chicken wire while I was trying to stuff it into the cracks. That's it! I'm done for the day!"
"Just as well. It's dark, you're up on the roof and there's a desperate bat? Let's deal with it in the morning."

The next morning, I was all ready to battle the Bat Men (and Women. Hopefully no Bat Babies!) I wished I had a Cat Woman outfit but that day I was in my long-sleeve black freebie shirt (courtesy of Prince's Emancipation album.) Maybe here in the US, a skinny Asian woman in a black shirt could pass as Ninja Woman? Same thing, anyway. We both creep along roofs and walls.

I still haven't completely evicted them. There's still life up there in the rafters. However, I did remove the very dead bat that was caught in the chicken wire (double ugh), caulk potential entry points and re-secure the eaves. Big Dog thought that by leaving the fencing off earlier in the evening, it would allow the bats to leave at night and then we could fill the gaps while they were out feeding. I don't think that's working. The websites tell you to use a mesh one-way "doggie door" to let the bats out. Big Dog's finally convinced that it may be the only way.

***************

I can hear them up there right now as I type this entry. They're frantically trying to get out. Or get in. Or get to their babies, Or get out with their babies. I don't know. My imagination is running amok. I feel like the cruelest, most horrible person in the world. A heartless landlord. This will definitely be a stain on my karma. Just when I was considering going vegan again. Maybe there's no point now. I'm pulling the ribs out of the freezer to defrost.

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