Aw, Bats: Falling short of destruction and mayhem

This evening there was an unexpected visitor in the house: Mr. Bat*. I was entering the “serving area” of the house (I live in a sorority house as their “house mother”/house director, in case you weren’t previously aware) getting a plate for some newly baked chocolate chip cookies and in swoops a bat. I admit, my heart rate went up and I ducked as he flew around the higher altitudes of the room, but I did not scream or make any noise for that matter. He left the room and I quickly went about trying to close off the doors to the areas that I occupy most frequently. Well, in that process I knocked over about 8 sheets of drywall onto a tall plastic tree that the women had apprehended (read: stolen) from a fraternity last semester, which made quite the mess (the base broke and scattered dirt and wood pieces about) and hindered me from closing a very important door – the one with access to the hallway that leads to my apartment. I like bats, they’re helpful in limiting bugs outdoors, but I don’t really want one indoors, let alone in my apartment.

Then I made sure he wasn’t in a couple of rooms and closed those doors. Then I called Al’s Critter Removal service, and he let me know that the bat should be quarantined into a room, otherwise he would be quite difficult to find if Al were to come out to catch and release the bat. I called J to help with the bat hunting, but he was working on a paper. I then called the most logical person for such a task, Cordell. He was on the phone, but graciously accepted the task and showed up shortly thereafter with gloves on, a bucket, and a broom – bat catching tools (or so I thought it was for catching). We secured the first floor and went up to the second floor and didn’t seem to be having much luck. We were in the common area of the second floor and Mr. Bat showed up swooping and flying over head. Cordell takes his broom and starts swinging it about. I said something to the effect of, “we don’t want to kill him.” And was quickly corrected that indeed we did. He conceded to trying to catch Mr. Bat if he stayed in the common area, so long as no biting or scratching was involved, but luckily Mr. Bat went into a bedroom and we were able to quarantine him after all. Sorry Cordell, no destruction or mayhem tonight.

Payment was made in the form of milk and cookies (thanks again!).

Mr. Bat will be fetched by Al for catch and release tomorrow morning.

*It seems that bats fall into the automatically male category.

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3 Responses to Aw, Bats: Falling short of destruction and mayhem

  1. C says:

    Just to clarify my position on bats and the killing of them. . . .
    Three things come from animal bites: infections, diseases, and superpowers. We had no reason to believe that this bat had been recently irradiated, genetically modified, or supernaturally enhanced, so it is unlikely that superpowers would result from its bite.
    Infection is relatively easy to handle. Hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and Mycitracin or Neosporin can take care of most local infections.
    Disease–and specifically the rabies–is a much nastier result. The CDC has a whole page about bats and the rabies; how you really don’t want to get bitten by a bat; and how if you do get bitten, you want to not let the bat out into the wild. If you don’t have the bat on hand and you may have been exposed to the rabies, here’s the next step:

    13. What is the post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies?
    Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP), consists of a dose of human rabies immune globulin and 5 doses of rabies vaccine given on days 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28. The vaccine is given in a muscle, usually in the upper arm. The PEP is highly effective at preventing rabies if given as soon as possible following an exposure. If a person has previously received rabies PEP or was pre-exposure vaccinated against rabies, only 2 doses of vaccine (on days 0 and 3) will be needed. Human rabies immune globulin is not required. Your healthcare provider and local health department will be able to tell you where to obtain PEP.

    It’s not quite the 21-shots-in-the-stomach cycle that it was a decade or so back, but it’s still not fun.
    Moreover, if you have the rabies and you don’t get the prophylactic shot cycle and the symptoms develop, it’s almost always fatal in humans. Unless you want to die staggering and delirious outside a Baltimore pub like Edgar Allan Poe did, you don’t want the rabies.
    If the bat in question has bitten or scratched someone, it needs to be tested for rabies. As far as I know, that can only be done by dissecting its brain. If a bat has bitten or scratched someone, that bat needs to be live-captured or killed so it can be tested for rabies, and since it’s going to be killed anyway, killing it while capturing it is a logical solution.
    Mr. Bat was wise in that he did not potentially infect anyone with the rabies, so he can go back to eating bugs outside.

    • crista says:

      Note quite like treatment for “the tetanus” – one shot. I’m glad that Mr. Bat decided to play nice and not expose anyone to him so he doesn’t need to be killed to be tested.
      Thanks for the info on the process – very interesting. And of course – mucho thanks for the assist!

      • T says:

        next time give me a ring. not to knock your fantabulous helper or anything, but i can promise my bat-catching strategies never involve wanting to kill the little fellers (or their lady friends). 🙂

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