Bat Ejection Techniques - Country Survival Course #27
People lie! They lie about the bliss of rural relocation. They
lie about the size of fish they catch. They lie about being
there for you. But, mostly, they lie about bats! Such a silly
thing, yet no one can admit the ugly truth. "Bats only come into
your house. It never happens to me," friends say. Liars!
Evidence to the contrary exists. Bat visitations have occurred
regularly in all three of my country homes. Each was a different
style house, in a different town with different surroundings. No
way am I the only person this is happening to! I'll believe the
annual summer bat inundation isn't a part of normal life when
butter is fat free and Smucky's Electric gets back to me with
that wiring estimate they promised just prior to the Mammoth die
One of my sisters in particular gets a kick out of telling
people I am a witch attracting bats to my home like anorexics
migrating to the Cannes Film Festival. She does it to be ornery
- a competitive sport in my family. Of course, I could get even
by pointing out right here in my very public essay that she is
my OLDER sister by a DECADE. However, I am too peaceable and
well centered for such adolescent behavior. Besides, you are
here to learn another fine country skill - the Bat Ejection
Lesson 1 - Why BET
Rural dwellers should all master BETs. Realtors will never admit
to the Coloptera inundation plaguing the West. Property values
would tumble! Amidst all this denial, a seamy cover-up has
formed. Copies of Bat Removal for Dummies are burned at country
BBQs and members of the Society of the Dead Elk deliver bat
traps to farms under cover of darkness.
As my town's resident City Idiot, I chose to break ranks. If
Cidiots are not taught to deal properly with winged rodentia,
both will suffer. Bats will be 'baseballed' into walls with
brooms. If not, Cidiot homes will overflow with wiggling
blankets of screeching critters. Folks will be driven back to
the burbs in droves. Quite selfishly - I need newbies to stay in
the country. Please don't leave me alone out here! Take notes.
Lesson 2 - History of the BET
For whatever reasons bats enter homes in pairs. My hypothesis
is; one holds the dog door open while the other flies through
and vise versa. Attempts to document this behavior have been
hampered by the presence of innumerable dogs kissing my eyes
shut when I stake out the laundry room floor. Nonetheless, like
bats to Noah's ark, they arrive by twos.
Throughout history Novice Bat Ejectors dispelled unwanted
intruders with the pacifistic Zero Interference Technique (ZIT).
For a true ZIT open all windows and doors and cower on the floor
waiting for the bats to fly back out. I researched the
effectiveness of this method at my first country home. There are
three problems with this technique:
Bats never leave as easily as they enter. A person could learn
Arabic before the ZIT clears matters up.
Heat leaves houses quite quickly resulting in cold ZITs.
Bats tend to turn up in the middle of the night. Sleep
deprivation is a direct side effect of ZITs.
Lesson 3 - Modernization
Athletic newbies frequently combine the open window/door
approach of a ZIT with a more proactive approach. They jump
around with a blanket in an attempt to herd bats outside. This
is the Comforter Herding Ejection Technique (CHET). A good CHET
take two people. Even then CHETs are hard.
Bats do not know they shouldn't fly around the blanket.
The technique is rendered totally ineffective when your husband,
who is suppose to hold the opposite side of the blanket, does a
"stop, drop and roll" every time he spots a bat from thirty
At night neighbors can see you, but not the bat. So there you
are running amuck in your PJs. The doors and windows are wide
open as you spiraling over furniture with your flag-like fabric
in tow. Meanwhile your underwear-clad man is having what is
apparently some version of repeating epileptic seizures. And
you, you cold-hearted bitch, you just keep on dancing.
Lesson 4 - BET Evolution
Bat invasion number three of year number two was a turning point
for me. For some bizarre reason I was washing the morning
dishes. We must have been out of coffee. Obviously I was not
quick-witted enough to get out of dish duty. Suddenly, I heard
the high-pitched chatter of a bat straight over my head.
The space over my cabinets is where all my gigantic jelly-making
kettles are poised. Grabbing the step stool, I hovered near and
listened. Something was in my stoneware - dark, like a cave, the
crafty little bugger. Please, don't let it get airborne. I have
to go to town this morning, I thought. There was no time for the
traditional CHET dance.
My cerebral light bulb clicked on. Hey, It's easier to catch
bats when they aren't moving. A Nobel Prize for would be mine.
Apparently washing dishes has some net value after all. I slid a
plate over the stoneware rim and took my captive out side.
Plate removed, an upside-down shake and plop. The bat was on the
ground. I watched for a moment making sure my son's devil cat
did not turn up. Finally, the bat orientated itself and flew off
with chatter. Dam, I'm good, I mused. Then I turned and took two
steps towards the door. Gasp! Leap! Curse!
Something bad hit my bare foot. Reflexes took over. I went for a
field goal. Another bat had been in the jar. Curse! Hebbie
Jebies! Will I never learn? Twos, always twos! Scratches, tiny
claws on my foot - it was all to early. First dishes, then this.
The traumatized bat landed several feet away. It took a good
five minutes before the winged menace recovered enough to fly
off. Headed for town, I left a note for my son. "Finish the
Lesson 5 - BET Mastery
I learned two things that morning. First, generic dish soap
sucks. Second, a motionless bat is the best bat to catch.
Chasing them in flight is a fool's game. In retrospect Samuel,
my Great Pyrenees, had attempted to point this out earlier that
Hearing one of the midnight riots, I ordered all my dogs out.
There was no need to look for the cause. I knew by then what the
combination of barking and a synchronized chase meant at 1 a.m.
Ho hum, more bats in the house. The other dogs complied. Sam
however stood there looking sleepy, stubborn, sad and guilty.
Anyone who owns a Pyrenees knows this is their natural state.
Just as I demanded, "Samuel, go!" I spotted the diminutive
little wing sticking out from under his massive front paw. Here
Mom, a motionless bat is the best bat to catch. He is a genius!
Grab a teacup or the aquarium net and a saucer
Wait for a landing
Cup/net over the Bat
Saucer or magazine carefully slid under
Out the door it goes
Hee Haw! With practice you'll be back in bed before the
underwear-clad epileptic knows your gone. You can BET on it.