The Relative Size of Bats

Did you know… that a bat appears to be much smaller when viewed outside in your yard than when viewed inside your living room flying around in circles?

We had just settled in to watch episode1 of season 4 Breaking Bad - 10 minutes into the show - in flies a bat! Yup. What the hell??? I immediately covered my head and made little screeching noises while my husband dropped to the floor and got to the closet to get the bug nets (luckily I’m an avid insect collector).

We eventually caught the little thing and placed it out on the deck to fly off - it was an amazing mix of terror and wow that was so coolness. They make angry clicking noises when they are caught in a net.

So how does a bat just appear in one’s house? Down the chimney??? I think it was here all day - sleeping somewhere - we noticed a bunch of little stuff knocked off a shelf that hangs on our wall yesterday morning (huh wonder how that happened) - I bet it was hiding behind the shelf for the day and came out once it got dark.

My brother’s gf had a pet bat (her dad studied them for flight patterns). It was very tame, and would happily ride around in her pocket. She fed it mealie worms. The only problem was that it just poo-ed whenever it wanted.

One bizzare bat-fact: when patted, they vibrate (or at least this one did), much like a cat’s purr, and showed every sign of enjoying it.

Huh. We had a bat in our house last night too. First time ever. In fact, I was considering starting a thread on MPSIMS, but there’s no need to now.

I was upstairs on my bed reading, with one of my kids lying next to me, using my Blackberry. Suddenly, a bat flies into the room from the hallway. Kid freaks out, starts sobbing (he’s 8), and buries himself in the bed. The bat flies in circles around the room for a minute and then finds its way back to the hallway. I leave the room and shut the door and watch it in the hallway as it goes back and forth, until finally it goes into my daughter’s room (she was downstairs at the time). I close the door, keeping it in the room.

I went downstairs and Googled “what to do if there’s a bat in your house.”

Getting the general idea, I went back upstairs, went into my daughter’s room, shut the door behind me, and then got on my hands and knees and crawled over to the windows, with the bat circling overhead. I opened the window and crawled back out of the room, shutting off the light and closing the door. Then I went out on the deck (underneath my daughter’s room) and turned on a camping lantern. After a few minutes, the bat found its way out of the room and flew off.

Not the picture of heroism, I’ll admit, but it got the job done.

I was also trying to figure out how it got in. I have no idea.

Years ago, we had a bat in the house, the night after a photographer friend had been over. We assume the bat had been sleeping in the collection of large cloth and plastic backdrops/drapes he’d brought over…maybe he kept them in a storage shed?

Anyway, we opened a window and, when he did not fly out for a while, opened umbrellas and, holding them in front of us, herded him out the window. I hoped that the umbrella fabric registered as an obstacle to his sonar, and that he would divert away from it. It seemed to work, anyway.

Usually these threads have a bunch of warnings that now everyone in the house will have to get rabies shots, even if they can find no evidence of having been bitten. I’m a bit dubious of the idea, but admit I am not an epidemiologist.

Here’s what the CDC says.

My husband said something along the lines of “now we’ll all have to get rabies shots” after we got the bugger out the door. I made fun of him - because that’s what I do - but I couldn’t understand why you would need a rabies shot if you didn’t get bit (or even touch the thing - what, is rabies airborne now???).

Later today he tells me it’s only if there was a bat in your sleeping quarters that you found later - after you had been sleeping there. I still find it hard to believe a bat landing on me and biting me wouldn’t wake me up. But I’ll keep watch for the tingling sensation…

Maybe he heard that you were watching Breaking Bat?

Anyhow, a bat apparrently looms even larger at 3am inside the van in which you’re sleeping. At least, according to the guys who slept in the van that night. They didn’t want to sleep under the beautiful night sky of the Grand Canyon like the rest of us because they didn’t want to deal with any local wildlife.

Well, we did not opt for rabies shots in our bat-in-the-house incident, and turned out okay, but I am not qualified to determine your risk. I will however add that waiting for a symptom is the wrong approach. One of the most problematic features of rabies is that it’s all-but-inevitably fatal once symptoms develop. Once you’re tingling it’s too late to do anything.

Two bat-attacks in the last couple of days for Dopers? Sounds like a guerilla marketing campaign for the Dark Knight Rises…