“There is a great difference between worry and concern.
A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.”
For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day,
so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all.
(a close up of my returning resident…who has got to go / Julie Cook / 2016)
I’ve mentioned before that I was not like most little girls growing up…
Whereas many a little girl donned fancy little party dresses,
complete with lacy little petticoats underneath…
whiling away their hours playing with baby dolls and the like…
I was in a pair of shorts with matching flip flops, wearing a Gilligan’s sailor hat,
while building pine straw forts in the woods….
On reading day, that most exciting day of the week, when we were all marched to the library,
in order to pick out a book for our weekly reading,
with most young girls choosing books about the adventures of Madeleine or
books about fairy princesses–
I was picking out science books about bats…
Oddly I found bats to be the cutest little things.
Brown and furry with tiny beady black eyes—
kind of like a teddy bear…
yet where there were to be arms and paws, the bats had wings and claws.
I don’t know where any of that came from…and bless my mother’s heart for enduring such…
but just remember…I was adopted…
However, fast forward to today…
to this now grown woman who has been around the block a couple of times or more…
This woman who has had much learning and experience now tucked safely up
under her belt.
She knows that things such as bats are good for the environment,
as they are Mother Nature’s natural insect eradicators.
They are our secret weapons against things like malaria and zika….
Yet I also know that bats are susceptible to things such rabies and the like…
And whereas their droppings make for great fertilizer, it is also rife with bacteria….
Several small caveats to having them in close proximity to humans and their pets…
So I was thrown into a bit of a tizzy when I walked out on the back deck this morning
just to find Percy, my dear sweet cat, sitting directly at the door.
His head cocked at an almost 90 degree angle making those
odd little sounds he makes when he spies a bird.
I follow his gaze….
Knowing there was no bird hiding up under the awning of the back deck…
just wanting to hang out with the resident cat…I had a sneaky suspicion what I was seeking…
And sure enough, wedged between the awning and the house was a lumpy dark mass….
I snatch up Percy like he’s on fire, whisking him inside before he could utter a sound.
That’s all I need…a bat to bite Percy… sending all that money down the drain on rabies shots—
I don’t know how all that really works—is he, isn’t he now immune from rabid bats???
I grab a broom.
I poke the broom up in the crevice gently attempting to nudge the little bat loose in hopes
that he’ll opt to fly away.
The bat makes a crackling sound at me like a giant bug….
I drop the broom and jump in the house.
You may notice in the picture above what appears to be a dryer sheet stuffed up by the little bat.
You are correct.
It is a dryer sheet.
And I suddenly have a moment of deja vu….
as I think this little fella tried to move in here last summer.
Last summer I panicked, like I’m doing today, wondering if the bat I spied
wedged up between the awning and the house had actually bitten the cats…
Plus I fretted about bat droppings covering my grill…
So I did the only thing any former Girl Scout could think of at that very moment
which might act as a bat deterrent…
I grabbed a box of dryer sheets.
I stuffed dryer sheets in all the cracks and crevices between the awning,
the deck and the house.
However it soon became obvious that bats like a fresh scented crevice—
the now pair of bats paid the dryer sheets no never mind—
Continuing to fly out at night and back during the day only to roost
in a clean scented crevice.
At least they are clean scented loving bats.
As I was now to my last resort, other than taking a flamethrower to the awning which I would imagine would result in a small fire…I grabbed a can of hornet spray, aimed and fired.
Out shot the bat, narrowly missing my head…
So today, with this latest little guy back and obviously up to his same idea of moving in,
I have decided he must have a very short memory and now needs a refresher course in eviction.
So once again, this evening, when the sun goes down and this sleepy
little thing decides to finally get up, and seek the myriad of disease carrying mosquitoes…
I’m going to douse his bedroom with wasp poison—
and pray he decides to move on once the sun comes up….
Otherwise I might just go purchase said flamethrower….
*****This little brown bat is native to Georgia.
Recently, their declining numbers have alarmed both scientist and
wildlife management specialists alike.
Bats, like frogs, are first responders to changes in the environment.
Their declining numbers indicate that environmental troubles are afoot.
Currently there is an epidemic, in the state of Georgia,
which is adversely affecting the little brown bat population.
It is known as WNS—white nose syndrome.
It is a fungus that is decimating entire colonies…by the millions.
This little bat is most likely a male as they tend to roost alone.
They are marvelous insect gathers.
But in close proximity to humans, they do raise a concern.
This little bat is obviously aggravated that I keep snapping his picture
all the while as he’s trying to get his beauty sleep…
And the broom is a real pain in his behind….
Please visit the following Georgia wildlife link for more information concerning
the plight of the little brown bats….