Bat Encounter

bats3
See those spaces between the rocks and the flashing? That’s where the bats are.

Last night, right after sunset, my housemate Anita was gazing out the windows of our Austin house. She turned to me and said, “Hey, I see swallows coming out of our chimney.”

“It’s not swallow time,” I replied. “It’s BAT time.” I then briskly went out to see what was going on at the ole chimney.

Sure enough, two sturdy-looking bats emerged from the flashing around the chimney…right where we’d been noticing “mouse turds” for a couple of weeks. I immediately googled “bat guano–images.” Yep, that’s it, all right.

bats2
The tiny black dots on the table, chair, and deck are the poop. I mean guano.

Anita then mentioned that the next-door folks had just erected some kind of wire barrier all around their chimney. Hmm. Maybe the bats just moved one house down.

Now, I’m not surprised to see bats here. We had LOTS flying around our neighborhood in Round Rock (home of the second-biggest Mexican free-tailed bat colony in the area).  It was incredibly fun to watch them flying around the cul-de-sac and eating bugs.

Austin is known for bats and bat-watching. I like them, too. However, I’d prefer NOT to have them pooping on my deck furniture, and I certainly don’t want to risk a rabid bat falling into the mouth of the puppy I’m getting this week.

So, today I put on my Master Naturalist hat and started making phone calls. I talked to Floyd at the AgriLife Extension, and he said I should call Animal Control, but that I’d probably need to have a pest control company come out. He was right. Animal Control doesn’t “do” bats. Our pest control company has a specialist.

So, Francisco the bat man is coming by tomorrow to assess the situation. Rest assured, we will endeavor to harm NO bats. They will be “rehomed.” Or something.

And for all of you who are about to write in the comments that I should erect a bat house (which is what happened to my Facebook post yesterday), I’d love to, but that’s not something allowed by our HOA, which maintains the grounds around the Bobcat Lair, our Austin house. Maybe we can put some up at the ranch, to make up for the Austin bats’ eviction.

bats1
A more distant view of the world of bats. You can see that there is some spray foam stuff around the flashing. Obviously there is not enough.

Stay tuned for updates!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

One thought on “Bat Encounter”

  1. The track here in town by the schools has bats that fly around the lights at night to catch bugs. I was walking with my cousin and she noted the “huge moths” up by the lights. I stopped and stared, and corrected that those were not huge moths, but tiny bats. I kept walking, she ran to the car.

    Liked by 1 person

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