22 steps to a bat-free house

Monday morning I called Dave in to our bedroom to see this giant dragonfly that was stuck to the screen (outside the house).  It was seriously as big as my hand.  After we showed it to Leo (who asked if he could touch it and then promptly said, “no, scared”) Dave gave it a gentle flick and it flew away.

Monday night/Tuesday morning I got up at 1:30am to use the bathroom.  I came back in to bed and fell back asleep.  At 2am Dave woke me up because he said he heard a weird noise.  Note: this is not the first time Dave has woken up to a weird noise.  He’s a lighter sleeper and it’s happened before, generally being nothing.  Dave got up and looked around and then came back to bed.  “It sounded like that big bug from this morning or something.”  I didn’t really believe him and told him it was probably nothing… and then totally heard flapping/saw something flying.

There was a bat in our room.


Let me break it down for you should this ever happen to you:

Step 1: Duck under the covers and repeat “ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh” really fast.  A little swearing is also completely understandable and permissible.

Step 2: Talk with your husband about what you should do.  Try to loosen the sheets with your foot because you’re totally planning on having all the blankets over you as you escape the room.

Step 3: When your husband tells you it has landed over on the far side of the room and to roll out of bed and crawl into the other room don’t hesitate.  DON’T HESITATE.  Fast roll across that bed, onto the floor, and fast crawl the heck out of there.

Step 4: Close the door between you and the bat.

Step 5: Try to figure out what the heck to do.  Try not to think about the bat walking across your pillow.

Step 6: Realize you need to go into the hallway and around so you can close the other door to the bedroom, thus quarantining the bat.

Step 7: Send your husband out into the hall first.  When he spots the bat flying around downstairs “ohmygosh is it the same bat or are there two?!” quickly shut the other door, thus quarantining yourself in the family room while the bat has the run of the house.  (Note: Leo’s room door was shut.  We’re not jerk parents sacrificing up our child.)

Step 8: Do some fast googling on what to do if a bat is in your house.

Step 9: Open up the windows (and screens) in the family room because the goal is to get the bat in this one room and shut it off.  Turn on the light, because apparently bats are attracted to light.

Step 10: Arm you and your husband with couch pillows and venture into the bedroom to see if the bat is in there (thus confirming two bats in the house) or if it’s gone.  Breathe huge relief when you find the bedroom empty.

Step 11: Go through the upstairs rooms one by one (let your husband go first – this is no time to be all female empowerment, ladies) and shut the door behind you as you find them clean.  Turn off all other lights so only the family room – the goal room – is lit.

Step 12: Find a racquetball racket in a closet.  Swap out your husband’s couch pillow for the racket.

Step 13: Crouch in the hallway and peek downstairs.  Yes, bat is still flying down there.  Begin to converse about what to do.  Discuss your husband going down there.  Talk about how he really doesn’t want to go down there.  Talk about how you really don’t want him to have to go down there.  Realize you see  weird shadow and you think that maybe the bat has actually come upstairs and flown into the goal room.

Step 14: Your husband confirms that yes – ohmygosh it actually worked – the bat is in the family room.  CLOSE THE DOOR.

Step 15: Wedge blankets/couch pillows under the bottom of both doors to this room.  Breathe a little easier.  The bat is quarantined!

Step 16: Sweep the downstairs just to make sure there are no lingering bats.

Step 17: Go back upstairs and look through the keyhole (thanks, old house!) to see if bat is still in the room.  It is.

Step 18: Quickly reach in and turn off the light (thus encouraging the bat to leave).  CLOSE THE DOOR.

Step 19: Resume your normal activities, except it’s now 2:30am and oh yeah, there’s a bat in your family room.

Step 20: Drink coffee with your husband.  Make baked oatmeal.  Make your husband escort you upstairs so you can shower.

Step 21: Call your husband on the way to the office thinking of possible hiding spots in the family room that he should check to make sure the bat is really gone (when he checks if the bat has flown out).

Step 22: Hear a story on NPR about two canadian boys who were sleeping in their apartment above a pet store when a 15 foot python escaped, came upstairs, and killed them.  Decide that is way worse than a bat.

There you go.  22 steps to a bat-free house.  Well, a bat-quarantined-in-the-family-room house.  After that it’s up to you.  Thankfully, Dave declared our house bat-free at noon yesterday.  But it’ll be awhile until I’m able to walk around (or SLEEP) in full peace.  A looooong while.

Also, don’t google images of bats.  You do not want to see a picture of what was flying two feet above your head.


6 thoughts on “22 steps to a bat-free house

  1. At least you didn’t have to physically catch it and take it outside! Next question I am sure you are also wondering-how did the bat get in your house?

  2. Ha! This is so wild!
    1. Bats are super friendly and not freaky like portrayed in media I think – Joel will probably comment and enlighten us to this fact
    2. If you through something really tiny into the air – the bat will swoop and get it – thinking it is a bug (this comes in handy if flying object is in question and you want to confirm it is a bat – not a bird or giant dragonfly…)
    3. That is weird they are attracted to light – aren’t they nocturnal?!

  3. Wasn’t it nice of Jill to bring up how tha bat got in your house in the first place. That will help you sleep better tonight.

    My one and only bat story occurred at the Dinger’s farm one summer when I was staying with them. I was watching TV downstairs in the living room (in the dark) when all of a sudden I saw a weird shadow come across the TV image. I thought i just blinked weird or something and went back to watching my show. A few seconds later it happened again and this time I heard the wings flap. I screamed for John to come down and help as I did not know what to do. When he arrived I ran outside- and stayed there, until he gently guided the bat through the door to the outside world. I was constantly on watch for more bats the rest of the summer.

    My mother was sleeping in one of the the upstairs bedrooms at the Dinger farm- the room with the attic door- and she was awoken in the middle of the night by a bat in the bedroom as well. She didn’t freak out, just called out for John to come assist. John once again came to the rescue and got the bat out the window so Mom could go back to sleep.

    I hope your bat incidents are over.

  4. This post is pretty much the funniest thing I have ever read. I was laughing out loud as I read it in the bath tub – so much so that Mark asked what was going on. And then I made him read it, and he laughed out loud. Your new name is bat girl.

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