Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh Rats, More Bats!

A couple weeks ago my next door neighbors had a bat inside their house. My husband went over to "help" them take care of it. Poor thing was on its last leg (or wing?). There is definitely something wrong with a bat when it shows up indoors in the middle of winter.

And what a winter! We've had over 70" of snow so far this winter and yet another blizzard is headed our way tonight/tomorrow. Hopefully we'll only get 10-12" this time around.

Anyway, my husband went up on our roof the other day to shovel off some snow. While he was up there, he found a bat. Alive. Outside. Stuck. To the roof. Poor guy was stuck in ice but yet still breathing. Although I feel badly for the bat, I'm glad that he was OUTSIDE and NOT flying around the inside of my house! I'm hoping that the thousands we spent on bat exclusions is working; I'm thinking the bat was trying to get into his old roost (our attic) and couldn't so maybe he settled for hanging around the outside instead?

Regardless, I logged on to the PA Game Commission website because they have a link for reporting a sick bat. They are trying to study the bat population to determine the extent of White Nosed Syndrome (if you care to learn about it, you can Google it) and are trying to identify which bat colonies may be infected. So in an effort to help my fellow mammals (bats) and in the name of science, I filled out the form and clicked on submit.

Well a couple days later we got the following message (via email) from the game commission:

Thank you for taking the time to report your bat sighting. Unfortunately, there is a large bat hibernation site near you that is experiencing a die-off due to White Nose Syndrome, and there is little we can do but wait for it to pass. WNS causes bats to fly during daylight hours as well as bat mortality across the landscape.

Game Commission biologists have conducted site investigations in your area. We have collected enough carcasses from your area for the WNS investigation. If you find carcasses in your area, please dispose of them in the following manner:

Wearing gloves, use a shovel to place the bat carcass in a plastic bag, add some household disinfectant/cleaner, place the bat into another plastic bag – and then dispose of the double-bagged carcass in the trash.

My husband was only half joking when he wondered (aloud) if the "bat hibernation site" mentioned in the email was the one in our attic.


Kelly said...

so sorry that you are still dealing with this! Our one bat was enough to freak me out forever...
hope everyone is feeling better!

Mary Marantz said...

ewwww! we just found a bat in our basement as well. I'm pretty sure we're all going to be vampires! :)