A night visitor

Last night, a bat got into my office and was flying around in circles. It got tired eventually and landed, very conveniently, in a wastebasket. I put a piece of paper over it and carried it outside. Fly free, little bat!

Then we discovered this morning that it was still in the wastebasket. We dumped it out on the porch but otherwise left it alone — we put a box over it, very loosely, with plenty of gaps for escape, and left it a little bit of water, but otherwise, it’s on it’s own.

All we got for our care was some weird little clicky growls.

We might have a bat ‘problem’. They nest above our garage, and their exit is right above our mailbox, which I’ve noticed is getting covered with a lot of bat poop. I’m not complaining — I’ve always wanted to live in a house full of bats and spiders.


  1. Silentbob says

    Dude, srsly, all you need to do is start breeding rats and you’ve got the classic horror trifecta – spiders *shudder*, bats *ugh*, and now new and improved – rats!

  2. Silentbob says

    I kid of course. There was a tree by our balcony where the bats would live and they’re totally adorable apart from two things:
    2) They fight and screech like fucking banshees in the night
    3) Their poo is awful sticky stuff much worse than birdshit.

    Otherwise, they’re actually very adorable.

  3. wzrd1 says

    Well, no lab leak there, just an office leak. ;)

    chuckonpiggott has a good point, was thinking the same myself. Save the fertilizer, your garden will thank you.
    Also, bat houses are fairly easily built. You get free fertilizer, less damage to the garage and free insect control.
    And perhaps, interrupt the spread locally of white nose syndrome, which has been ravaging bat communities nationwide.

    Oh, so far, I’m seeing more bees this year than I have for quite a few years. Hopefully, whatever is causing colony collapse disorder is finally either being adapted to or fading away!
    Just as the corvids adapted to West Nile virus. Nature finds a way to balance the books eventually.

  4. bcw bcw says

    Yeah a bat out in the day is not a good sign as far as rabies. Be careful.

    The bats used to like to use my folded pool umbrella as a nest .

  5. says

    A few years back, I noticed that our back light kept popping on in the evening. It’s a motion detector, and I’ll check it to see who’s visiting (usually deer, raccoons, and the like). But this time, nothing. So I stood there for a while to see if anything was hanging around in the woods. Then I saw this flash of movement. And again. It turns out a bat had triggered the light. The light attracted insects, and when the bat swooped in for a snack, it would retrigger the light, attracting more insects. Eventually, I imagine it got full and the light timed out normally. When I was a kid, on summer nights you could watch the bats hanging around the street lights, picking off the moths and such.

  6. says

    Didn’t the Spaniards mine bat guano out of South American caves a couple of centuries ago? I recall reading that the deposits were several feet thick.

  7. Jazzlet says

    We had bats living in the side passage of our house in Sheffield, the house was stone built (the walls were around 50cm deep on the ground floor) and the side passage was “inside”, neighbour’s wall, our wall, with part of a bedroom and part of the batroom over it. When we first moved there I could hear the bats as they searched for insects, twenty years later when we moved here I couldn’t, the bts were still there, my hearing not so much. There are bats around here, but I’m not sure where they are living.

  8. Ian King says

    I second that. Bats can crawl, but most of them launch by falling off whatever they’re hanging from. Ideally place a lost bat on a high branch.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Set up a place where they can roost by day and hibernate by winter.
    I don’t know if you are too far north to have those tiny marsupials in lieu of rats. They are adorable.

    Sadly, your winters are too cold for geckos. Maybe lizards with a knack for hibernating could be introduced?
    Breed a smaller variant of black bears and get bona fide drop bears.
    Minnesota has a lot of lakes and SNL informed me of the existence of land sharks, so… more opportunities.

  10. says

    Be careful. As @6 chigau (違う) warned, many have rabies. One of our members had 2 bats start to roost in the corner above his door. He wanted to get rid of them without hurting them. You can put up netting while they are out feeding, but that’s a lot of hassle. He read that they have very good memories about locations. He used an electric leaf blower to carefully blow them into the yard and in two years they have never come back.

  11. silvrhalide says

    Bats are great but not in the house. Even if they’re not doing anything else, their guano will destroy your house. Bats are outdoor pets. Seconding what chigau & shermanj are saying–rabies is a real issue with bats.

    Usually the best way to get rid of bats from the house is to 1) put up a bat house far away from anyplace you don’t want bats and 2) the leaf blower sounds like a pretty good idea to discourage house dwelling. Encourage their leaving the house after installing a bat house–if you leave it up for a couple of weeks, they will definitely find it & investigate. Then encourage their leaving with a leaf blower. Several of the local hiking trails near me have bat houses all along the trails. They are definitely inhabited and the bats are kind of cute in the evening when they fly all over the trail, eating insects. The added bonus is that bats are less likely to infest a house or garage in the area because they have more congenial alternatives.

    @5 Yeah, I was thinking of white nose syndrome too. Providing multiple alternative living options should help stop the spread.

  12. woozy says

    I remember I once found a bat flopping about in a bucket of collected rainwater. I picked it out and wrapped it in a towel and left it in the sun to dry on the edge of a table on the side of the deck above the rose bushes. It crawled out, dropped off the table, and took off and seemed to have fully recovered. It was a very nice feeling. Shudder to think if I had been a half hour later to go to the porch.

  13. says

    The bat might have been too cold and not had the energy to climb up somewhere to fly. If it is still there today and you feel comfortable getting close then wear some thick leather gloves and pick it up lightly and put it somewhere high where it can glide. because they can’t take off from the ground.
    My partner does bat surveys and when they get too cold they won’t fly away, they are kept in a warm box while they process them for pit tag injections and biopsies so they can fly away afterwards.

  14. jenorafeuer says

    Out at our family’s summer cabin in the Kootenay Boundary (just across the Canadian border north of Spokane) we’d get bats all the time, eating the local insects at night. One year when we had wood leaning up against the boathouse for use in a project, we pulled away a big sheet of plywood to discover that a bat had decided to curl up in the little triangle between the boathouse wall, the leaning sheets of plywood, and the stacked 2x4s on the sand. Bat was not happy that somebody had turned the lights on while it was sleeping, and flew off after squeaking annoyedly at us a few times.

  15. BACONSQAUDgaming says

    Cute little guy!
    When I was a teenager, a bat someone made its way into my parents bedroom at our cottage. Then it flew into another room, and was doing lengths for a while. We tried to find it in the morning, but somehow it got out.
    I’d like to have a pet bat (broad definition), but they don’t seem to be very common where I live now.

  16. Jim Balter says

    @9 Not just Spaniards and not just South America. E.g., Carlsbad Cavern was once a thriving bat guano mine.

  17. StevoR says

    @21. PZ Myers : Excellent news. Well done.

    Haven’t seen them personally but I gather we have microbats locally (maybe this species? https://www.allaboutbats.org.au/little-forest-bat/ ) that I’m told nest under the bark of Acacia pycananth or Giolden wattle trees.

    We do have a colony of Flying Foxes in the city nesting in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens which I have seen and, yes, sadly, there is an issue with bats carying diseases including Lyssaviruses. As for the history of mining guano well, its truly batshit!

  18. StevoR says

    Sigh. Correction here that’s Acacia pycnantha the Golden Wattle which is Australia’s national floral emblem as well as a very common understory species locally. (https://www.anbg.gov.au/emblems/aust.emblem.html )

    The Flying Foxes are Grey-headed flying Foxes* (Pteropus poliocephalus) and have suffered greatly in recent extreme heatwaves with many dying which is yet another worrying sign for our future.

    See :


    PS. Hope this works as a comment I posted before with an ABNC link on the Infinite thread about the largest crocodile in captivity didn’t go through for some reason..

    .* See : https://www.allaboutbats.org.au/grey-headed-flying-fox/

  19. John Morales says

    The bat is OK! When we checked on it this morning, it had flown away.

    Any neighbourhood cats around? ;)