This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Batman visits Rensselaer

Ok, it was not the Batman of comic and movie fame. The batman who visited Rensselaer last week was a pest control specialist, and he visited my house because I had bats in the attic.

I knew I had bats because for the past few years I occasionally heard them in the wall near the entrance. I was not really sure what was making that scratching noise, but by a process of elimination figured that bats were the most likely source. Also, for the past few summers we have had several bats flying through the house. We became quite good at shooing them out the door--they needed a lot of encouragement.

I had no idea of what one does when one has bats in the attic until I noticed the truck below at a neighbor's house last year. I watched the guy from the truck walking around the roof and thought it might be about bats, so I later asked the neighbor if he had had a bat problem and got a recommendation. I learned that getting rid of bats was a bit more complicated than I expected because there is one species of bat that is protected. Getting rid of bats has to work around the protected species and the life cycle of the bat.

During the winter bats hibernate--that is one reason they really like warm attics. Then in the spring they wake up and become active, and after a month or two they have babies, which they leave behind when they leave at night to feast on bugs. The bat eradicator does not kill the bats, but gives them a one-way ticket out.
I called Chad last fall after the bats had gone into hibernation. He came out, checked the house and found that the tiny hole that they were using to come and go was up on the roof where a dormer connected to the house. He looked in the attic and from the droppings estimated that we had a colony of about 60 bats and told us that he could not do anything until the spring. The six-week window of getting rid of the bats between the time that they wean the young and hibernate, which my neighbor had used, was gone for the year. I would have to wait for the Spring six-week window between the time they come out of hibernation and give birth.

I was quite excited to get a call from him last week saying that he would be in town--someone had a pressing issue with squirrels and he wanted to get two jobs done for one trip. Chad lives in Clinton county, but no one county gives him enough work to make a living. He does a lot of jobs in the Lafayette area, but also goes as far south as Carmel and as far east as Muncie. Rensselaer is as far north as he goes. Naturally, he is concerned with rising gas prices--it is a big expense. And by the way, it is not cheap to get rid of your bats. I am not sure what it costs to get rid of the squirrels, raccoons, skunks, or any of the other critters he gets to deal with.
Here is what Chad installed. The bats can leave, but because the tube is slippery, they cannot get back in. I hope that the bats are gone already, but the tube will stay there until the end of bat season, and then he will remove it and seal the hole.
I should be bat free this summer, but my former tenants will be looking for new quarters. If you have a hole in your attic, and it can be a very small hole, they may be moving in with you. If they do, you now know that you can call Indiana Wildlife Specialists.


Anonymous said...

Just read you post on Laird's Landing. A river float is scheduled for May, 7th 10am through Rensselear. Call Jasper SWCD office for more details 219-866-8008 ext 115.

Anonymous said...

Yea for bat man!