What happens when you walk into your house and discover a bat hanging in your kitchen?
My husband and I returned home on Monday from a 5-day getaway to our favorite little cottage. The Willow House Cottage Suite is located in Latrobe and is the perfect spot to unwind. It took me a couple of days to shed work responsibilities and finally relax, but once I did, it was delightful. I really hated leaving and coming back home.
The cats were happy to see us as we arrived. After some serious kitty time, we started unloading the car. I was heading into the kitchen to start unpacking the cooler and stopped when I saw my husband frozen in place, staring at something.
"What is that?" He pointed to the black curtain at the top of the basement steps.
"It's a bat," I said.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Bill. It's a bat."
The brown critter was hanging upside down on the curtain.
"What are we going to do?" His voice trembled... just a bit.
I assured him, "I'll take care of it." And I did.
A few years ago, we discovered a bat flying around our basement. It was a cold February day. I have no idea what it was doing there or for how long. Fortunately, it landed above a door in the basement, allowing me to capture it fairly easily. I told my husband to go upstairs and bring me a flat cookie sheet. He obeyed. I think he was just relieved that I was willing to tackle the problem.
Holding a clear plastic container in one hand, I carefully slipped the cookie sheet behind the bat and covered it with the container. Captured! I carried the intruder outside and released it, much to its chagrin. The bat spread its wings in the yard near the melting snow and hissed at me. The sun was blindingly bright against the white canvas. After a few minutes, the bat took flight and disappeared.
On Monday night, I used the same technique, although this time I used a sieve with a long handle. I wasn't sure I'd be successful because of the bat's location -- it was hanging on a curtain, which didn't give me the solid background I feared I'd need to keep the mammal flat against the metal sheet. I was pretty sure it would escape and take an aerial tour of my house. That was something I wasn't looking forward to.
Cautiously, I slipped the cookie sheet behind the bat as I covered it with the sieve. The docile creature submitted to my attempt and I carried it outside ensconced between the two. Bill didn't want me releasing it from the patio, but since I was barefoot, he had to be the one to carry it back to the woods. He crossed the yard, carefully laid the cookie sheet down, and slowly, from as much distance as possible, lifted the sieve.
I have no idea how long the bat stayed there. I just know I had too much to do to stand there and watch. A bit later, it was gone.
Why am I telling you all of this? Quite simply because I wanted you to know what to do if you find yourself at home with a bat. As long as the bat is perched somewhere, grab a cookie sheet and a sieve and your problem's solved. It's a humane solution after all. And you know, #kindnessmatters!
File this under "Best tips from Green Grandma" or "Tips from Green Grandma I'm never doing!"