Bat neighbors

MOST EVERY morning, after café, bagels and Philly cream cheese, lite, I wash the dishes and step out to the downstairs terraza to sweep. This is especially necessary in Springtime because the season creates plenty of dust.

broomIn July or August the terraza may be awash with blown-in rainwater, but that’s not an issue in Springtime, which is a time of dust. And bats.

This morning I arrived out on the terraza, took a look to my right and there on one of the wooden shelves was an ample supply of dry bat shit, guano they call it.

My gaze traveled upward to the red clay roof tiles, which is where the bats hang out during the day in Springtime but summer too.

I know they’re up there, but I’ve never seen them up there, just the proof — there on the shelf — of their presence. And if you’re on the terraza around dusk, you’ll spot them flying out and high on their nightly dining expeditions. However, they do it so quickly you can’t see where they start from, specifically, their hangar. No matter. The guano spills the beans.

Getting a brush, I flipped the little turds to the floor where they were included in the sweep.

We once found a bat hanging from the ceiling fixture in the downtown Casita’s back bedroom, just above the bed. He couldn’t have been there long because the bed was still unsullied by, well, you know. My lovely wife had gone to the Casita alone, and I quickly received a phone call informing me, hysterically, that “something” was hanging from the light fixture.

What is it? I inquired. She did not know, she responded. Some sort of beast.

I hurried to the Casita — about 15 minutes from the Hacienda — and immediately saw what it was. Nothing confusing about it. Women are funny.

I got a shoe box, donned a pair of leather gloves, and “encouraged” the little bugger to move into the box, which he did with little fuss. For lack of any other solution, I tossed him into a grassy area nearby. I hope everything turned out well for him, though I doubt it did.

How did he get into the Casita? I scratched my noodle, figuratively speaking, for the next few hours. It’s a modern construction, well sealed, and I was puzzled. Later, downtown on the plaza, sitting at a sidewalk table with a hot espresso, it hit me. The chimney! Well, duh.

There’s a small, non-functioning fireplace in the living room.

The next morning, I went to the roof and closed the opening with screen.

Problem solved.

20 thoughts on “Bat neighbors”

  1. Retiring to central Wisconsin, my parents were frequently “visited” by bats. I remember one night being awoken by one’s fluttering and another time hearing fluttering stepping up to the attic in the middle of January when one would expect they’d be dormant! I’m just not fond of them.

    I think you handled your casita guest particularly calmly!

    Like

    1. Perry: Bats are widely misunderstood. They are good critters and essential to many aspects of the ecosystem. Dracula movies did them a huge disservice. Vampire bats are just one type of bat, a minority that few people encounter. Most bats just want to eat their bugs and go home to sleep the day away.

      If only they were a little less ugly.

      Like

  2. About a year prior, while lounging in Suzie’s 200-year-old farm house, a mischievous bat made his way down the chimney flue and into our abode. He was flying to and fro, recklessly, with abandon. I was yelling like a little girl every time the little fanged rodent swooped by.

    Suzie, upstairs in the guest bathroom, overheard all this, and was quite amused at my plight. Between my cries of fear one could hear her laughing jocularly, thoroughly enjoying my plight. Suddenly, as bats are wont to do, he made a sharp right, and flew straight up the stairs to the second floor. In my moment of temporary relief, I could hear the sudden sounds of a female shrieking in utter fear. Alas, the shoe was on the other foot! I was overwhelmed with a mixture of relief and laughter. I laughed so hard I rolled off the couch and onto the floor.

    I went to the barn, grabbed a fishnet, and eventually caught the little bugger mid-flight. Released him back into the blackness of night. And had a good laugh with my honey!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marco: That is one swell tale, but I am appalled to hear that you melted into a mess of wussiness at the sight of a little bat. We have to leave that to the womenfolk. Don’t you know that?!

      Like

  3. Bats are also pollinators and seed dispersers, lapping nectar from flowers and eating fruit. There are a bunch of different types of bats (I forgot the count) but even vampires are mostly found where livestock (cows, horses, pigs) is found. No worries. Just don’t handle a bat with bare hands. The larger insectivores and herbivores, and certainly carnivores, do have teeth which they will try to use on a strange beast holding them hostage. There are bat rescue orgs to call for injured or ailing bats that have been grounded. They are treated according to their health problems and released back into the wild unless they are too impaired to be released, in which case those can be cared for safely by said bat sanctuary orgs. Bats are important to the health of the planet, as aforementioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carole: I doubt there are many bat sanctuary folks here in Mexico. Maybe. Certainly not like what would be found north of the Rio Bravo. I wish.

      Vital to the planet’s health indeed, and to ours. Boy, do they ever munch pesky bugs.

      Like

  4. We spent the weekend in Comala and told our host that we were bothered by fruit bats ( they are attracted by the numerous hummingbird feeders mi esposo makes). He told us that to solve the problem once and for all, we should hang wind chimes in the yard. We are going to try this. BTW, I recommend the black sandy beaches of Cuyutlan. We were the only gringos there yesterday, and took the boat ride through the mangrove swamps, from the Tortuguario – an interesting trip through the tunnels cut through the mangroves. I fell off the rotted pier into the crocodile infested waters, but I lived.

    Like

    1. Jeez, Bonnie! Watch those rotted piers, will you? If you die, the average Gringo IQ in the Chapala area will plummet at least 20 points. As for the wind chimes, that brings up an interesting story. The bat I caught hanging from the light fixture in the Casita was the second bat I have captured here. The first was caught up in nylon strings of a wind chime on our downstairs terraza. I put that little bugger into a shoe box, waited till night and released him from the roof. He took off quite handily and, it appeared, happily.

      Like

  5. Please watch out for the dust that has bat poop in it. Bats can carry a fungus called Histoplasmosis. Somehow I ingested this, and it cost me 1/3 of my right lung. Wear a dust mask at least. This is a problem in the American southwest primarily, a place I have never visited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob: Long time, no hear, as they say. Funny you should mention this because you warned me about this years ago, and I now think of it and you every time I sweep bat crap. This morning was no exception. I don’t wear a mask, but I do hold my breath. Better than nothing, I guess.

      Like

    2. Histoplasmosis is also a problem for those who raise chickens, believe it or not. We used to worry about this when we sent our kids to clean out the chicken coop.

      Like

      1. Bonnie: Sending your kids to clean the chicken coop these days would be seen as child abuse. You would be incarcerated, and the children would be placed with a nice family that votes Democrat.

        Like

  6. I’m a big fan of real bats. Unfortunately, this was misunderstood by my ex, F, who for one birthday gave me an incredibly ugly T-shirt with a screened print of a bat on it. And even more unfortunately, I was not able to feign delight.

    I prefer my bats either alive and flying around, or highly stylized, a la the Batman logo. But the real thing doesn’t make for a pretty T-shirt.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there don’t seem to be any bats in the city. Pity, that.

    Like

Comments are closed.