Friday, September 25, 2009

Did I Mention the Bats?

So, we have bats in the attic. $826 worth of bats in the attic.

I don't know which of the twelve types of bats that live in Illinois they are, but I'm told that it's a bachelor colony, so there's somewhere between one and a dozen bats. And they're in my attic, which means they're hanging out right above my craft room.

I have nothing against bats. If they made decent pets, I'd have a pet colony. I once went to a Parks Department class about bats, and was rather surprised to find that I was one of the three people not of elementary school-age in the class. But I am trying to be a responsible adult homeowner, and I know that having animals (other than the VeryBadDogs) in the house is a Very Bad Thing.

So when I heard something squirrel-sized moving around above the attic one night, I called the good folks of Critter Control of Peoria. They sent a very nice guy the same day, and he was able to diagnose bats pretty quickly. I think I'm lucky - squirrels or raccoons could get a lot more expensive, because you pay a per-animal charge for removal. Bats are a package deal.

Jeff, the nice guy from Critter Control, is going to install one-way valves so the bats can leave but not return. Then he's going to seal up the holes that the bats are using to get in. Then he's going to seal up all the other holes he found, so no other critter can start using them to get in. An animal exclusion inspection was something I wanted to do eventually, so the bats have just re-arranged our moving-in agenda a little bit.

Cleaning up the guano and the bat-damaged insulation? That's my job. I'm now really appreciating the hardware store gift cards we got as wedding gifts, because they provided us with a shop vac.

My other job? Celebrating the bats in our home decor! I found a wonderful book of Art Nouveau cross-stitch designs at the Antique Pattern Library. Since we're trying to decorate our Craftsman-inspired house in a roughly-period style, this pattern seemed absolutely perfect. Eventually, the bats will probably go in the guest room. The people staying there won't have to know that we also had guest-bats for awhile.


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