Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Drive me batty.

Did you ever hear about the movie Snakes on a Plane and the best lines ever uttered in a movie (Samuel L. Jackson)? If you didn't, this will be lost on you:

Mother F***ing Bats in my Mother F***ing Attic.

We have bats. Lots of bats. Hubby went upstairs to get some rubbermaid bins out of the attic so I could swap out my winter stuff for my summer stuff--covered in bat pee and poop. There's only one enclosed space up there and we have TONS of stuff--furniture, baby stuff, just tons of stuff in boxes and bins and bags.

Panic ensues. (mine not his).

I call him from work because I decide it is absolutely imperative that we hire a bat guy immediately lest our things be ruined and our baby get rabies. I find three names in the phone book. Bat guy #1 calls me back and sounds like he knows what he is doing, tells me the proper way to rid a house of bats and then bat proof it, for a range in price from $1,800 to $4,000. Bat guy #2 sounds like a crazy old coot and says he will come to the house with a sprayer and gallons of bat death which he can spray in the attic to kill the bats (but somehow this chemical won't harm me) and then he will collect the dead bats in a bucket and leave. The colony will then smell death and not return for the season, for the low price of about $300. Bat guy #3 is called "Adirondack Dundee" in an apparent ripoff of the deceased crocodile hunter (he dressed the part too). He sounds reasonable, has a website with helpful information, and can come the same day. He comes to the house, walks us through the attic (ok walks hubby through the attic while I stood on the top step too creeped out to do any more) and shows us where the bats like to be, analyzes the poop (yes I know it's called guano) and tells us we have about 5-25 "big browns" in residence. This guy then does a basement walkthrough and we go outside with him so he can point out all of the places that bats and assorted vermin could crawl in through the roof, sophets, etc. He then quotes us a price of $3,695. We pay him his $100 inspection fee and vow to think about it.
Four grand could insulate and drywall my attic! Instead, it will freakin' bat proof? Not too sure what we are going to do yet, but the bat hunter said we could put stuff near the window (bats hate heat and light) and under plastic sheeting and it should be okay. Apparently bat droppings aren't really dangerous unless there are huge quantities and then they can grow some death toxin or something. He knew I am a lawyer (I like to work that into conversations with potential contractors) so I think he chose his words carefully, so I'm not so worried, but more grossed out by the whole thing.


Jackie said...


We had to de-bat my grandmother's attic years ago. I will ask my dad who they used or what they did. I will investigate with the family to see what they say. You should do some further research online. Good Luck!!!

AvianMaven said...

There's no need to pay that much. You can purchase a bat deterrent that will make the bats find your attic to be an intolerable place, and they should leave all on their own. After that, all you'll have to do is seal up the entry point. Check out Bird-X (800-662-5021)...they have a eco-friendly and humane deterrent that they will ship to you, and it is very effective. No chemicals involved. Also, be careful when cleaning up bat droppings. You do not want to aerolize them and release the spores into the air. You breathe those in and you are at high risk for histoplasmosis, a potentially deadly infection.