General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

So, there's a bat in my basement. How did it get down there and is it okay if we ignore it?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (11057points) August 25th, 2012

The house is from the 1850’s. I rent and have a separate apartment in the house. There’s an old, gnarly basement. The only things that are stored down there are old paint cans, some tools and a lawn mower.

I went down there to get some vise grips with my g/f and she noticed a huge bat clung to some rolled up carpet that was resting against the wall.

One of my biggest fears is having living creatures fly at me when we’re both in a confined space. I nearly had a panic attack when my g/f pointed out the bat.

Is okay to leave it down there? How in the hell did it get down there?

Just so you all know, I am never going down there again.

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27 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My mother had a bat get into her house at night. She wasn’t sure if it bit her, so she had to get the full course of rabies shots. They hurt. Kill it if you need to with a tennis racket.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I don’t mean to freak you out, but bats can carry rabies and it is probably not best to just leave it alone. Even if it is healthy, I doubt it will do very well in your basement, so little guy probably wants back outside. I’m sure you could call someone if you aren’t comfortable removing it yourself.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@DigitalBlue I’ll call the landlord.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I didn’t even see it. I couldn’t look at it. I pushed Nikki out of the way to get up the stairs, lol.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

And here I was all brave saying that I wanted to go up and check out the attic. That was last week.

Not now.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Mama_Cakes You could also call an animal control business. There are a lot of pest management firms. If you’re not comfortable with getting rid of it hire a pro.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I’m sure that the landlord will take care of it.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Hah, I would have died laughing if I’d seen this.

I think the landlord is the perfect place to start. There is only one, so luckily it shouldn’t be a major issue. I would make sure that they do something about it, though. Unfortunately landlords have a reputation for letting things slide, and in my experience that stereotype is often based in reality.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

He has a bunch of mice traps set up downstairs. It’s big house and the basement is rather large.

I’m calling him right now. If he doesn’t help out, I’ll get the guy across the hall to take care of it.

When I was living with my previous g/f, my cat brought in a sparrow. My kitty ran downstairs with it in his mouth. Then he let it go and the thing was flying around the basement bumping into things. My ex was trying to catch it with gloves and I was screaming, covering my head behind the couch. I was useless. lol

syz's avatar

Animal control will remove it, but in NC at least they will automatically euthanize it. There are commercial operations like Critter Catchers that will catch, remove and release. Or you can have someone use a fishing net or towel, but keep in mind that rabies is epidemic in some areas.

Kardamom's avatar

You might have to do a search online for a local organization that might be able to help you humanely remove the bat from your cellar. Use search terms like wildlife rescue, animal rehabilitation, maybe even contact the local zoo or a veterinarian.

Oh I just found a place in Michigan that are Bat Specialists This will
probably help.

At least you don’t have bats in your belfry : )

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t blame you for wanting it out of your basement, but bats are good guys, so I hope no one feels compelled to kill it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Jeruba Yes, they are good guys, but if it’s a choice between killing it and getting bitten guess who’s on the short end of the stick.

Jeruba's avatar

Sure, @Adirondackwannabe. That doesn’t make it a first resort, though.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Just open a window and give it a clear path so it can “see” the opening . The bat’s sonar will image the opening and it will leave.
The critter does not want to be in your house any more than you want him there.

I consider a bat one of the good guys and would do my best not to kill it.

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @syz and @Jeruba, look in your local Yellow Pages or the equivalent for animal control organisations (voluntary ones such as the one @syz mentions) who will come and capture the bat and release it. No need to kill it.

augustlan's avatar

We had a bat in our house once, and I still have no clue how it got in. It flew down the stairwell, and one of my cats jumped up and caught it in mid-flight. Unfortunately, she just injured it enough that my husband had to kill it. It was a freaky experience, for sure! I’ve had other birds trapped in my house twice before. They both flew down our chimney (at separate times) in the house I was living in at the time, and we used a sheet to guide each of them out the door.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

There is a door to the basement that leads outside. I’ll open it and leave it open for awhile.

I called the landlord and left a message.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

The sun is going down and hopefully he’ll fly out. I’m sure that the landlord will by come and have a look, though. He’s good for things like that.

Bellatrix's avatar

That’s a good idea @Mama_Cakes. Is there evidence that it has been there for a while and hasn’t been out? Or do you think the bat has already found a way in and out? Is there a hole it could have come in through? I am just thinking if it came in through a hole/broken window or something it may just keep coming back if you don’t find the entry point.

gailcalled's avatar

Bats are wonderful; they devour millions of insects and should be left alone to do their thing.
They will not hurt you.

There are organizations designed to protect the diminishing bat population. They are being wiped out by
white nose syndrome.

“Bats are misunderstood creatures. Repulsive to many and feared by others, these amazing, beneficial animals have an undeserved bad reputation.”

“They are the only mammal that can truly fly (flying squirrels glide, not fly), and most bat species are insect-eating machines, performing incredible aerial acrobatics as they chase and devour 20–50% of their weight in insects each night.”

“Bats are mammals; they are warm-blooded, have fur or hair, give birth to babies, and nurse the babies with milk”


Mama_Cakes's avatar

They’re not the most attractive little fellers, but they’re awfully cool. I love seeing them fly around at night; dipping, circling, figure-eighting..

syz's avatar

@Mama_Cakes Aw, how can you say that? (I especially like the part where he rocks himself to sleep)

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Sold. The rocking part did me in, too.

rooeytoo's avatar

Depends on where they are and how many as you can see here. Here we don’t worry about rabies but there is the Hendra virus to worry aboutl. I know they are busy as bees when it comes to pollination duties, but they are not my favorite creatures. Plus they are not pleasant smelling! Despite the fact that they carry this virus which attacks horses, humans and dogs, it is illegal to try to move them or kill them (unless you are aboriginal) however it is legal to kill kangaroos and dingos. Go figure!

Bellatrix's avatar

@Mama_Cakes, my sister used to look after orphaned animals and she had a bat to take care of once. They are the sweetest looking things. They have beautiful faces and their wings feel amazing. I had ‘Batty’ lying on my chest one day with his wings spread out.

They are responsible for the transmission of lyssavirus (which belongs to the rabies family) so I am not sure I would be snuggling with one these days but back then, I don’t think the connection had been made or at least publicised.

wilma's avatar

I also live in an old house and unfortunately have bats get into my house on a regular basis. I’m not sure how they get in, I know that I have some living in my attic. I have also found one in my basement. I have to deal with them often.

Usually I try to capture them and release them far away from my house. If you don’t take them far away and to a place where they have another place to roost inside, (like your house) they will come right back to your house.
They do want to live in your house, maybe not inside the living space with you, but your attic and basement are perfect for them. They want to be warm and sheltered just like you do.
I usually try to knock them down with a broom or bad(t)minton racket then I put an icecream bucket over them and slide something thin and firm (a record album works great for this) under the bucket and then get the lid on.

I take the critter at least ten miles away, I take them to an orchard with an old barn. I always do it in daylight. I want the bat to seek shelter someplace other than my house, and make that their new home. I know if the animal has babies in my house, they will probably try to come back and that is probably best since I don’t want the babies dying in my attic.

I have had a close encounter with a bat, it was on my face and in my hair. It was awful as you can imagine. Fortunately we did capture that bat. Otherwise I might have had to have the preventive rabies shots.
You have 72 hours to get the shots if you are infected with rabies. The alternative is usually death.
You must have the bat, or other animal tested, and the bat must be dead with the head intact.

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