Sarah Stultz: Have you ever had a bat in your house?

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I’ve been challenged with bad eyesight ever since elementary school.

Unless you’re within a couple inches of my face, I only see blurs of color with absolutely zero detail when I take my contacts out and don’t wear my glasses.

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Last week I was reminded of this when I woke up early to try to get a few things done before the day began. As I walked into the small bathroom that is attached to our master bedroom, I noticed something was off — there was something dark on the floor of the front of the walk-in shower. The shower itself is white, as is the shower curtain, so it is easy to spot something different in color.

My heart skipped a beat right then and there as I knew it wasn’t something good. Without fully being able to see, I reached over to jostle the shower curtain that was right next to this dark spot, and I could see movement and hear a noise.

Having had two bats before in our house previously and another one in a previous house we owned, I recognized the horrifying sound that I have heard them make before.

The situation reminded me of one time when I was a child visiting the beach with my family. I didn’t have my glasses on because we were swimming in the ocean, and I almost picked up a jellyfish that had washed ashore because I thought it was a seashell.

But the experience last week I’d argue was more traumatic because this creature was contained within the walls of my home — and at that time in a small bathroom — not to mention it was something that could fly up at any moment’s notice.

I quickly backed out of the room as I grabbed everything I needed to get ready for the day and then shut the door.

My husband, thankfully, has handled the bats before, and I decided to wait and see if he could get this one. As long as the door was shut I was hopeful it would still be there when he could take care of it.

But when we opened the door again, it was no longer in the same spot I had left it. We scoured the bathroom hoping it had just moved somewhere else, and he could dispose of it — but it was nowhere to be found! Needless to say, that’s pretty horrifying.

About an hour later, I was in the main bathroom and he was down the stairs in the living room, when I heard him shout my name from the living room.

I looked down the steps to see the bat flying around the room.

Though my husband initially had a bit of a panic — and our little chihuahua quickly scurried up the stairs — the bat ultimately stopped flying, and my husband trapped it in a container with a lid and got it out of the house.

We think the bats are somehow getting into the house through the heating vents, and we’re eager to figure out a way to somehow prevent that from ever happening again.
In the meantime, I continue to sleep with one eye open.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.