Technically, it’s guano. As my A/C contractor was finishing up a repair late last week, he asked me if I wanted to see something “cool” in my attic. Spoiler: it wasn’t the new air conditioner.
I climbed the ladder and poked my head just above above the attic floor to see that my vent was hosting eight winged rats. Days later, this bat-chelor pad grew to 20 or more. Another spoiler: I did not think this was cool. This house party was about to get shut down.
I attempted to find a DIY remedy before calling local pest control companies. Eventually, I was referred to bat men at Bat & Squirrel Removal, Batman Wildlife and Chimney Sweep and Cape Fear Wildlife Control, all of whom recommended a similar plan of battack: a screen fixed outside the gable vent with a one-way valve that lets my party-goers out but not back in.
No bats were injured in the horror that is my actual life experience, but I did learn a few not-so-fun things about why being a bat expert is a thing:
- Bats play an important role in the ecosystem. But not in your attic.
- Most bat species live in colonies. If you see one in your house, there’s a good chance you gotta problem.
- And, you can’t touch this. Bats are protected by North Carolina law from May 1 through July 31.
- Their guano can carry a fungus. It’s known as histoplasma, which can turn to histoplasmosis in humans, aka a lung infection. Fun.
- Experts know their guano. If you think you have a bat problem, Certified Wildlife Damage Control Agents know what to do and what to look for.
The important question: Do I still live here? Yes, although I attempted to notify the landlord before remembering that I am indeed the landlord. May peace — and release — be with you.