I don't feel special in this regard though, since quite a few of my neighbours also have a few bats flying out of their roofs on evenings as well.
However, the ones that have been residing here were now out of control. They had become quite noisy and I was hearing them sometimes during the day. Having to carry on a conversation in a loud voice to drown them out was not my idea of fun.
They seemed to be having a GREAT time, partying in my roof. It sounded like they were playing poker or having a Vegas lifestyle above my head. I swear I heard a roulette wheel on a couple of occasions.
I had served them an eviction notice, but still they continued to squat with total disregard for my feelings. It's prime real estate they told me, and they had no intentions of leaving.
There ain't a more stubborn person living in this neighbourhood than you know who....so guess what?
They're out of here. No more "Batta Cabana"(*). It was time to pay the piper. Their time here was definitely up.
Reading on the internet, I found lots of quack ways on how to get rid of bats, from strobe lights to moth balls, but the one that made sense to me was the exclusion method.
So it began. The exclusion method entails allowing the bats to get out, but restricting their access back in.
I got myself some insect screen mesh and sat down at my sewing machine to make a long tube.
Sewing the bat tube
My home is a two storey building, thus it needed to be long enough to reach the ground.
I attached a small butterfly net at the top of the tube.
This was placed over the entrance hole to allow them access out, but not back in.
Once they have all moved on, I will be able to complete my roof repairs.
The bat hole covered entirely to allow movement out only
The tube reaching to the lower level
One of my girlfriends had been complaining for ages about the bats that were consuming the fruits in her orchard. Little did she know at the time that the bats were living in her roof, and their eatery was right outside their place of abode. How smart was that?
When I told her of my plans, she asked if I would help her out as well......no problem.
Once I've got my house in order, I will be available to help. It's a work in progress, and I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Many of my neighbours are now considering the same process to take care of their bat problem as well.
Honestly, the exclusion method did not work that well for me, since my bats seemed to be rather smart.
I therefore relied on another simpler method.
I had two butterfly nets which I keep to trap any frogs in my garden, so that they don't harm Mr. BrownBerts with their poisonous toxins.
These two nets, along with a covered bucket became my BFF's in the bat eviction process.
Very early in the morning and again in the evening, I took up my position on the upstairs patio, where I could easily reach the hole, and rounded them up that way.
Through it all, I kept on reading about their habits online, so I could understand them better.
I also learned that the saying "as blind as a bat" is not really true, since bats can indeed see.
All along, I thought they did not like light, but these bats ventured out in the early evening way before the sun had sunk below the horizon, and would return to the roost in the early morning when the sun was already up, and blinding my eyes with its bright rays. These were the party animals of the bat world.
I found out too that there are six kinds of bats (chiropteran fauna) in Barbados, and I believe my squatters were fruit eating bats.
I did see one fairly large brown bat among them, and wondered if it was the queen, like the kind in the bee hive community.
My bats were black and leathery looking, and very smart, vicious little creatures that had me cussing like a pirate (not really!) when they outsmarted me with their tactics.
I'll tell you how. They rallied together, where one or two would approach as if they were headed into the hole, and I would concentrate on them. In the meanwhile another one would fly in safe and sound, while I was still doing a "sing and dance number" with the others. They pulled this stunt on me several times.
They realised that I was not backing down, and I think they finally got the memo. I saw only one bat knocking around this morning, and soon he'll be gone as well. I will then fix the hole and complete my roof repairs.
Wish me luck.
Until next time, same bat channel.......
A bat study of bats in Barbados.
Another study here on Catching Bats in Barbados.
More bat reading here.
(*) If you are a lover of Barry Manilow, you will remember his "Copa Cabana" song, which is exactly how the bats were operating in my roof.