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A Losing Battle

In the "Cult of Escapism": A Losing Battle

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Losing Battle

I’ve co-existed with a bat since February and, out of laziness, done nothing to stop his nightly entrances. But lately he’s been pooping on the floor and I’ve had enough. The following post comes from multiple journal entries over the past two weeks – a chronicle of my losing battle against my nocturnal roommate.
April 15
“I finally killed the bat. My heads up and ever-caring mother researched friendly ways to remove bats and stocked my mind with good ideas and good intentions. These ideas fell, with the bat, into the pit of my latrine.
Midday, I went to the latrine to investigate the best way to attach my new toilet seat (thanks parents, best birthday present ever). I lifted the seat and jumped, thinking I had just seen the world’s largest cockroach. A folded, hanging, until-recently sleeping bat glanced up at me (by the way, if bats are blind, how do they know they prefer dark places?). I eyed him from outside the latrine and considered my opportunity.
I practiced my attack by javelining a large stick into a pile of dirt nearby. I limbered up and approached the bowl. At peak limbering, I stabbed the bat full force and he dropped into the latrine like a small, dead animal dropping into a latrine. I can imagine few fates worse than his, but I guess you’ve got it coming when you hang over a latrine hole by one foot for several hours.
After he dropped, I looked in apprehensively, expecting the worst (i.e. the bat flying out of the darkness, directly at me, literally on fire and covered in poop) but saw only a smelly black tomb. To be sure, I dropped several bucketfuls of dirt and rocks into the hole.
Tonight I sleep without the melody of flapping wings.”
April 16
“I killed the wrong bat. One poor blood-lover lies at the bottom of my latrine, covered in dirt and feces, while his brother lives in the rafters of my room, feeding and flying free. So I have proved capable of murder, just not accurate murder. Tomorrow, I battle the bat for real.”
(Note – laziness won out again and I did nothing for over a week)
April 24
“I’m trying everything at once. After a three day trip, I came home to a floor full of bat poop and finally decided to do something. If I don’t kill, or at least permanently deter a bat tonight, I’m gonna be pissed.
One Deadly Banana

I’m counting on one of these tactics to work; I don’t have a backup plan.”

April 26
A Garlic Wall
“I need a backup plan. After a one day break, the bat is back and pooping. Last night, chasing him with a broom, I saw him fly over the walls of garlic and past the poisoned bananas. I think I heard him laughing. 
My friend David fixed his bat problem by hanging razor weed from the spaces in his ceiling. No one in my community seems to know where to find this magical plant but I continue to ask. Lengths of mesh or screening are still options but I hesitate, weighing the cost against my living stipend. So I’ve been trying to think of other ways to block the entrances. Pyrotechnics are definitely an option.
If the bat was nesting in my house, it would be different. My aforementioned ever-caring mother sent many solutions for ridding bats once they settle. But he seems to commute just to poop on my floor. Which really isn’t fair. If I knew where he lived, I could at least go poop on his floor and see how he liked it. Maybe then he’d get the idea. Or maybe it really is his brother in my latrine and he’s just avenging his smelly death.”
(Note – As of May 3rd, the bat has stopped pooping on the floor. I still hear him flying through the house at night but there’s nothing to clean in the morning. My defenses have since rotted so I doubt they are deterring him. The Berlin Wall may have descended over twenty years ago, but the Cold War continues in this volunteer’s house.)
A Bat House (I think)

Crushed garlic lines the space between the wall and the roof. Chunks of ripe banana spiked with rat poison lay in tempting locations throughout the house. A new broom leans against the wall next to my bed, in case things get physical. I built a bat house outside as an alternative feeding location (ironically, there’s a chunk of poisoned banana there too…so much for a peace offering).


At May 28, 2011 at 10:52 PM , Blogger Joy said...

i laughed so hard i woke people in my house up. SO GLAD YOU JOINED THE PEACE CORPS!!

At February 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM , Blogger bama said...

Hilarious! I have a friend from Florida who bought a cabin here in Tennessee that was infested with bats. Many bat stories grace my life. Glad not to have personal experience with them being in my room, though!


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