This page has moved to a new address.

Fortress Home

In the "Cult of Escapism": Fortress Home

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fortress Home

It’s finally over. After everything I’ve tried, I think I can finally say I beat the bats. Or,

For the past seven months, I’ve had bats entering my home at night, flapping in and waking me up just in time to see them pooping on the floor. Each morning, I’ve cleaned bat feces from at least one, but usually several spots throughout the house. This week, I screened the space between wall and ceiling, creating a bat-proof, bat free fortress. Booyah.
Seven months of silly, ineffective schemes preceded this current strategy. At first, I simply slept lightly and jumped awake with broom in hand, hoping to scare the bats away forever. They returned, pooping, and I tried some PETA friendly tactics. Throughout the process, my bat bloodlust increased and I killed two with blunt force (stick and broom) and switched to poisoning bananas, which may have killed about a half dozen bats (though none died on the spot, so I can’t confirm anything).

Chibri, nailing in the screen

Finally, I realized that the volume of feces had actually increased, despite my manic efforts, and I decided to swallow the cost and buy screening in the city. Fifty five dollars later, I had 74 feet of screen and a pound of nails. It was on.
I contracted my landlord’s very handy son, Chibri, (who had already built my latrine, shower, and all of my windows) and with a pair of ladders and hammers, we spent the morning sealing the house.
Early on in the process, a bat crawled out of a space in my wall and flew just past Chibri. They had been nesting inside and I had been unable to find them (they’re tiny). Later that morning, I was on the ladder, nailing in some screen, when a bat tried to crawl out and got stuck in the screening. Bad move. I beat him to death with the hammer and later took the picture at the top of this post (I told you I had a bloodlust…I’m a little worried about myself).
We also had to set fire to two bees’ nests and then climb, headfirst, into the spot where they were swarming and trying to rebuild. Ten tense minutes later, I descended the ladder unharmed – Panamanian bees definitely aren’t as angry or aggressive as American bees.

The screen closes the space between wall and ceiling

Two bees nests, two bats, and a pound of nails later, the house was closed. That night, Laura stopped by and caught me swinging the broom at a bat that couldn’t escape. He flew towards what were once wide entrances and found the screen instead. I had considered closing the door and making the house a sealed Killing Floor – just me against them - but decided it was best to just leave the doors open and let them leave (the broom was extra persuasion).
For some reason, I had assumed the bats would fly repeatedly into the screen, even though I knew they used radar to avoid objects (imagine if they didn’t: Flap, flap, WHAM – ok, not there…flap, flap, flap, WHAM – ok, maybe left…).
I now sit in a feces-free house that I’ve renamed Fortress Home. Some sparrows and beetles have tried and failed to fly in and I assume bats have been similarly deterred and this makes me extremely happy. If this fortress fails, I’m renaming my screen-wall the Maginot Line. Or maybe just setting my house on fire.


At September 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM , Blogger Stephen said...

Nice, glad to see you have also been victorious in your war on small vermin. My house has been mouse (and snake) free for more than a month, though i have killed 2 this week in my office at the Alcaldia.

At September 22, 2011 at 9:32 PM , Blogger Ila said...

if it's the fortress now does that make it the bat cave before?

At September 22, 2011 at 9:33 PM , Blogger Ila said...



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home