Trapped bat: good if you're The Joker, bad if you're me
July 10, 2007 7:48 AM   Subscribe

There is a small brown bat trapped in my there any way I can get it to leave of its own accord?

He's stuck between my storm window, which is about 1/3 of the way down, and my screen window, which is all the way down. The main window is closed, and the window itself is about 20' from the ground. Flickr photo here.

Every ten minutes or so, he shifts from upside down to right side up and back again. If he moved down a couple of inches, he'd find his way out.

Is there anything I can do, either now from where I am or later from a ladder, to lure him in that direction? Even if my state didn't impose gigantic fines for bat murder, I'd really just like to see the poor little guy make it out of there alive.
posted by gnomeloaf to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Go upstairs, open main window, bang like hell on screen from the inside until bat freaks out and leaves. If the storm window is a few inches from the screen and the bat doesn't seem too disturbed, maybe you can agitate it by doing something like squirting water or canned air at it.
posted by lizzicide at 7:57 AM on July 10, 2007

Can you open your storm window from the top? If so maybe you can squirt him with some canned air to flush him out.
posted by tastybrains at 7:57 AM on July 10, 2007

Whatever you do, wear gloves and long sleeves.
posted by amusem at 8:07 AM on July 10, 2007

Oh. Right. Storm window is on the inside, screen on the outside.
posted by lizzicide at 8:09 AM on July 10, 2007

I had this happen once or twice and I assure you, it's not stuck. It just wants to be there.

If you really don't want to chase it around your house, close the window and try to remove the screen from the outside of the house.

That wasn't an option for me since I couldn't reach the window from the outside, so I fashioned a net out of a coat hanger and the bag that onions come in and pried it out. When it was in the net, I had to grab it with a large winter glove and escort it out of the building.
posted by advicepig at 8:11 AM on July 10, 2007

Response by poster: Some more info: I can't open the window from the top at all. Startling it doesn't do anything -- I get the impression he doesn't have a lot of room to move around in there. The main window only opens about as far as the storm window does. So I can't spray or do anything else from a top down position indoors, unfortunately.

And yeah, advicepig, perhaps I'm misjudging his motivations. He's moving around quite a bit, though.
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:16 AM on July 10, 2007

He's probably not trapped. A cute little guy not unlike the one in your picture did the very same thing at a friend's house about this time last year. He came and went at will for some months. You have a pet!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:26 AM on July 10, 2007

Here's a video from Bat Conservation International on catching bats in various situations. They don't have "wedged in window" but I assume he will pop out eventually and you can catch him elsewhere.

Thank you for not freaking out on Mr. Bat.
posted by lemuria at 9:29 AM on July 10, 2007

The designs at Bat Conservation to build a bat house are similar in shape to your window gap. He probably does want to be there and will leave on his own at sunset. Be sure and close or remove the screen after he leaves, so he won't come back.
posted by happyturtle at 9:56 AM on July 10, 2007

I would remove the screen now, if you can. We had this happen at my parents house and it ate a dime sized hole into the screen to escape (after being shut into the window after biting my dad - who wanted to take him in to check for rabies).
posted by blackkar at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2007

A couple summers ago I had a bat sneak into my fourth story apartment through a busted window screen in the middle of the night and fly around scaring the shit out of me 'n the better half. It got stuck between a different set of windows like yours (I even have a similar photo), and I tried coaxing it out by tapping above it but it wouldn't move. We left for awhile and propped open the porch door, but it eventually died in the same spot between the windows in the hot afternoon sun.

So, uh, don't just tap on the window and expect it to get out, that's my advice.
posted by look busy at 2:04 PM on July 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the suggestions and responses. My bat left for presumably darker places on his own sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 tonight -- we'd decided to check periodically overnight and talk tactics tomorrow if there'd been no change. The storm window is now pushed all the way up, and my six year old's got a story and some pictures to show her friends tomorrow.

Thanks again.
posted by gnomeloaf at 5:24 PM on July 10, 2007

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