Bats in Texas

February 2012 – I have never really come in contact with bats before moving to Texas.  I had seen them in movies and read about them, but I didn’t know you could find them in an average city such as Lake Jackson.  Apparently there are several pockets of bat populations here in northeastern Texas.  Bats did not come to our attention until last fall.  As the weather started getting colder at night, we began to notice this strange scratching and bumping noise outside our bedroom window at night.  Sometimes it would last a few hours.  Sometimes, it would continue throughout the night, making it difficult to sleep.

I thought it might be moths or bugs of some kind bumping up outside our window.  Finally, one night, Stephen decided to shine a flashlight outside to see if he could figure out what it was scare them off with the light. That’s when he told me that he thought they were bats.

At first I didn’t want to believe him.  Why would bats be flying around outside our home?  I thought bats liked to live in caves.  We don’t have caves anywhere near our house.  I took a flashlight outside the house and went to look at the space between the outside of our bedroom and the neighbor’s house next door.  Sure enough, I could see these large winged creatures flying in circles between our two homes.     I wasn’t sure what they were doing or what they might be looking for, but I wasn’t about to try to disturb them.  So, I went back inside the house and did some research on what to do if a bat were to get into your home.

I found that bats are a protected species here in Texas.  People are discouraged from killing them.  If a bat is found in your home, you are supposed to call the wildlife agency in your city and then try to ‘contain’ your bat without harming it until they can come and remove the bat from your home to be relocated in an area where they are allowed to live.

A few weeks later, we had a pest control company come out to check our house for bats.  We hadn’t yet caught a bat in our home, but we were tired of them flying around outside our window.  He told us that bats can nest inside hallows of large tree trunks.  Every house on our street has a few large trees somewhere on their property.  He also told us that bats will sometimes nest in people’s attics, if they find an entrance from the outside. Surprisingly, the guy who came out to check our roof couldn’t find any evidence of bats in our attic or even outside our bedroom window.  They had mysteriously disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.  Since January, we’ve had no more disturbances related to bats.

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