Happy Tuesday! Have you ever heard of “Bats in the Belfry”? If not, come see my favorite new term and what it means!
It’s always something, right? So, while we were at Happy Hill (our lake house) this past weekend for my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary party we scheduled our annual termite inspection. Our exterminator, Ted, told us that they had begun checking attics for termites. His explanation was that since termites have wings when they first hatch, they can fly into attic spaces and then burrow down to the ground, etc.
Upon our attic inspection Ted said the good news is we don’t have termites. Bad news, we have bats in the belfry. I assumed that belfry was an pest control industry term for attic or crawl space. But then after a conversation over dinner with our family, we found that a belfry is actually a bell tower usually associated with churches. According to Wikipedia a belfry is “a structure enclosing bells for ringing as part of a building , usually as part of a bell tower or steeple. It can also refer to the entire tower or building.” Here is an example of a belfry:
Come to find out, the term “bats in the belfry” is an antiquated term meaning that someone is crazy, eccentric or they act as though they have bats careening around in their head. I’ve heard of people acting “batty” or “bats”, but never as having “bats in the belfry”. Now I have a fun new term! So when I next refer to someone as having bats in the belfry, you’ll know I think they are crazy. Or, I may refer to myself that way in the coming months as we prepare to sell our house in PA and find a new one in NC.
Now we know that Happy Hill does not have a belfry just simply bats in our attic. (Also known as a loft, garrett, hayloft or sky parlor.) Regardless, this is not good news. And bat droppings (called guano) in large amounts can be very dangerous to humans and can cause cancer if inhaled. This picture is from the internet. There must have been a colony of bats in this attic. That is a LOT of poop! Thankfully we only have a small amount of guano in our attic, but it still needs to be taken care of.
There is no evidence of bats in our attic presently but just to make sure they placed traps in and around the attic and crawl space over the garage. This is the louvered vent over the carport. It is being cleaned and screen installed to keep out future inhabitants.
It’s odd that we’ve had bats in the attic at some point because we never heard or saw any evidence of their presence. But, the house is 50 years old so it’s not surprising that critters were able to get into the attic. We also know a raccoon lived in our car port for a while. I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t live full time at a house, the squatters move in. This cupola on top of the carport is apparently another hotel opportunity for critters. At least if something gets in here it doesn’t lead inside the house.
The remediation process for bat removal is quite nasty. First, they make sure there are no bats living in the space, hence the traps. Then, they spray the area with disinfectant and wait two weeks. After it is determined there are no bats in the attic, they will remove all of the old insulation, vacuum (removing the guano) then disinfect the areas and replace the insulation with new. They will seal all of the possible openings with exclusion mesh inside and outside the home. Let me tell you, this is not something an amateur should tackle and it is very expensive.
Let me also say I have absolutely nothing against bats. They are extremely helpful creatures but I just don’t want them living in our attic. Fly away bats! #nobatsinthehouse
In a few weeks, Happy Hill will once again be happy and bat/raccoon and squirrel free. Also, the new insulation they spray will kill bugs. The fact that we don’t have to deal with this mess ourselves is a huge relief. If this process doesn’t make me batty, then it’s a win/win. And I’ve learned a new term!
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day! xoxo Dell