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going batty
January 21, 2012 2:09 PM   Subscribe

A Florida roofing crew is surprised when they disrupt a bat home. For maximum fun, there's also a longer version. (via Nothing to do with Arbroath)
posted by madamjujujive (58 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Evicting those bats will guarantee they have a lot more bugs, which Miami has in spades.
posted by Mercaptan at 2:12 PM on January 21, 2012


Adorable! Godspeed, little guys - I hope you find a new home.
posted by griphus at 2:15 PM on January 21, 2012 [11 favorites]


Who doesn't love a bat?
posted by heyho at 2:16 PM on January 21, 2012


going batty: January 21, 2012 2:09 PM

Uploaded by Istueta on Jul 5, 2011

Tape delay?
posted by Blue_Villain at 2:18 PM on January 21, 2012


I wish they'd spent the money to have the bats properly removed. Bats play an important role in the ecosystem.
posted by sbutler at 2:21 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bats are disturbed in the wild all the time, I'm sure they found a new home.
posted by hermitosis at 2:24 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I felt a surprising amount of sympathy toward the disturbed bats. And I've enjoyed the refreshing cool shower of bat urine from an overhead mass, something not to be missed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:25 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't bats become dust when exposed to the daylight?
posted by dov3 at 2:30 PM on January 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was waiting for them to find the queen bat.
posted by Flashman at 2:34 PM on January 21, 2012 [17 favorites]


Yeah, I think if this had been the UK they might have been in breach of the law once they continued removing the tiles after initially disturbing the bats.
posted by oliverburkeman at 2:37 PM on January 21, 2012


    "I wish they'd spent the money to have the bats properly removed. Bats play an important role in the ecosystem."
Natural pest control is awesome, but the biggest reason not to improperly fuck with the bats? Its dangerous. Bats have diseases some of the most terrible diseases known to man, like rabies, and plenty more new ones that have the potential to make us remember recent epidemics fondly.

Don't fuck with bats.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:41 PM on January 21, 2012


Aww, poor bats.

My favorite bat story:

I was living in Austin, home of the famous Congress Avenue Bat Colony (and the billions of insects that feed them).

I was staying at a friend's apartment on the lower East side and I enjoyed watching the bats feeding at night when I was standing outside having a cigarette. They're incredibly acrobatic.

Some UT undergrad was having a smoke a few floors up on their balcony and they freaked out and started (literally) shrieking at me: "ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY! GET OUT OF THERE! THERE'S BATS... THEY'LL GET STUCK IN YOUR HAIR! THEY HAVE RABIES!"

I replied calmy: "No, man, you've got it all backwards. Open your eyes. The bats are capable of flying right through the tiny holes in this wire mesh trellis, which is really fun to watch. They can see insects as small as gnats with echolocation. I'm a huge mountain in comparison by size. They're not going to run into me, and if they're flying around successfully hunting they probably don't have rabies. When a bat has rabies it's usually disoriented and crawling on the ground."

They responded with some shrill nonsense about how I was going to infect the whole apartment complex with rabies when one bit me. In retrospect I should have replied with "Fuck you. I'm the goddamn Batman, and I'm coming for you first." but I was too busy rolling my eyes.

This was the same person who would incessantly spit over the rail down into the court while they were smoking. Undergrads are such filthy, disgusting creatures.
posted by loquacious at 2:42 PM on January 21, 2012 [40 favorites]


Jeez, blasdelb, read your own link maybe? Not that dangerous at all.
posted by ook at 2:45 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a lot of bats. Where I live, the main species that lives in urban areas is Molossus molossus, which is an insectivore. There's a colony in the roof of the building next to me and I am pretty sure they keep the mosquito population down around my apartment.
posted by snofoam at 2:48 PM on January 21, 2012


Now I'm picturing some awesome home engineering with a bat shelter on the roof and some kind of guano collection system as fuel for cogeneration.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:49 PM on January 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


They were probably part of some Floridian's guano retirement fund.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:50 PM on January 21, 2012


Also, there is a lung infection (histoplasmosis) caused by a fungus that is often associated with bat droppings. I guess it is not that common, but they might want to wear masks or something just in case.
posted by snofoam at 2:52 PM on January 21, 2012


Whenever this happens to me it is bees.

Not as fun.
posted by St. Sorryass at 2:58 PM on January 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Now I'm picturing some awesome home engineering with a bat shelter on the roof and some kind of guano collection system as fuel for cogeneration.

Bat houses are easy to build, or buy if you're not construction oriented. We had one at our last place, and I loved watching them swoop around the back yard in the evenings.

Plans and proper placement details here.
posted by calamari kid at 3:01 PM on January 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


St. Sorryass: nearly obligatory Eddie Izzard "I'm covered in bees" link.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:02 PM on January 21, 2012


@loquacious: When you're walking down Boulder Creek Path at night during sumer (say, to get plastered on Pearl St) the bats are having a food orgy around the lights on the path. Even though I know they never get closer than a foot to my head a small, primitive part of my brain is yelling WATCH OUT!
posted by sbutler at 3:03 PM on January 21, 2012


After the sun went down, a billionaire in a cape found all these roofers and beat the shit out them, just on principle.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:13 PM on January 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wow! That was sure a lot of bats. Poor things. As someone mentioned, they play a pretty important role in the ecosystem...I felt like maybe the roofing company should have called in the department of wildlife or something to find out the best way to handle the situation, after it became evident the first few tile-loads were only the tip of the batberg, so to speak.

I didn't realize until I had lived in my house for a couple of years that some of the flying shapes I saw in my garden on summer nights were bats, not birds. I like them; they mind their own business and feast on the horrible mosquitoes and other bitey bugs we have in abundance.

This is the perfect place to post the excellent video of a rescued baby bat I first saw on Cute Overload. [Warning: super-sappy music] He is so tiny and adorable; his head is the size of the rescue worker's thumbnail. I love the part where he hangs upside down and rocks back and forth to comfort himself.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


"I was living in Austin, home of the famous Congress Avenue Bat Colony (and the billions of insects that feed them)."

I can't get used to Town Lake being renamed Lady Bird Lake. It was only five years since I'd moved away, but when I went back 2010, the lake's name had changed, the skyline had grown about sixty new ginormous skyscrapers...it was weird. Cities should not change that much in just five years, man.

Glad to know the bats are still hangin', though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:25 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Send them down here to Key West—we even have a bat tower built for them on Sugarloaf Key!
posted by Mike Mongo at 3:32 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


That guy really needs to be wearing a mask. Too late now, I guess. Wonder if he has health insurance...
posted by klanawa at 3:33 PM on January 21, 2012


About ten years ago, I was living in Tunis next to the old part of town (the Medina). Bat acrobatics were common scenes at dusk. I was practicing speaking the colloquial Tunisian dialect of Arabic with a local friend one twilight, while we were enjoying the swoopy show, wand asked him what was the word for "bat".

"It's an old word," he said in a low, conspiratorial voice. "Twir al-lil. Bird of the night."

As he spoke those short phrases, a dark grin crept over his face. it was as a sense of arcane wonder overtook his demeanor and voice. I felt like I'd somehow just learned some great secret abut bats or Arabic culture or both. Of far greater significance than just a vocabulary word.

I already loved bats, but somehow, that they had such a shivery, awed effect on someone of a completely different culture made me realize: bats are gnarly in any language.
posted by darkstar at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2012 [18 favorites]


I used to wonder why my neighborhood, which has a lake (and is practically a swamp) didn't have more mosquitos. Then I looked up at dusk one fall evening and immediately realized why not. Batmania.

Thanks so much for the terrifying notion of a stream of bat piss shining out of the night, Ivan Fyodorovich, if that is your real name.
posted by theredpen at 3:41 PM on January 21, 2012


I kept expecting this to turn into that scene from Jumanji.
posted by Peevish at 3:53 PM on January 21, 2012


In Britain it is actually forbidden to disturb bats or even touch them really. It is my favourite law.
posted by dng at 3:55 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The University of Florida has bat houses. During the summer at dusk, you can watch them stream out by the thousands. It's very neat and smelly.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:01 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys, I found out who owns the house and payed those contractors to evict the bats!
posted by orme at 4:11 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Thanks so much for the terrifying notion of a stream of bat piss shining out of the night, Ivan Fyodorovich, if that is your real name."

It's not so much a stream of bat piss, as a gentle, all-encompassing mist of bat piss. This was while watching those 750,000 bats leave the Congress Avenue Bridge one evening in Austin.

My real name is Pyotr Kirillovich. Seriously, it's Natalya Ilyinichna. Wait, I confess, it's actually Woland.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:41 PM on January 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


And they all got rabies.

The End.
posted by Krazor at 4:45 PM on January 21, 2012


Hm! Also gross! Actually, I was thinking of this Monty Python skit.
posted by theredpen at 5:12 PM on January 21, 2012


After the sun went down, a billionaire in a cape found all these roofers and beat the shit out them, just on principle.

Goddam one percenters.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who doesn't love a bat?

Bear Grylls

Many people wish he weren't so demonstrative about it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:11 PM on January 21, 2012


Awwww. Such a cute widdle disease vector.
posted by Splunge at 6:19 PM on January 21, 2012


Not that dangerous at all.

We had a silo full of rabid bats when I was growing up. Granted, this is the exception rather than the rule, most bats aren't rabid. However there were weird bats loitering in our house and my mom called the health department and told them and they were like "Eh, bats aren't rabid" and she was like "These look like they are" and they pooh poohed her so she got a dead one, put in the freezer for a few days and mailed it to them. Sure enough: rabies. We had to move out of our house for a week so the silo could be fumigated. This was in 1980-ish. There is a healthy colony of bats living there now.

That was a really interesting video. We kept watching it and saying "Look, more bats"
posted by jessamyn at 6:38 PM on January 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


bats are gnarly in any language.

Even "pipistrello"? (Italian.)
posted by tss at 6:41 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder what kind of bats they were. Bats are so awesome.
posted by bibliogrrl at 8:45 PM on January 21, 2012


Painful was watching the bat at around 3:57 (on the longer video) flopping around. I think it was one that was trapped under the tile the guy so carelessly flipped up.

Like, dude, if you're going to evict these creatures, at least take some care not to crush their little bones. They want to escape by that point just as much as you want them out.
posted by DisreputableDog at 9:04 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like, dude, if you're going to evict these creatures, at least take some care not to crush their little bones.

I had the same thought. But it was obvious from the guy's body language that he was, you know, a little afraid of the bats, and didn't want to be too close to them while they were scurrying out and flying off. So, I'd say at least part of his recklessness was on account of that, and in that sense, you can't be too hard on the guy. I mean, he didn't know whether or not he might get bit, for one thing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:36 PM on January 21, 2012


That tile roof impressed me with its R value.
posted by surplus at 9:56 PM on January 21, 2012


Also, only a few downed bats out of an entire bat-blizzard? Pretty good if you ask me...
posted by hermitosis at 9:56 PM on January 21, 2012


Another vote for the roofers needing to have been a bit more careful once they discovered all of those bats. I love bats. I mean, have you met Peekaboo?

I wish people would spend more time learning about the critters that live around them. It'd make things so much better.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:08 PM on January 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Batless in my neck of the woods. :(
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:23 PM on January 21, 2012


In the summer months, during the evenings, we'll usually get a handful of bats flitting about, up and down my Tokyo street. Love to see them, and know that they're chowing down on mosquitoes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:37 PM on January 21, 2012


That homeowner should be glad they don't live in the UK. In the UK it is illegal to disturb roosting bats or destroy a bat roost.
posted by alby at 2:33 AM on January 22, 2012


Good thing it's not in the UK, I hear it's illegal to disturb bats there.

Seriously, if this were my house, I'd have little remorse over the eviction. Sorry fellas, but I'm the boss of this roof.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:01 AM on January 22, 2012


You wouldn't be allowed to do this in the UK. Totally illegal.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:19 AM on January 22, 2012


We use to have a little brown bat living under our patio umbrella. ("Little Brown Bat" is both descriptive and the actual species name.) When we needed to open the umbrella during the day (which we did very slowly and carefully) he'd grumpily climb up to the little rainflap thing at the top and curl up to sleep again. Cute as all get out. We named him Boris. Tried installing a real bat house for him but he never took to it, and eventually it filled up with wasps instead.

Few years later he stopped showing up -- I assume the white nose fungus got him, as that was hitting our area pretty hard that year. Very sad.

I look on all you OMG disease vector!!! people with confusion and some pity. You know what? The mosquitos that bats eat by the million are much worse disease vectors. Bats are awesome.
posted by ook at 5:19 AM on January 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Alfred: Do you think it's a bit obvious? I mean it's not a cave...it's a roof.
The Batman: Alfred...I'm Batman. They'll never look here.
Alfred: But we have some roof-work scheduled for later this week. YOU SCHEDULED IT. I think it would be adviseable to vacate to a more secure location.
The Batman: Alfred...I'm Batman.
Alfred: Sir, you cannot just say "I'm Batman" in response to everything. *sigh. Would you like some tea?
The Batman: Alfred...I'm Batman.
Alfred: *sigh.
posted by Fizz at 6:04 AM on January 22, 2012


I too hear that it's illegal to disturb bats in the UK. Just thought I'd get that out before the rush.
posted by scalefree at 6:20 AM on January 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cute > Creepy > Cute > Creepy > Cute (repeat)
posted by djrock3k at 12:48 PM on January 22, 2012


I like bats. I like tile roofs. I don't like swarming too much.
posted by DU at 5:18 AM on January 23, 2012


Don't think of it as "swarming," DU. Think of it as a distributed hug.
posted by griphus at 6:34 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was recently in Bali and while doing something touristy (visiting Goa Gajah) I decided to wander down a trail by a stream and found a small cave. Hey, why not walk into the dark slippery cave with only the LED flashlight app on my phone to guide me? So, about 20 meters in I spook about 50 bats who all swarm around me like some Scooby Doo cartoon. I'm pretty sure I didn't contract MEV-1 or anything, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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