The Cross House

An…Unexpected Encounter


Image from 2015. See the BIG window? That is the dining room. See just above the window and to each side? There are wood brackets “holding up” the second floor.


I am now up close with the wood brackets. Whoee! Behind the brackets is a curved stamped tin decorative panel. I held onto the scaffolding and tucked my head behind the brackets…


…and saw something curious.


WHAT was stuffed into the corner?

It looked like a piece of steel wool. I imagined that it had been stuffed into the corner to stop an air leak.

So I reached toward it to pluck it out.

But…EEK!…it moved a bit.


Instinctively, I pulled my hand back with alacrity.

WHAT was stuffed into the corner?

I looked closer.

It looked like…a mouse. A mouse!

But what was a mouse doing high up in a corner of the house trim?

I then got a long screwdriver and VERY gently poked the whatever.

It bared teeth.


And all at once I knew what I was looking at.

A bat.

A friggin’ bat!


In 2015 I did a post about a solitary bat which was, ah, residing on the rear porch ceiling. It departed soon after I noticed it. I had no idea of how long it had been in residence.

Is the “new” bat the same “old” bat?

And I thought bats lived in clusters?

Is my bat guilty of some egregious faux-paux, banished from polite bat society to live out the rest of its days in isolation?


And what am I to do with my bat? HOW will I be able to restore the curved tin panel, the wood ceiling, and the back of the wood bracket with a SCARY BAT IN RESIDENCE????????


So, while I have had to deal with a great many seemingly insurmountable problems restoring the Cross House, I might finally be defeated by…a bat.





22 Responses to An…Unexpected Encounter

  1. Do not be surprised if you have a colony of bats. My house did. It cost me a fortune to exclude them. Many times I had to get them out of the house or call animal control. Thank God I haven’t seen one in about 7yrs.

    • And I might add that one of them tested positive for rabies by Animal control. This is nothing to play with. I have no doubt that if they can find an opening somewhere, females will set up a nursery in your house. They can live/hide under slates, chimney brick, flashing, and your beautiful decorative metal cornices. The point is when you are working out there don’t be surprised and lose your balance if you startle them!

  2. A friend of mine uses citronella stick-ons to discourage bats. It doesn’t hurt them, but they don’t like the odor and leave. Give it a try.

  3. Bats are wonderful creatures to have around. They eat mosquitoes!!!!!!! Anything that voraciously decimates the mosquito population is a winner in my books! And bats are just so darn cute too!

    Put up a bat box in the yard somewhere. Then, after dusk when the little guy is out hoovering up the skitters, stuff the corner full of something to make it less cozy. He’ll find a new spot to hang out for the day. 🙂

  4. Diane Johnson, from Northeast Kansas wildlife rescue 785.542.3625 or 785. 575.1991
    She rescues and rehabs bats. Yay Ross! Bats are good luck!

    • Ooh. Good to know. I also think bats are good luck, but I like them to stay outside and away from the furniture.

  5. I found this interesting site, which tells about bat houses, their placement, and using them to get bats to move from areas where they aren’t wanted.

    Hope this piques your interest

  6. Stewart excellent ideas & I concur w Barb; best outside in spite of good luck:-) Ross be careful about sticking fingers/hands in unidentified nook/crannies–no bat bites please!

  7. I have been more bats than usual today, for some reason, Ross, they have been on my mind. I had the thought that, after installing a bat house, you could aim a cheap clamp light at that corner with a low heat (no fires please) LED 100 watt bulb clamped to your scaffolding. Don’t plug it in until the bat is out eating mosquitos. Leave it on all night, the bulbs don’t use much electric. The neighbors who aren’t clever enough to read this blog would be scratching their heads trying to figure out why you are spotlighting that obscure corner.

    With a suitable bat house nearby, but attached, for the first year only, to the side of the house where it is already painted, the bat may quickly make it his new accommodations. Even if he moved there for a short time, you could prep and paint. I would use a second light on the matching corner at the same time in case he decided to switch or if it is occupied too.

    I have no idea if this would be successful, but think its worth a try.

  8. “HOW will I be able to restore the curved tin panel, the wood ceiling, and the back of the wood bracket with a SCARY BAT IN RESIDENCE????????”

    Do the work at night?

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