Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rabies shots anyone??? The worst part of renovating...

The house is still standing!

Most of the carpet is out, most of the mastic over the wood floors is too.

The knob and tube wiring is gone, our 1st true investment in the house, and we have overhead lights in our bedroom, Amelia's bedroom, and track lighting in my studio, which is in one of the 4 bedrooms. My kiln in the studio also required it's own outlet on it's own circuit, so when we sell someday it can be a plus for anyone who wants that in an office.

The absolute downer is that as I'd mentioned in the Houseblogger forum, our electrician had found 2 bats. By the end of the job it was 3. It being winter, bats are hibernating, so not much we could do. Well, when I pulled out the old carpet there were up to 1/2 inch gaps where trim at the base of the walls was gone, and big gaps in the stairs. And under the attic door. A bat can fit through a hole the size of a pencil to about 1/2 an inch.

I tried to use one of those vibrating water foot massage things about 2 weeks ago, and within 2O seconds, a bat swooped down from upstairs. We're pretty sure I vibrated it into a panic. But there's no way to know, it could have been upstairs for half an hour.

Amelia just turned 2. She was upstairs sleeping. Because you can be bitten without feeling it, or having a visible bite, the standard protocol is to get shots for a kid who was sleeping in a room with a bat. So she's now had the first 3 shots, 2 more to go, every Monday till it's done. Ugh. We should have captured the bat, but didn't realize it till afterwards, Joe let it out the front door, I was hiding under a blanket. It wasn't till the next day we realized that it came from upstairs and could have been in Amelia's room, her wood floor even had a 2x2" hole since we moved in, we just never realized it could potentially be a bat entrance.

There have been a couple deaths to toddlers sleeping with a bat in the room in recent years, and there was a mom in Florida who had her kiddo taken away for refusing shots after a bat was in the kids room.

Most of the work in the last 2 weeks has been plugging up all cracks with expanding foam, caulk, and preparing to get new trim.

It turns our they're big brown bats, we figured this out from the type of bats that arein NY, the fact that it's a house dwelling bat, and seeing that big wingspan in person. We've learned many interesting bat facts, they mate before they hibernate, then the females impregnate themselves in the spring. The kind we have like to eat beetles.

Big Brown Bats are really called Eptesicus Fuscus.

from Animal Diversity Web-
"The big brown bat inhabits cities, towns, and rural areas, but is least commonly found in heavily forested regions (Kurta 1995).

Some bats require stable, highly insulated environments in order to hibernate. Eptesicus fuscus has a more tolerant constitution so it can winter in less substantial structures. Besides human dwellings, it has been found to take up residence in barns, silos, and churches. Also, this bat has been found roosting in storm sewers, expansion joint spaces in concrete athletic stadiums, and copper mines (Baker 1983).

In presettlement times it is presumed the big brown bat roosted in tree hollows, natural caves, or openings in rock ledges. Occasionally groups of these bats are still found living in tree cavities (Baker 1983). Recently, some were found hibernating in caves in Minnesota (Knowles 1992).

The generic name Eptesicus is derived from the Greek, meaning "house flyer". All this bat needs is a small hole or warped, loose siding to gain entry into a home. Once inside, it prefers to roost in double walls or boxed-in eaves rather than attics. It is reasonable to speculate that populations of the big brown bat have increased with an increasing number of human habitations (Baker 1983)."

This one was definitely a House Flyer!