It’s that time of year again.
Miller Moth Season.
I know there’s an appreciation out there for these things… but I think they’re gross. They eat your clothes, they cling to you, and they stink when they fry on your lights. Quite honestly, they remind me of a not-so-fun time in my last pregnancy: Bat Season. I don’t think “bat season” technically exists… but it does in my house and it coincides with the invasion of Miller Moths.
We get dozens of Miller Moths in our house this time of year. Thank God for my cat who likes to eat them.
Good boy, Cody.
But we get enough of them that we’re not totally surprised if one flutters near our heads in the middle of the night. At least that’s what you hope it is.
It was about this time of year, when I was pregnant with Hannah that I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. That’s when what is typically considered a middle-of-the-night nuisance, turned quickly into my saving grace.
As I was returning to bed, Chris started swatting at what he thought were Miller Moths flying around his face. After he hit one, we suddenly heard pinging noises around the room and a horrible clicking sound. I don’t know a lot about moths, but I’m pretty sure they don’t make those sounds. Chris freaked out and I made an about face back to the bathroom. You can only imagine my immediate fear when my fearless husband, my protector started wigging out. I’m pretty sure I made it to the bathroom in record time, turned on the light and there it was.
Ok, so not this guy specifically, but one that looked just like him!!! A brown bat! Sprawled out on my pillow case!!
Initially I had no idea what it was… I was still VERY groggy. Great combo, I know: A panicked, groggy pregnant lady. Was it a lizard with wings? Some horrible mutant mouse? I screamed… and that’s when my husband, who grew up in the south, yelled that it was a bat.
The reactions then went like this:
Cooper, our Golden Retriever, ran out of the room with his tail between his legs.
Cody, looked like he wanted to pounce on his new play toy.
And I immediately yelled for everyone to get out of the room because “Bats have rabies!!!”
Chris wanted to capture him and let the bat out the window… but I wouldn’t allow anyone near the creature for at least 45 minutes. By the time he finally talked some sense into me, the bat had gone into hiding. In my bedroom.
There was NO WAY I was sleeping in there until that thing was gone.
That was Saturday night. I don’t want to make a long story longer, so here’s the short of what happened Sunday and Monday: I googled and called every bat removal company I could find… in the middle of the night. Turns out they are SUPER expensive, and it’s useless to bring them out in the middle of the day anyway because bats are good hiders.
I then googled our situation. Turns out, in the state of Colorado, if a bat flies in your bedroom in the middle of the night and you can’t find it… you have to get a rabies shot. Bats can bite you and you’d never know it because their fangs are so fine and tiny. The big question: Can you get a rabies shot while pregnant? So, now my high-risk pregnancy had become riskier.
We had to find the bat. I played the crazy, high-risk pregnant lady card and managed to get the Colorado Department of Wildlife out to my house to check for the bat, and possibly more. He was useless. Found nothing and said the bat was probably gone. I didn’t buy that for a second.
My doctors decided I should at least go to labor and delivery to get checked out. Let me tell you, it’s always fun when you can stump your high-risk hospital with a situation they’ve never seen before. Apparently the email exchange amongst my doctors was rather interesting, and quite humorous. At least they were able to get a hold of officials with the state health department (something I definitely couldn’t do on a weekend), and we made a deal:
We had to find the bat by Monday at 1 p.m., otherwise the WHOLE family had to start getting rabies shots.
Even though it was up for debate whether myself or the animals got bit (my husband, not so lucky… he claims the bat performed some sort of sexual act on his head), we all had to get the shots because we were all in the room.
It was enough for me to know my baby could come early and possibly have problems because of that. This was just something I did not need. So, that Sunday night, my husband made himself bait.
Armed with ski gear, tupperware, duct tape and an old kitchen towel, he slept in the infested bedroom waiting to hear the bat make some noise. While bats are good hiders during the day, at dusk and dawn they get hungry and start to move around to find food and water. The ski gear was so Chris didn’t get bit again. The kitchen towel was to smack the bat down to the ground… they can’t take off from the floor. The tupperware was to trap the bat, and the duct tape was used to tape the tupperware to the floor.
Here’s what happened next according to my Facebook feed:
The problem was over… or so we thought.
Turns out, my cat is also a very good “Bat Hunter”.
As he did before, he perched himself on the top of my husband’s dresser, staring at the space between our fireplace and our wall. We originally attributed this behavior to him going nuts. But he saw and heard something we couldn’t. We had a COLONY of bats living in the walls of our house.
You can’t kill them, they’re protected. And bats can get into a space the size of your pinky. So we spent more than $1000 for someone to come in, plug the holes and put in “exit” cones that bats can only fly out of.
We haven’t had any problems since then. We made sure that bats can’t fly into our bedroom anymore. But occasionally I do still find bat guano outside our home. Google it if you don’t know what that is.
I think it’s pretty obvious… I really dislike Miller Moth season. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous this time around.