This actually happened a few weeks ago at the beginning of the school holidays but I thought it might be a good story to share and it is European Bat Week this week.
It was a Sunday night and I had gone up to bed after husband as usual (inveterate night owl and insomniac that I am). I turned out the lights and it was then that I heard it - a loud rustling in the room (we do have an inordinate amount of crap in the bedroom - must tidy it one day). This was not just mice in the cupboards or under the floorboards (we've had them before), this was IN the room - definitely. I turned the light back on and watched the corner of the room (where the piles of crap reside) and where the noise was coming from. The noise got louder and I could see paper moving - I continued to watch with fascinated horror - don't know what I thought was going to appear but it was the middle of the night. Eventually a small fluffy thing popped out but within seconds I realised it was a bat not a mouse. I think I probably squeaked and then nudged husband rudely awake with 'there's a bat in our bedroom'.
Now, I should say at this point that I quite like bats normally, we sometimes see them flying about in the garden and I like the idea they are there and eating nasty biting insects but a bat in my bedroom was something else. I don't like things flying in enclosed spaces - put a bird in my bedroom and I would freak, so even though this wasn't flying but sort of crawling the idea of it in my bedroom and the thought it might start flying round it gave me the heebie jeebies. Husband got big and brave(ish) and trying to be nonchalant told me to open the windows and curtains wide (I notice he didn't do this!) and turn the light out which I duly did, hiding my head under the duvet. My heart was going nineteen to the dozen and there was no way I was going to manage to sleep but I thought once husband went back to sleep I could take my pillow and creep downstairs to the sofabed leaving him with the bat! We lasted about 5 minutes - husband leapt into me with a rather undignified 'it moved' sort of squeak at which point I suggested we both go and sleep downstairs on the sofabed and leave the bat to itself with the hope that it might leave through the open windows.
Next evening arrives and no sign of Batty so we went to bed as normal hoping it had gone. Then at 3am - loud noises and scuffling - we tried to ignore it for about 10 minutes then gave up and went down to the sofabed again - pathetic really! As it was obviously still there I called the Bat Conservation Trust after googling bat in bedroom. They were really helpful and explained that it was probably a baby and would be unlikely to be able to fly (made me feel better if slightly ridiculous). They explained how to catch it with a shoebox and a bit of cardboard and how to keep it alive until a bat handler rescue person could come and get it.
This was all very well but Batty had disappeared. That evening husband and I set to tidying the crap in the bedroom, searching every nook and cranny we could find and hoovering but could we find the blessed thing - nope! We finally gave up and went to bed - and woke up the next morning - in our bedroom - there had been no noises in the middle of the night but now we knew Batty was unlikely to fly it had to be there somewhere (thoughts of rotting dead bat in the bedroom occurred to me - eugh).
Finally at 10am it appeared - from under the fitted wardrobes (they can fit in very small spaces). I grabbed my shoebox and piece of cardboard and gingerly caught it. I then put the shoebox in the summer house (didn't want to chance it escaping in the house!) Batty was quite sweet really and very small. I rang the bat rescue man (Batman as we called him) and he said to make a hot water bottle for it, which I duly did. Not every day you get to say you are making a hot water bottle for a bat!
Batman arrived a couple of hours later and put Batty in his special bat box which was great as the girls could see it - he checked it over and said it was a baby Pipistrelle Bat and a girl. He also checked out the hanging tiles above our dormer bedroom window, as on closer inspection there was fresh bat poo on the roof indicating we had a bat roost up there, which would explain why we had had a baby bat drop through our bedroom window. So turns out we have a bat roost above our bedroom - Batman explained it was probably just a summer maternity roost and they would be gone in a few weeks when the babies had grown but they might be back next year.
Now feel slightly silly about it all and rather proud that we have our very own bat roost - hope they come back next year now and if I ever get a bat in the bedroom again I know what to do (although I may be keeping the windows shut in the breeding season!)
Thanks go to the Bat Conservation Trust and all their workers, especially the people on the helpline (Chris and Crystal) and to our very own Batman for rescuing Batty - who by the way was deemed healthy enough to be returned directly to our roost.