The importance of murcielago

They are not as exciting as stingrays but murcielagos aka bats in English, are part of the Spanish colonial heritage and eco system in Granada. Over the years we have heard a variety of stories about travellers that are enthralled by them and go to the caves near Masaya to experience them at night. (Thousands of bats zooming in and out of dark caves like stealth fighter planes.)

Then there are those like our friend Anders, who seemed to constantly be in battle with them once they had taken residence in his house. (Visualize Danish guy with baseball bat in hand swinging randomly in the air trying to best the bats sonar system.)

Now bats, are NOT my favorites. I admit to being very quick to diving under a table when one circled our sala (open living room) when we first moved here. They are strange and rather ugly little creatures.. Once while Ben was on a trip I discovered one near our front door, dead and still scary looking. I was not about to move it myself, so I had to pass by it every time I went out the door for a day,which made me fear it less and become more curious about its role in life. Bats are actually very interesting animals with their own sonor device and play a very important role in the overall eco system. Bats eat insects, which includes their consumption of mosquitoes. They also pollinate flowers and distribute fruit seeds.

So why am I telling you about bats? When we had our house fumigated for fleas (after the Mango incident) the man who did the job told us that he thinks we have bats living in our roof. That is, above the sugar cane ceiling and below the red Spanish clay tiles there is a space. That space is a favorite for bats as its dark ad high up and if there is a way in, bats will go in at dusk and out before the sun rises. We do have very few mosquitoes, and it is the rainy season. We have heard interesting shuffling noises, so it seems we have a new issue to contend with.
How to get rid of bats? Well it appears that the tiles will have to be removed, the zinc will have to be removed and the bats cleared and cleaned out…the gaps covered up with mesh. A big job. Calvin to the rescue (Calvin can fix computers, plumbing and apparently bat problems as well.) I asked him to please not kill the bats, as even though I don’t like them much, I think that they do have a right to be alive and are important to the overall eco system. His answer was “Well last time I asked them politely to leave they didn’t really listen.” So okay I told him to do what he needed to do but that I have no desire to hear the details or see any of the evidence. My friend Leslie who had the same issue, was given a bag of warm dead bats as proof that the worker had done his job.
The tiles piled up, the roof came off and happily the bats were away at the time so they will no doubt move on to another neighbors roof. And we probably will start getting mosquitoes!

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