Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Another Day in the Land of Varmints

I don't like bats.

Side note: I seem to spend a lot of time writing about things (heat, lizards, getting egged, crazy utilities bills) I don't like. My apologies. I promise to soon write a post about things I like.

The house I grew up in was built in the very early 1900's. When we first moved in there were lots of avenues by which animals, primarily bats and flying squirrels, could enter and then terrorize us. I have all too clear memories of bats - different bats on different occasions - swirling through my sister's bedroom, knocking knick knacks off the shelves; chasing my naked mother out of the bathroom after she found it nestled in her bath towel; and challenging my dad, who'd donned a hockey helmet and armed himself with a fishing net, to a duel. I also recall finding dead bats throughout the house, enclosing them in saltine cracker containers with duct tape, and burying them in the backyard with my sister. Great fun.

So you can imagine my excitement when Tom received this email from the TAMU Director of Environmental Health & Safety.

From: John M. Salsman, Director, Environmental Health & Safety []
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 10:16 AM
To: Thomas K. Ferris
Subject: Safety Tips Regarding Bats on the Texas A&M Campus

Health and safety officials take this opportunity to remind students, faculty and staff of the significant number of bats on the Texas A&M campus. According to those officials, bats are considered a high-rabies risk species and should never be touched. In addition, a few species found in Texas are considered endangered or threatened and thus, should not be disturbed.

If you should come in contact with a bat, or find one dead or alive in a campus building, or a live bat anywhere that cannot fly, please call the Facilities Services Communications Center immediately.

Also, please remember to close all windows and doors, especially in the evening, to help keep bats and other animals from entering buildings.

For more information about bats and rabies, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services Infectious Disease Control Web site.

John M. Salsman, Director
Environmental Health & Safety

As if I needed another varmint to worry about.

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