Guest Request? Bats in the Finished Basement

So I had a first this week. A guest staying for a week messaged and said she saw a bat in the basement bedroom at our cabin (it’s fully finished). She stated she closed it in the bedroom. I quickly hired an exterminator that showed up within 2 hours. They had already left the cabin for the day. The man spent 3 hours tearing our basement apart and could not find a bat or any signs of a bat (like droppings). It wasn’t too expensive, but $80.00 is $80.00. My husband and the exterminator asked me if she was taking Ambien - lol. Can I charge her for the visit or just suck it up as the cost of doing business. I am a little worried she will give a bad review. They check out this Saturday. (Aside - we know that they have been keeping the basement door open because of a sensor on the door so if there was a bat they let it in. - No one has been at the cabin for awhile before they rented). I know y’all are going to get your dander up here but I am asking an honest question. Thanks for your insights…

If she really did see a bat, they are super fast and it actually could have flown out again without her noticing, before she thought she locked it in. I wouldn’t have called an exterminator based on a guest’s claim without checking myself first. Bats don’t hide under furniture or anything like that. So no, I don’t think you can charge her for the exterminator.

And I don’t see the point in worrying that a guest will leave a bad review. If she mentions that there was a bat but that you sent an exterminator right away, that’s not a bad review- that shows you’re a quickly responsive host. If she just says there was a bat, as a complaint, you can respond saying how you dealt with it, for the benefit of future guests. And she might not mention it at all. Why worry about something that might not happen?


Off the bat, I’d say to accept it as a cost of doing business. This guest might have thought she saw a bat, but blind as a bat she might have seen a black pussycat

And good for you for batting away this issue so quickly.

If you do have bats that should keep the mosquito population down. I wouldn’t bat an eye IF there are bats in your area, I’d view that as a plus but you do need to make sure that the house is sealed so that they can’t get into the house.

Of course, if a guest leaves that basement door open, you might find yourself mano a mano with mucho guano. Maybe not right off the bat, but eventually you could be looking at a bat- astrophe!

On the plus side – in the ‘it’s all good’ approach to life – your listing might qualify for one of Airbnb’s ‘Unique spaces’ . . . as a bat cave.


You are on a comedy roll recently! Thanks for the giggle.

@CarolynCamarda first, stop worrying about bad reviews. She complained about a bat. Doesn’t matter how it got in or if it even existed. They left, your exterminator arrived, you communicated their arrival and their lack of finding a bat.

The $80 is your cost of doing business.

IF she complains of a bat again, tell her to keep the basement door closed - perhaps put a lock on it if it has an exterior entrance to the interior so bugs, bats, racoons, etc. can’t get into the house.

IF she mentions the bat in a review, reply to her review with “Sent pest control within 2 hours, no bat found, advised guest to leave outside door closed going forward.”

Wait until she reviews you to post yours or wait until the end of the review period to post yours and don’t mention the bat except to add HR to keep that door closed at all times as mother nature likes to use it to get her friends in the house.


Meanwhile, @CarolynCamarda might message something like this to the guest:

Thank you for bringing to our attention the possibility of a bat in the listing. Within two hours our exterminator was there and after three hours saw no sign of a bat (e.g., droppings). Still, you can’t be too careful and I appreciate your letting us know of the possibility. Just in case there are bats or other critters in the area please keep the basement door closed. But you can rest assured that there are no bats inside (as for outside, it’s not batty to say that bats are a good thing – they eat mosquitoes!).

Thank you again.


I had 10 monkeys ransack my kitchen and living room, the guests wrote a great review, never complained, don’t worry about the review.


Absolutely. 100% agree.

This reminds me of a guest story (related here before) when a guest knocked on my door to show me a photo she had just taken of a cockroach inside the apartment.

(Yes, they were leave-the-door-open people too).

I said “Oh wow, a palmetto bug. I haven’t seen one of those for years. Thank you so much for showing it to me. Goodnight. Have a wonderful evening.”

Okay, I admit that I’d had a couple of glasses of wine but … five-star review. :slight_smile:


I would consider that the cost of doing business. I also think you did the right thing- dispatching pest control. This shows that you are reachable and responsive.

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I just had almost the same issue with ants. Guests on two different weekends saw them, but we didn’t see them, neither did our cleaner. After the second guests complained, called an exterminator and the day he showed up I finally saw the ants (in a bedroom, furthest from the kitchen, top floor only) He sprayed and found a nest in a basement room. So they’d crawled up through the building, completely avoiding the first floor, and emerged into a second floor building, nowhere near a water source.

They appear to be gone now. There will be a couple more visits from the exterminator just to be on the safe side. Cost of business with a 100 year old building that we’d never seen a bug in before. The exterminator is expensive ($200) but uses completely odorless chemicals indoors. Worth the cost to avoid another cancelled booking.

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I had a bat fly through my dining room (I was really reading a vampire romance novel at the time, lol). I knocked on the our guests bedroom door and asked her to stay in her room because we were catching a bat. She offered to help us catch it! Fortunately my town animal control person came to get it!


I had ants in a home in CA; an exterminator came and sprayed the perimeter exterior and said the treatment would last two years. Worth asking about though I don’t know what the chemicals were.

Seems an elegant solution.

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I live in the tropics and my doors and windows are open most of the time. I’ve had bats fly in several times. They eventually, usually within a minute or so, find their way out- it’s not like they want to be inside, they just got temporarily disoriented.

Bats actually give me the willies, but they are probably more freaked out than Iam.

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UPDATE: Cleaners found the “bat” it was not a bat at all but a huge black moth.

I can see why she thought it was a bat!


What a beautiful moth! Bats? Here in UK we would be prosecuted if we had an exterminator to deal with bats, they are a highly protected species. When I had a Pipistrelle bat in a few weeks ago my cat found it and just sat looking up at the top of the curtains. There it was. I caught it in my gloved hand and put it outside, no problem, no exterminator.


No exterminator needed for bats, just leave the door open and they will fly out. This one likely squeezed through a tiny space you would not think it could and got freedom.

When I was young at a job for photographer and I used to develop his film in the dark room in the basement. There’s a manual process that you used your hand to rotate a container for a certain amount of time like 12 minutes and you couldn’t stop once you started.

About every five or six months I’d be doing this and all sudden I’d hear in the complete darkness the sound of fluttering wings, a bat in the room doing circles in the room for the next 12 minutes straight with me in complete darkness :laughing: those were very long 12 minutes

Well I was blind he wasn’t they would never run into you or land on you and once the task was complete and I could turn the lights on all I need to do is grab a towel and intercept him in one of his circuits by throwing it up in the air as he was flying by and then gently take him outside and let him go.


I guess you didn’t read through the thread. It turned out to have been a large moth, not a bat.

Interesting fact concerning moths and bats- if you examine moths closely, they are quite furry. It is a defensive trait which prevents them from being the prey of bats. The bats’ echolocation, which enables them to locate the insects they eat, does not bounce off of furry surfaces.

Your bat guano is my drenched TV and streaming remote gadget thingy. A kid spilt a drink on it and corrosion happened between bookings. It’s about 80 dollars Aussie to replace plus having to see the male guest in his pyjamas when we arrived with the replacement remote, which we had to configure.

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