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BampaBus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject: Uninvited Guests Reply with quote

I'd be curious if anyone else has had an experience similar to this. I've heard plenty of stories about snakes and mice in buses, but this one is a first for me.

The pup and I decided to take a one-nighter at a nearby lakeshore this past week. It was a cool Florida evening (rare), few mosquitos yet, so I left the driver's window cracked about 2 inches, and the smoker's window on my 73 Westy open an inch or so to help bring in a extra breeze. All's well until about three AM when I was awakened by something whoosing past my head, then a very excited dog. I sort of woke up, just enough to look toward the rear window and see what I figured in my sleep-sodden mind was a darn big moth in the bus with us. We have lunar moths here, and they start showing up around summertime.

I spend 10 seconds or so trying to remember how to turn on the light, but the dog is way ahead of me and already in full pursuit mode. By the time I've found the light switch he's standing by my head holding something in his mouth and looking very dissapointed that the chase is over already. I ask him to drop it and he does.

It's a bat. Somehow that critter figured a way in through my cracked windows. I still can't figure out if he flew in, or landed just right on the drip rail and dropped into the open window. What are the odds?

Unfortunately the bat didn't survive his encounter with my canine intruder alert system, who will spend an hour on a single mole trail but would happily hold the flashlight for a burglar. The bat was politely laid to rest the following morning.

Anyone else have something unexpected join them in the wee hours?
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rabies. As long as you didn't get bitten and the dog is up to date on shots.
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Caveat: I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, and is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, and from racing in the era your bus came to life. My only goal is to share what has been learned on my path. Smile

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BampaBus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, I have to admit it crossed my mind. Thanks for the concern. The dog is up to date and I was not scratched or bitten.

I wondered if that would come up. There's a bit of general-public misconception there. Less that 1% of bats carry the virus and from what I've read they show signs of the disease when they do. This one was very healthy. He was just looking for a roost and picked the wrong spot. To be safe, I removed him without direct contact.

I wish we had more of them here. Too many bugs.
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animal control will usually test for free but they need the bat quickly.
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Caveat: I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. When a suggestion is offered, it is wishing you the best, and is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, and from racing in the era your bus came to life. My only goal is to share what has been learned on my path. Smile

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Silent Running
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BampaBus wrote:
There's a bit of general-public misconception there. Less that 1% of bats carry the virus and from what I've read they show signs of the disease when they do.


X2. Bats have a really bad and undeserved reputation for this. Sounds like it was just looking for a roost like you said. Hopefully there were more where this little fella came from.

And to answer your original question, nope, never had anything like that happened before Smile
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mtcamper
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you handled it well. Remeber bats will not make contact with you if they are healthy . About a 1 1/2 years ago I had a suspected rabid bat aggresively come after ( attack) me while fly fishing . It was broad daylight 90* degrees. I went through the whole rabies vaccine along with the multiple doses of it the first night . This is no joke rabies is 100% fatal, but the vaccine is effective within a certain time period. Not trying to scare you just lettin ya know . Bats have very small fangs and it is hard to tell if you have been bit or scratched . In my case the bat was very aggressive and came after me multiple times in daylight which is not normal . Fyi to all.
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Criswell
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any nocturnal animal that you see during the day, is extremely likely infected (raccoons, opossums, bats, vampires) I saw a feral domestic cat a block from my high school (where we all walked past every single day to get to the school) many many years ago. It was quite obvious because it seemed to have lockjaw, was hissing and foaming at the mouth/drooling profusely. I called the police, police notified animal control, and unfortunately it had to be destroyed.

I don't know if the 30 shots in the stomach thing is an old urban legend or not, but Id rather not ever find out the hard way.
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babysnakes
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
raccoons, opossums, bats,


It is extremely rare for an opposum to contract rabies do to a low body temp. that makes it hard for the virus to survive.
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mtcamper
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They used to give the shots in the stomach , now its in the hip and and arms. They are huge shots though.
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Wild Bill
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

babysnakes wrote:
Quote:
raccoons, opossums, bats,


It is extremely rare for an opposum to contract rabies do to a low body temp. that makes it hard for the virus to survive.



But they are scavengers and their mouth area is full of bacteria . Couple that with sharp teeth and a nasty disposition when they are cornered. Just saying. Wink Look like giant RATS!!
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ebenasky
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well - my guests were smaller. I went out to work on my '71 bus, and I found that wasps were up under the rear of the sliding door rail! Rather disturbing when you bang up against the side and they swarm out.

I found a foaming hornet/wasp killer that worked VERY well!
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could have been worse......it could have been "in-laws".
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Bala
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thing it didn't find a cozy spot up in your headache rack then decide to make its presence known on the drive home! Surprised
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the project bus in my driveway has become a new favorite spot for black widow spiders

you can tell by the style webs, they look like those tests where they give spiders drugs and then document how screwed up and random the webs start looking. they are also really strong. you can feel a strong resistance when you break them.

thankfully they are really small little guys, and ive had a few bites over the years (they just love this area) - don't really feel much in terms of side effects. you have to stay away from the long term setups like wood piles and underneath junk piles, as that's where the big mama's like to hide out - you really don't want get bitten by one of them.

I was out under the bus last night and found another web over by the fuel pump. I don't mind them usually, but lying on my back looking up at a web is a totally different story.


no bats though, thankfully.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild Bill wrote:
babysnakes wrote:
Quote:
raccoons, opossums, bats,


It is extremely rare for an opposum to contract rabies do to a low body temp. that makes it hard for the virus to survive.



But they are scavengers and their mouth area is full of bacteria . Couple that with sharp teeth and a nasty disposition when they are cornered. Just saying. Wink Look like giant RATS!!


Opposums are one animal that looks nicer dead than alive. They make most any other animal look cute in comparison, at least in my book. Crying or Very sad
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The yellow jackets took up residence in the rotted section of the doublecab gates. It wouldn't have bothered me, but I had to walk by them every time, and they usually gave me the serious stink eye. My 11 year old son likes to help, and the thought of him being attacked was enough. So I sprayed them. They just packed up and moved to the cab. I sprayed them again, and they went back to the gates, but in a different rotted out spot. Think So then I taped up their access point, thinking I entombed them. Razz They simply navigated down the gate through a different cancer hole.

I finally prevailed, using enough spray and personal time to the point of embarrassment. I actually felt bad, because those little guys serve an important job in nature.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasted youth/adulthood wrote:
I actually felt bad, because those little guys serve an important job in nature.


I believe they are girls and not guys. Crying or Very sad

If you move your van by 50' or so they will probably not be able to find "home" again and within hours will simply disappear.
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Opossum
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

babysnakes wrote:
It is extremely rare for an opposum to contract rabies do to a low body temp. that makes it hard for the virus to survive


True. Opossums can contract rabies if they are sick (elevated body temp.) and either are bitten by a rabid animal or ingest rabies. More humans contract rabies in the U.S., each year, than opossums.

Wild Bill wrote:
But they are scavengers and their mouth area is full of bacteria . Couple that with sharp teeth and a nasty disposition when they are cornered. Just saying. Wink Look like giant RATS!!


Opossums are omnivore scavengers. They rarely bite. They may bite if cornered or if something is coming at them from a lit area if they are in a dark area. Opossums biting range is only about 6 - 8" in front of them. They can't lunge or jump. They have no means of fighting. They can't fight by clawing. Opossums can't dig; loosing a nail is very painful to them. They are a defensive animal to all animals larger than them.

They have more teeth than any North American land mammal. They show their teeth and hiss to scare off attackers.

Yes, they look similar to rats, but they are North America's only marsupial. They do not have continuously growing teeth as rodents do, so opossums do not gnaw on things like wood, wire, etc.

Wildthings wrote:
Opposums are one animal that looks nicer dead than alive. They make most any other animal look cute in comparison, at least in my book. Crying or Very sad


I disagree. I have volunteered as a wildlife rescuer for over fifteen years dealing only with opossums for southern Orange County, CA. Opossums are a beneficial introduced specie to California. Initially very important to our agriculture now important to the sanitation of our suburban environment.
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Desertbusman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This morning I went to climb into my empty engine compartment and into the trans area to do some detail work and found a bunch of new black widow webs since yesterday. Mainly around the rear suspension is where they usually show up. Can't track them down in the daylight so I'll head out tonight with a flashlight and get them cleaned out.

The real kicker and excitement was last week in the middle of the night when a couple javalenas were quietly wandering around in our complex. It's a closed area and in the middle of the city so those guys were way out of their normal habitat in the open desert. We just can't imagine how they could have gotten is so far past big freeways and heavy traffic city streets. Took a pic of them starting to squeeze in between my bug and bus under the carport but about the only thing that showed up was the white of their eyes caught in the flash. Those are really radical suckers and about as ugly as critters get.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got another uninvited guest story, wonder if any of you have experienced this.

Took the wifes bus out to a local VW show. Parked next to a couple of fellow bus friends. We were kicking back in our beach chairs, behind the buses, having a few beers and noticed something that really blew us away. Random spectators, quite often parents with their kids, climbing into our pride and joys!

We couldn't believe this, now this just didn't happen once or twice, over the course of an afternoon this probably happened over a dozen times. My buddy even partially closed his slider door and folks still came up, opened it up, and climbed in. I'm mean WTF? Now, if someone came up to me, or any of us, and asked if they could sit inside, check things out, take a few pictures, most likely I wouldn't think twice about it. But some of these folks, specially ones with little kids would just walk up, unleash their yard apes inside and let them climb over everything, turning on radios, and try to honk the horn. And to make matters worse, if you asked them kindly to step off, they'd throw you the skunk eye and mumble as they walked away, clutching their precious, looking at you like you were a defrocked priest.

I'm just wondering how these folks would feel if they came back to their Dodge Caravan and found a few of us just hanging out in the back. How do you think they might react [nice cup holders!].

Now the best I can figure, most often when you go to a car show, most folks are pretty respectful. Occasionally you'll get a stray midget who'll leave a few sticky fingerprints on your door before their unobservant parent yanks them away but rarely do folks "cross the line." This show was a bit different, about 75 cars were displayed in a public place where non-car show folk were milling about reliving their childhoods, drooling over all these "cute" cars. I suppose these folks were just a bit uneducated about how they conduct themselves around other folks pride and joys. We tend to forget that to most folk, vehicles are just for getting from one soccer field to another, and after three years trade it in for a new one with Blue Tooth.

We were sitting around trying to figure out ways to keep them away, maybe get a squirt gun and "spritz" them like you do yer cat when he jumps up on the counter. Personally I was leaning toward the remote controlled air horn you could mount in the back. The only downside would be having to hose out all the bodily fluids at the end of the day. I asked the wife if we could put a few NAMBLA stickers in the windows but she put the kabosh on that idea. Figurin the neighbors might "talk."

Oh well, maybe next time I'll just keep the doors locked.

-jeffrey
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