Avoid Bat Diseases That Can be Transmitted to Humans
When it comes to the dangers of bat infestations in a home or business, damage will always be cause for concern.
But a bat problem is much more complicated that just damage to your beloved property.
Another issue we should be concerned with are bat viruses and diseases that can be transmitted to humans or animals — there are more than 60!
If you spot a bat or bat droppings (bat guano) near your home, there’s a chance that a colony of bats may be living inside of the structure somewhere.
Bats are nocturnal and typically only leave their dark and secluded habitats, or roosts, at dusk and return before daylight.
They also prefer warmer climates. So, they will sleep and hibernate inside homes and businesses throughout the winter and will sometimes return to their habitat in the spring/summer months.
Diseases Carried by Bats
Bat viruses and diseases are typically transmitted through a bat’s saliva as well as spores produced by fungus.
While there are confirmed cases of bats being hosts of more than 60 diseases that can infect humans, bats are most commonly associated with two diseases, histoplasmosis and rabies.
Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by the fungus, Histoplasma Capsulatum, found in bat droppings.
Histoplasmosis is transferred by spores produced by the fungus that can infect humans by inhalation alone.
The disease mostly effects the respiratory system with flu-like symptoms as well as impacting vision, hearing, and the heart.
Histoplasmosis can also become ocular, meaning the fungus spores can attach to your eye(s) and cause blindness. So, eye protection is needed, and Inhalation isn’t the only way to get the fungus.
The disease may further develop into a fever, blood problems, pneumonia, and even death.
The best way to prevent inhaling the spores in confined spaces, such as an attic, is to wear a breathing mask or something to cover your mouth.
A common question is; do bats carry rabies?
Only a small percentage of bats carry the rabies virus but remains a threat due to the potential severity of the disease.
Bats that are infected with rabies will become very sick and may attack people or animals if they feel threatened.
Unlike raccoons and skunks who will become aggressive if they are infected with the virus, officials classify the strain that infects bats as “dumb rabies”. That is because the bat may appear tame, or in a drunk-like state.
The most common way for a bat to transfer rabies is through a bite. This is typically because a person has picked them up and caused the bat to feel threatened or unsafe.
Since there is no clear way to tell if a bat has rabies, if you come into contact with a bat be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
It is also important to understand that even though it is unlikely, your pet may encounter an injured bat and contract the same diseases as humans.
The diseases will affect pets in nearly the same way as humans while increasing the chance of you contracting the disease.
Bats are a Protected Species
If you need to prevent bat infestations in the attic, the last thing you should do is try to eliminate the problem yourself.
Bats are also a protected species, which is why Catseye Pest Control technicians go through a very careful process of removing the bat(s) and relocate them in an area that is safe.
“Our Wildlife Technicians are licensed, trained, and experienced to safely evict these wonderful creatures,” explained President of Catseye Pest Control Joe Dingwall. “We only remove bats during the times of year when relocation will be safe and successful, while avoiding their hibernation and birthing seasons.”
How to Handle a Bat Infestation
The best way to deal with a bat colony inside your home or commercial business is to be patient and go about the removal carefully.
Perform an inspection of the roof, eaves, and attic at dusk to see exactly where bats are entering and exiting.
Bats are not able to create holes in your home like other pests, such as termites, meaning a patched hole can do the trick.
When all the bats have left or been safely removed, simply eliminate the potential points of entry.
Catseye has the ability to install a one-way door that allows bats to leave the building on their own but stops them from entering again.
Over time, the bats will return, only to find your home or office sealed. This will cause the bats to move on to another building or structure.
Given the benefit of bats helping to reduce mosquitoes and other insects, it is recommended that you provide them with an expert approved bat box, or bat house for shelter.
A bat box can be installed near your home or business, further eliminating the potential health hazards associated with bats, while continuing to limit mosquito populations. These small structures can also help protect the bat population.