When you think of bats, does your mind go first to Dracula or one of our favorite comic book characters, Batman? Maybe thoughts of bats in caves, castles, and darkness all intermingle and make you nervous about the creatures. Wherever you are in thinking about bats, there is no denying that they play a massive role in ecological systems. Bats consume enormous -mounts of bugs and other pests in our environment at night, protecting crops, humans, and other animals from insect overpopulation problems.
Bats help by dropping seeds as they eat fruit and they also provide valuable fertilizer to their surrounding plants and trees. These animals may look frightening to some, but they provide quite a bit to our environment that we simply can’t replace; however, there is a problem for the bats. A disease that is called white-nose syndrome is killing millions of bats. It is a fungal infection, and it is spreading. There is a project that is traveling across thirty-one states and ten Canadian provinces to track bat activity and numbers.
The researchers using this information want to better understand the bats and see what is threatening them. The North American Bat Monitoring Program finds these bats by using acoustic surveys. This means that they detect the high-pitched frequencies emitted by bats as the fly through the dark eating bugs. Within North America there are about 150 species of bats. Of those, there are forty-seven in the United States. Some of these migrate more than 500 miles, and others hibernate in caves or abandoned mines. There is limited information on all of them.
Once upon a time, acoustic monitoring involved carrying equipment on a vehicle. Currently, a device can be hooked up to an iPhone. Scientists are perfecting the software that identifies the bat species making the sounds. Researchers can use low-tech methods as well, as in counting hibernating bats in the winter. During other seasons, the researchers count maternity colonies, and in five years, researchers should have enough information to spot trends. Susan Loeb, a research ecologist with the United States Forest Service in Clemson, South Carolina, says that “In the last ten, twenty years, we’re getting better and better technology that allows us to learn about bats…
We know that many bat populations are declining, but we don’t know the magnitude of that decline”. Bats are thought to be a key in protecting the health of forests from insects. Brazilian free-tailed bat colonies in Texas often number more than a million individuals, and the experts say that those bats consume more than eight tons of insects in a single night! Besides the white-nose syndrome, wind farms cause damage to the populations as well. In fact, hundreds of thousands of bats die annually in collisions with spinning blades. Susan Loeb says, “We still don’t know why [bats collide with the blades]… Why can’t they detect them? And how do we deter them?” Loeb also believes that if people will improve their opinions of bats, then there will be an increase in drive to protect these important animals. She says that, “the public perception of bats is changing as people learn how important they are and how fascinating they are”.
Do you have bats in your attic? Call 770-479-1598 to have Canton Termite and Pest Control send a professional to humanely remove these bats and place them in a safe area.
We here at Canton Termite and Pest Control believe that supporting our ecosystem is important, and that each animal serves a role in its environment. Our job, simply put, is making sure that their job in the environment can be best performed outside of your homes and without harm to your family and friends! If you have issues with bats or other potential pests, then call today at 770-479-1598. We provide service throughout zip codes of 30115, 30114, 30183, and 30107 and around these areas. Have a blessed day! Below is more information on our sources and where you can find out more information about bats.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors provides the following information:
“Indications of a household bat infestation:
the accumulation of guano. Bat guano resembles rodent droppings but can be distinguished in several ways: guano tends to cluster as it piles up beneath the exit of the bats? roost; guano often has a shiny, speckled appearance due to the ingestion of insect wings; and guano can be easily crushed into smaller fragments, while rodent droppings will not.
Of course, it is not safe to touch any animal droppings with unprotected hands; milky white urine stains on windows; stains around entry holes, such as cracks and crevices; mouse-like droppings under eaves and overhangs; stains and odors caused by urine and guano; noises such as squeaking, scratching and crawling in attics and walls shortly before dusk and dawn; and large pile of bat guano grease and dirt. Bats often leave smears of grease and dirt from their coats on the entry point to their roost.
Bats and Disease:
Due to their high mobility and social behavior, bats are often hosts for diseases, such as rabies. Rabies is perhaps the most serious disease transmitted by bats in North America. Most of the human rabies cases in the United States have been caused by the rabies virus from bats. Awareness of the facts about bats and rabies can help homeowners protect themselves, their families, and their pets.
Indications that a bat has rabies:
The bat is in an unusual place, such as a bedroom or in the lawn. Healthy bats do not rest on the ground.
The bat is approachable. Healthy bats are scared of humans and will flee long before they can be approached.
The bat is active during the day.
The bat appears unable to fly.
For these reasons, rabid bats are often most likely to come into contact with humans.
This respiratory disease, caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, is transmitted through the inhalation of fungal spores found in bat guano and bird droppings. Although generally not fatal, histoplasmosis can cause flu-like symptoms. For individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS, histoplasmosis can be fatal.”
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Bats and Wildlife removing
If you’ve ever been outside as night falls, then you’ve probably seen the dark shape of a bat flying above you as it begins its nightly hunt. Bats are the second largest group of mammals, and they make up about a fifth of all mammals in the world. .
Georgia alone is home to 16 species of bats. Since there are so many species, bats inhabit every part in the world, including your backyard. Bats inhabit every part of North America and assist in pollination and insect population control in their respective habitats.
Unfortunately bats are known to sometimes carry rabies, which has a high mortality rate in humans if not treated. Despite their bad reputation, bats are very beneficial due to their assistance in the control of disease carrying insects.
Bats require a roosting area where they can rest during the day. Unfortunately, as urban areas have grown, bat populations near to residential areas have had increased contact with humans. They seek out dark places to build their roosts, and are known for living in attics, barns, and other dark, enclosed spaces.
Often homeowners discover bats when they find guano either near to vents or on the floor of attics. The guano itself can carry many pathogens and should be handled with care.
If you find a bat in your home, remember to be cautious around them, as they can carry rabies and can injure themselves if they panic. They have fragile, easily damaged wings and are almost impossible to catch while in flight. Bats cannot be dealt with through extermination methods. In fact, bats are protected by federal conservation laws, making it a crime to improperly handle a bat.
Bats are very important to the ecosystem, and as a result all methods for dealing with bats are humane and focus on the safety of the animal. The only time is it necessary to remove bats is when bats are found inside of commercial or domestic buildings. During the winter, most bats enter hibernation, and will die if they are awoken prematurely. However a bat infestation can be a health hazard for anyone living near to them and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Removing bats and Wildlife is not a job for the untrained. It is difficult, sometimes dangerous work that should be left to professionals. At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have done hundreds of bat removal jobs, and we are the most efficient and skilled team for solving your bat problems. Our first priority is the safety of you and your family, as well as the bats. We work to remove the bats from domestic areas and relocate them to safe environments. We then will seal problem areas around your home to prevent bats from getting into your house again.
Don’t forget that even if you do not currently have a bat problem, your house could become infested if it is not sealed properly. Fortunately we have experience in sealing houses from bats, and we can take care of the problem before any bats get in.
Do you have a bat problem in your home? We can take care of that for you! Just give us a call or text us at 770-479-1598! Any other pest problems? Check out our primary website at CantonTermite.com.
Want more info on bats? check out these resources!
Georgia DNR: DNR
Bat Conservation Trust: CDC