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Common Myths About Bats: How To Handle Bats In Your Property

Bats have been misconstrued as violent and mysterious creatures that lurk through the night ready to swoop down on their prey. Even movies and television shows have linked bats to blood sucking rodents and have displayed them in a negative light. However, bats are not violent creatures and although they are nocturnal, they feast on night-flying insects and pests. The more you know about these creatures the better you can understand what steps to take if you find them in or around your property. This article debunks those common myths about bats and provides a better understanding of what to do if they are in your home or property.

Myth: Bats Are Blind

People may think that bats are blind because they are typically only seen at night. Haven’t you eve heard the saying, “blind as a bat.” However, bats have excellent eyesight that is typically better than that of humans. They also use their other senses to help them get around better in the dark. Their large or small ears, depending on the species, help them use sound waves that bounce off objects like a natural sonar. This technique is called echolocation and they use this by sending out streams of high-pitched sounds through its mouth or nose. These sounds then bounce off nearby objects and send back echoes.

Myth: Bats Are Extremely Dangerous

People think that bats are violent and instantly attack people when approached. In general, bats are not dangerous. Like any other mammal, they can carry rabies, although less than 1 percent of all bats are infected with the virus. More people die annually from dog attacks, bee stings, lightning and household accidents than from bat-transmitted rabies. If you are having problems with bats in your property, leave it to the experts to safely and efficiently remove the problem for you. Wildlife Control Services can help with the issue that is the most beneficial for you and for the bats.

People also think that bats are irrational and as they fly around, they can get caught in people’s hair. It may be the way they fly around but it’s not true that bats are trying to attack you and get stuck in your hair. More than likely, what is happening is the bats that swoop near people are usually after insects such as mosquitoes.

Myth: Bats Are Only Nuisances

Of course, as a homeowner or a property owner, you probably don’t want bats residing in your property. However, bats rid the area of harmful insects that can damage crops or plants. Bats actually help rid the area of more harmful nuisances and there are ways to keep them out of certain areas but still benefit from their presence. If you want bats out of your house but would like to retain them for their excellent insect control abilities, why not consider building or installing a bat house after the bats have been excluded. Bat houses, much like birdhouses, provide artificial roost sites for bats. They have been widely used in Europe for over 60 years. Much has been learned in recent years about bat roosting preferences. The following factors are critical to the success of bat houses: maintaining suitable temperature ranges, the distance to food and water, the size and shape of inner roosting spaces and the roughness of clinging surfaces.

Myth: Bat guano is toxic

Like other animal feces, you should avoid coming into direct contact and should wear a mask and gloves when removing the droppings from the property. Nevertheless, people believe that bat guano is toxic and is extremely harmful to their health to be near it. The droppings are not any more toxic than other types of critters that can enter your home or building. The biggest concern when dealing with the feces is the risk of histoplasmosis. Be careful when removing bat droppings from indoor roosts. Histoplasmosis, a fungal disease associated with the droppings of birds and bats, can result from the disturbance of dried droppings. Disturbance causes the fungal spores to become airborne, and spores entering the lungs can cause respiratory problems. However, histoplasmosis is very rarely fatal; mild cases are common and often go unnoticed. Hot, dry attics rarely allow the spores to survive; thus, this disease is much more common in chicken roosts than in indoor bat roosts. Histoplasmosis is easily preventable; wearing a mask when removing accumulations of droppings prevents inhalation of the spores. For more about the major diseases associated with animal droppings that may be in your home, click here.

Myth: Poisons will help terminate a bat colony

Having bats roosting in your home or building can be an issue you want to take care of right away. You may try and remove them yourself or feel you can “exterminate” them with poisons or toxins but that method is actually illegal. Also, other methods can potentially harm you or unnecessarily harm the bats. It’s important that a professional who knows the proper methods of wildlife removal handles it with care. If you wish to hire someone to exclude and bat-proof your home, it is best to seek a specialist such as Wildlife Control Services, LLC. If the bats need to be trapped or handled, the specialist must be licensed by the DEP Wildlife Division. Furthermore, it’s important to know exclusion should not be done from June through mid-August, as flightless young may be trapped and die in the roost, causing severe odor problems.

The more you know about bats the better you can understand what steps to take if you find them in or around your property. If you are having issues, contact a specialist right away for more information.