There are several species of bats found living in our area, one of the most common species is the Little Brown Bat. These flying, furry, warm-blooded mammals have a body that grows to between 2 ½ and 3 ¾ of an inch in length. Little brown bats have leathery wings and a wingspan of 8 to 11 inches. Their fur is dark brown in color with some hints of gray; their ears are black in color and are rounded in shape. Other bats in our North Eastern zone are the Northern Long-eared Bat, the Big Brown Bat, Eastern Small Footed Bat, Indiana Bat, Eastern Red Bat, Silver Haired Bat, Hoary Bat and the Tri-colored Bat.
Are they dangerous?
Yes, bats are dangerous. They are vectors for many pathogens, including the very serious and potentially life-threatening Rabies. Never pick up a bat if it is on the ground, flying in the house, with an unattended baby/child in a room or anywhere you may get bitten. Their droppings can contain a fungus that can cause histoplasmosis (a harmful lung disease) in people. The disease could be inhaled or digested when wind blows the feces dust on the bat and its roosting site. Care needs to be taken when removing bats to also remove all bird guano along with the bat feces when exclusion methods are put in place. Symptoms of Histoplasmosis are fever, cough and general symptoms like a prolonged influenza. Highly sensitive lungs may result in a fatal acute allergic reaction. In a small percentage of Histoplasmosis cases, the fungus spreads to involve multiple organ systems and could be fatal, usually to young children and adults with compromised immune systems.
Why are they in my home?
Bats choose to live on properties that offer them easy access to the things they need on a daily basis- food, water and shelter. Bats can be found roosting in places like attics, soffits, barns, chimneys, underneath of siding or shutters, or in sheds and garages. Bats feed on insects; properties with lots of vegetation can attract insects, which in turn will attract bats. Clogged gutters, leaky fixtures, and other areas of standing water can act as a water source for both insects and bats.
What damage can they cause?
Bats can cause a great deal of damage to the properties that they are invading. They will contaminate both the inside and outside of the homes that they are invading with their urine and feces. Bats carry a lot of parasites on their bodies (bat bugs, ticks, mites, fleas) that they can introduce into your home when living inside of it. Also, bats can cause structural damages to your home as they travel in and out of it on a daily basis and their urine will eventually show through sheetrock adding a stench to go with their remodel work.
How do you get rid of them?
Getting rid of a bat infestation is not an easy process. Bats have the ability to hide throughout your home in hard to reach areas and can continue to enter if you do not address how and why they're coming in. The best way to get rid of bats is to contact us. Our team has the experience and the training to identify how bats are getting in, curb existing bat activity and then seal off entry points to prevent re-infestation. Contact us today to learn more about our wildlife control services that are available throughout The Hudson Valley of New York.