Minnesota Bat Removal and Disposal
Minnesota has seven species of bats. Two of the most common, the big brown bat and the little brown bat, will commonly roost in people’s houses. Bats do much more good than harm eating tons of insects, including mosquitoes, each year. But when they move in with people they can cause problems. Of greatest concern is the potential for diseases such as histoplasmosis found in bat droppings and the rare occurrence of rabies in a bat that might fall sick and be found by a pet or child.
Bats usually keep a low profile inside a house staying up in the eves and attic. Some signs that you might have bats include high-pitched squeaks and scratching at night. These sounds come from high inside the walls or ceiling. Wear a dust mask, and look for droppings in attics and under eaves. The droppings will be dark in color and greasy and may have insect body parts inside.
Bats will often stain the sides of a building with these droppings as they are flying in and out at night. Rounded or cylindrical droppings are usually signs of rodents. A strong, pungent odor is often associated with droppings. Of course a bat flying around inside the house or bats leaving at dusk through attic windows are also good signs that bats are around.
Bats are part of the order Chiroptera that means “hand wing.” They are the only mammals with true flight. Minnesota’s bats are all insectivores and eat tons of mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. Some of our bats migrate in the winter and others, such as the big brown and little brown bats, hibernate over the winter in caves, hollow trees, and buildings. Bats are usually active as long as the evening temperatures stay above 50°F. The females give birth in spring and 3-4 weeks later the babies can fly.
Surprising to most people is that bats can live a long time, with some species living 30 years or more. This is important to note since bats will come back to the same roosting spot year after year.
Of concern with bats is the potential for disease. The most likely disease is histoplasmosis, which is caused by a microscopic fungus that grows in the bat’s droppings. When the droppings are disturbed the fungus gets into the air and can affect the lungs. If droppings need to be cleaned, a dust mask should be worn and the droppings should be lightly misted with a bleach and water solution before being swept or vacuumed. People with lung problems should have someone else clean up the droppings.
Both species of bats can enter very small openings. Any circular opening the diameter of a nickel will allow their passage. It is more common for them to enter buildings via more accessible routes such as broken attic windows, unprotected roof/gable vents, along side exterior masonry chimneys, sprung corners on eves, where dormers meet the main roof, etc.
Rabies is also a possibility, although the percentage of bats with rabies is small. In general, bats should never be held. If any bat is found, it should be left alone or moved with a shovel to someplace far away from people and pets. Dead bats should be disposed of in a plastic garbage bag. If a person or pet is bitten by a bat they should be taken to a doctor immediately. If the bat can be caught, place it in a hard sealed container, such as a coffee can, and take it to be tested for rabies. Very thick leather gloves will protect hands from a bats tiny teeth. If rabies is not treated it is always fatal.
Several News stations have been running a story about Rabies: California girl becomes its third U.S. survivor. NBCAction News This may be an isolated incident, but it can happen. If your house is currently under attack by bats it is wise to call a professional. It is very important that proper inspection techniques and exclusion methods be utilized. If not, you could end up with numerous adult and/or young bats being closed in your walls, eves, or attic, causing a large sanitation problem from dead bats or even having bats come out into your house with you and your family.
Experts recommend stayed away from bats — especially those that might be on the ground. The number one rule is you never, ever touch a bat!
Original Post By Google News Naples Daily News