As scary as bats are to many people, we put up with them because bats eat mosquitoes by the truckload and mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet--way more dangerous than bats. Everyone in New Jersey benefits from the bat populations we have in the state but, when bats get into places they shouldn't, they can cause problems and present dangers.
New Jersey Bats
In the United States, there are about 40 species of bat. The two most common bats which infest homes in New Jersey are little brown bats and big brown bats. Both of these bats are brown in coloration and, as you can probably guess, little brown bats are smaller than big brown bats.
The most important danger bats present is the ability to spread rabies. While a normal, healthy bat is not prone to bite, a bat that is sick with rabies is unpredictable.
Of all the animals that spread rabies to humans, bats and raccoons are at the top of the list, by a long shot. And bats make the top of the list by a mere 1% margin, according to a study done in 2015 and posted to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by an RNA virus in the genus Lyssavirus, which can lead to human mortality. Early symptoms include fever, headache, and a general feeling of sickness. As it progresses, it can lead to insomnia, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, excessive salivation, and hydrophobia Do not wait for symptoms to appear. Rabies is preventable with rabies vaccine but is always fatal once symptoms begin. If you've been bitten, seek prompt medical treatment.
Keep in mind that less than one-half of 1% of wild bats have rabies. In the United States, dying of rabies is rare, due in large part to successful animal control and vaccination programs. It is important to keep this in perspective.
Bats are not generally aggressive creatures. For this reason, some people don't take them as seriously as they should. This can lead to a bite. Not every bite from a bat will lead to rabies, so we felt it was important to have a category for non-rabies bites. A bite from either of these two types of bat is painful. Bites usually occur when a bat is cornered or trapped. Do not attempt to capture a bat to release outside. Contact a wildlife specialist.
When bats get into a home they can bring secondary pests in with them. Three common parasites associated with bats are bat bugs, fleas, and mites. Each of these secondary pests come with their own set of problems.
When bats get into a home, the biggest issue they present is the noises they make in attic spaces, wall voids, roof voids, and other locations they are using for harborage. This can manifest as scratching, bumping, and thumping.
If you have bats in your attic, they're not going to be very good guests. Bats leave their droppings in roost areas. This can create a mess to clean up and lead to bad odors inside your home. Bat droppings are also a potential threat for histoplasmosis, a potentially fatal human respiratory illness. Early symptoms include fever, chills, headache, dry cough, muscle aches, and chest discomfort. In some cases, histoplasmosis can turn into a chronic form that shares symptoms with tuberculosis.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to kill bats. This makes it a complicated matter to evict bats from your home. And, as we talked about earlier, attempting to trap a bat can lead to a bite.
If you're dealing with bats inside your New Jersey home, reach out to Arrow Pest Control for humane bat removal services. Our specialists are trained in the procedures and protocols that work to remove bats without causing harm to them. Start with a free, no obligation inspection. We'll help you get those bats out and give you the guidance you need to prevent future bat infestations from occurring.
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