Bats have long held a place in human imagination, often being associated with mystery and the supernatural. However, the reality is that bats are fascinating creatures that play crucial roles in ecosystems by controlling insect populations and pollinating plants. Unfortunately, bats have also been linked to the transmission of rabies, a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Should you really be worried about bats and rabies? Let’s delve into the facts and dispel some common misconceptions.
Bats and Rabies: The Connection
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is typically spread through the bite of an infected animal, but it can also be transmitted through scratches or contact with an infected animal’s saliva. While various mammals can carry and transmit rabies, bats are often associated with the disease due to their ability to fly and their frequent interactions with humans.
It’s important to note that not all bats carry rabies. In fact, the prevalence of rabies in bat populations is relatively low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only a small percentage of bats tested are found to have rabies. In the United States, the most common bat species that carry the virus include the big brown bat and the silver-haired bat.
Understanding the Risk: Should You Be Worried?
The risk of contracting rabies from a bat is still quite low, and there are several reasons for this:
- Bats Avoid Humans: Bats are generally not aggressive towards humans and tend to avoid contact. Most cases of bat-related rabies transmission occur when humans attempt to handle or interact with bats, such as trying to catch or rescue them. It’s important to remember that bats should be left alone and not handled unless you are a trained professional.
- Visible Signs of Rabies: Rabid bats may exhibit unusual behavior, such as flying during daylight hours, being unable to fly, or displaying aggression. These behaviors are not typical of healthy bats and can serve as a warning sign to stay away.
- Preventive Measures: To minimize the risk of potential exposure to rabies, you can take certain precautions. Seal any openings in your home where bats might enter, and consider installing bat houses away from living spaces to provide them with a natural roosting area. If you suspect a bat has entered your living space, do not attempt to catch it yourself; instead, seek help from animal control or a wildlife professional.
- Vaccination and Medical Care: If you are bitten or scratched by a bat or any other animal, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly. Rabies can be prevented through post-exposure prophylaxis, which includes a series of vaccinations. Timely medical intervention is highly effective in preventing the onset of the disease.
Educate and Coexist
While bats can carry rabies, the risk of transmission is relatively low if proper precautions are taken. Rather than fostering unnecessary fears, it’s important to educate ourselves about bats and their role in ecosystems. Bats are essential for pest control, pollination, and maintaining the delicate balance of nature.
If you encounter bats, whether in your surroundings or unexpectedly indoors, remember that they are not out to harm you. Instead of panicking, take steps to ensure your safety and the well-being of these remarkable creatures. By understanding the facts and dispelling common misconceptions, we can coexist with bats and appreciate the vital role they play in our environment.
What To Do If You Have Bats In Your Home
Although rabies shouldn’t be a tremendous concern, Histoplasmosis should be. One of the key factors in this is the bat’s feces, also known as “guano”. Bat guano can accumulate in your attic very quickly. Once the amount of guano increases and begins to heat up in your attic, it will begin to smell BAD. It will also begin to grow Histoplasma fungus. If the spores become airborne, it can lead to a potential health risks for your family. If you breath in the spores, it can lead to a lung infection known as Histoplasmosis. Along with that, overtime, the bat guano accumulates and ruins your attic insulation, which can cost you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. Learn more about Histoplasmosis, here. Ultimately, you will want to call a specialized bat-removal company, such a Varmint Gone, to safely and effectively remove the bats and guano.
Why Choose Varmint Gone?
Varmint Gone understands the importance of protecting your home and your family. We also have decades of experience and training to ensure that your home is cleaned and sealed correctly… the first time! Schedule an inspection online or call Varmint Gone at 888-391-3330, today. Varmint Gone is a licensed, insured, and local veteran owned bat removal company providing fast and reliable bat removal services to homeowners and commercial facilities since 1983. We include an unprecedented five-year warranty on all repairs and construction exclusion work against bats.