Bats are great to have around your community because they are nature’s pest control. However, if you have bats living in the attic or walls, then your health can be at risk. Many people are OK with bats roosting in the attic until they smell the bat urine and feces that’s accumulating in the attic or until a bat gets into the living space possibly exposing you and your family to rabies. When bats roost in attics and wall cavities, they sometimes find their way into the main living area of a home. Some bats get into the living space of the home through gaps as small as 3/8 of an inch around the attic access panel or door. They also enter gaps around air conditioning ventilation duct work in attics. If bats get into the wall cavities in the attic, they may accidentally find their way down to the basement through the walls. If the basement has an unfinished ceiling or walls, then the bats can get out into the living space of the home.
The Rabies Risk
During the first week of June 2015, our Anne Arundel County bat removal professionals were overwhelmed with calls from Glen Burnie, Maryland homeowners who were woken in the night by bats flying around in their homes. Many residents had to get rabies shot as a precaution because they opened a window and released the bats. Other home owners who received our assistance avoided the rabies shot because our technicians were able to capture the bats and they were tested for rabies by The Anne Arundel County Health Department. To learn more about bats and rabies visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Airborne Fungal Spores
Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in fungus spores found in bat droppings. Histoplasmosis is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne. Soil, insulation, and other materials that are often contaminated with bat droppings also can contain histoplasmosis. People who reside in a building or home that has a bat infestation, as well as farmers and landscapers are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Most people with histoplasmosis never develop symptoms and aren’t aware they’re infected. However, histoplasmosis can be serious and even deadly for some people including infants and people that already have lung or breathing problems.
Damage Caused by Bat Urine and Feces
Bat urine and feces (guano) can cause a lot of damage to a home. Bat urine and feces will stain just about any surface including sheet rock or plaster walls and ceilings. Attic and wall insulation becomes saturated with urine and feces which prohibits the insulation from insulating your home. As bat urine and feces accumulates in the attic or wall cavities you may start to smell an ammonia odor. Urine and feces staining may also be found at the entry/exit hole the bats are using to access the attic or walls. You will see a brownish stain occur as this urine and feces is washed down the exterior wall of the home or building. If you have bats living in your attic or walls, it is a good idea to contact the Anne Arundel County bat removal professionals to inspect your attic or home for accumulated bat droppings. If you have only had bats living in your attic or home for a short period of time, then you may only need a small area of the attic cleaned out. However, if bats have been living in your attic for a long period of time, then you may be in need of a total attic cleanout and re-insulation after the bat removal project is complete.
Bats Carry Bed Bugs and Bat Bugs
Bat bugs and bed bugs look so much alike that it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two without a magnifying glass. Bat bugs will mostly feed on bats. If the bats leave their roosting site, then the bat bugs usually go with the bats and any remaining bat bugs usually die off in the attic or wall cavities. However, bats can carry bed bugs as well. If bats are roosting in the attic or wall cavities of a home that is infested with bed bugs and then relocate to a new roosting site such as a neighbor’s attic, then, yes, there is a chance you may get bed bugs from the bats living in the attic. Watch this video to learn more about bats carrying bed bugs and how bed bugs can infest your home. If you suspect that you may be sharing your Glen Burnie home with bats, let our Maryland Wildlife Control experts know right away! The sooner we can evict the bats, the less damage your home will incur. Give us a call or contact online to schedule an appointment!