3 Bat Problems in Colorado
Colorado is home to more than 15 species of bats. They usually are harmless, but sometimes they become pests that bother homeowners and the occupants of commercial properties. Bat problems occur during migratory periods, which typically occur between April and May each year.
When an abundance of bats are around, you often notice them roosting in or around homes and other buildings. Unfortunately, this causes a variety of problems, both directly and indirectly. To learn what issues are associated with bats, continue reading.
Problems Caused By Bats
Bats are not dangerous. Though, their presence does pose some risk to people and pets. This is primarily because bats carry rabies and other transmissible diseases.
Here are some common problems involving bats:
1. Bats Bite People
Many bat problems arise due to the unnecessary handling of bats. It would be best if you never attempted to handle a wild bat. If you do, bats will bite you. Their bites cause significant pain because many bat species have small but very sharp teeth that they use to grind insects. Some species, such as big brown bats, have more prominent teeth, which cause even more damage to the bite victims.
2. Bats Carry Diseases
Disease is a concerning bat problem. Bats carry a host of bacteria and viruses that are harmful to humans. Therefore, if you do not have the training and are not vaccinated, you should never attempt to handle wild bats.
Here are some examples of diseases carried by many bat species:
This rare lung infection passes through bat feces. The cause of histoplasmosis is a fungal microbe called Histoplasma capsulatum. You inhale this soil-based fungus during exposure to bat droppings. The microscopic fungal spores often cause infected people to develop a mild illness with minor signs of lung infection. Unfortunately, though, there are times when the disease spreads throughout the body, causing life-threatening symptoms.
Fortunately, very few people ever experience symptoms associated with histoplasmosis. In fact, less than 5% of infected people get sick following the contraction of the disease. If they get sick, treatment options include specific antifungal drugs taken for three to twelve months. This means you do not often have to worry about this bat problem.
This bacterial disease transmits through the urine of infected bats. Although the condition is sometimes fatal, death is a rare outcome of infection. To avoid getting infected with leptospirosis, avoid any contact with bat urine. Infection occurs if the urine enters your body through broken skin or unprotected areas like your eyes or nose.
Handling bat feces or urine can lead to salmonella infection. The bacteria live in undercooked or raw food, so bats that eat raw food can transmit it through their waste. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms often last for as many as two weeks. Treatment is usually not necessary, with many infected people recovering with just rest and high fluid intake. Taking antibiotics to treat salmonella is not recommended because it sometimes worsens the symptoms.
Rabies is a nervous system disease caused by the rabies virus. This virus infects domesticated animals as well as wild animals, like bats. If you come into close contact with infected saliva, there is a chance of the disease spreading. This is one of the worst bat problems because rabies is almost sure to be fatal if symptoms develop. In fact, an estimated 60,000 people die from rabies every year.
The only way to prevent fatal illness is to get treated with the rabies vaccine before becoming sick. Therefore, people suffering from bat bites need to be tested for rabies immediately. Doing so saves your lives.
Bats Are a Nuisance
Bats have a bad reputation. Although they keep insect populations down in the areas they inhabit, they also scare children and agitate pets. If bats cause trouble near you, take action to manage your bat problems.
Managing Bat Problems
There are many DIY bat solutions available on the market. Yet, many of these solutions do not effectively solve your bat problems. Still, homeowners considering using bat control products can benefit from learning what is available. Some standard products used to manage bat populations include:
These specialized roosting structures give bats somewhere to roost other than your home. This does not get bats out of your house nor will it keep them from entering your home, but it is an option for deterring some bats from choosing your house as their roosting place.
If bats enter your house, using mesh to block entryways works to keep them out. Usually, bats abandon their attempt to enter if a rigid material, like copper, is blocking their path.
Owls hunt bats, so simulating the presence of owls scares some of them away. Many retailers sell decoys that look just like large owls. This cheap option works temporarily, but the bats get accustomed to a fake owl and stop being afraid of it over time.
The Real Solution For Bat Problems
When DIY solutions fail to deter bats from your property, the only option left is to contact a pest control service. Companies like OMNIS Pest Control have extensive experience solving bat problems, so trust the professionals to come to implement a solution. Depending on the circumstances, pest control technicians either capture the bats and then release them elsewhere or wait until they migrate away in a later season.
Hopefully, you don’t have a bat roost in your home or on your property. If you do, in many cases, the only solution to your bat problems is to wait for them to leave. Unfortunately, once the bats leave, you must take action to exclude them from your property when they return. This means sealing off entry points to ensure that the bats have no means of entering your home.
Once the bats go away, cleanup is critical. Leaving bat feces and urine around leads to illness if exposure occurs. So, have the experts professionally clean the affected space before you occupy it.