UNDERSTANDING THE UNDERLYING DANGERS OF A BAT INFESTATION IN YOUR HOME
Most often known to inhabit caves and well-covered forest areas, bats can be found across the globe. While these winged mammals are an important part of the ecosystem, it is not safe for bats to share the same home as humans. Unfortunately, bats will often take refuge in certain parts of a home if given the chance.
If you have a few bats in your attic, basement or another part of your home, you may think that this is not a major problem. However, even just a few bats in your home bring along with their presence specific health and safety concerns. Here is a look at some of the underlying health dangers of a bat infestation in your home.
BATS CAN CARRY RABIES AND OTHER VIRUSES AND DISEASES
Bats have been known to carry rabies for a long time, but bats are not actually as rabid as most people assume, and only about 5 percent of those tested being carriers. However, there is always a chance that a bat could have rabies.
Rabies is a major threat to humans. The disease is passed through a bat’s saliva, so if you or a family member is bitten or if a bat’s saliva comes in contact with you or your family members eyes, mouth or nasal passages, they could contract the disease. Transmission is as easy as being in close contact with a bat at the wrong time.
Rabies is not the only disease or virus you should be concerned about if you have bats in the house. In fact, bats carry 61 zoonotic, or human-infecting, viruses. A few other diseases bats can carry and transmit to humans include:
- Marburg hemorrhagic fever
The range of viruses and diseases that are carried by bats differs according to bat species and geographic location. Regardless, this information is enough to show how much of a safety threat these mammals are when they try to cohabitate in human dwellings.
BAT GUANO AND URINE CARRY SPECIFIC HEALTH RISKS
One of the most common ways humans are infected by an illness, virus or disease relative to bats is through exposure to bat guano (excrement) or bat urine. If you have bats nesting in your home, their droppings and urine will contaminate everything from hard surfaces to the indoor air, which can be incredibly dangerous.
To further exacerbate the problems that come along with guano, bat urine can carry the guano particles throughout your home. For example, if you have a bat problem in the attic and their droppings line the floor, the bat urine can soak through the floor and into the walls and ceilings of your home carrying the guano with it.
One of the primary diseases associated with bat guano is Histoplasmosis, which is a disease that can affect the lungs, heart and other bodily organs. Histoplasmosis occurs when fungus develops on guano-contaminated surfaces and soil. The Histoplasmosis spores become airborne and can be inhaled in the air or consumed in liquids and food.
It is the threat that comes along with bat guano and urine that makes it so difficult to completely handle an eradication of bats on your own. Even if you get rid of the bats, which are still likely to come back without proper safeguards, you are still faced with cleaning up the area that may contain Histoplasmosis spores and even parasites from the bats.
In all truth, a bat infestation in your house can be a threat to the health of your family as well as the health of your home environment. If you believe you have a bat infestation in your home, contact us at Triangle Wildlife Removal & Pest Control Inc. for professional services that will take care of the situation.