24 May Bat Populations Recovering from White-Nose Syndrome
Bats can sometimes be seen flying around when it’s dark out in the Beaufort County area and in other parts of SC. However, their populations have been hit in recent years by a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. Fortunately for these animals, they’re expected to make a comeback after being devastated by this disease. If their populations recover, you could find yourself needing Beaufort County bat removal services.
This fungal infection was first found in SC in March 2013, but it’s been affecting bats in the northeastern US since 2006. Over the years, white-nose syndrome has led to steep population declines in some bat species, such as the little brown bat. In fact, some populations declined by 90 percent or more due to this disease.
When bats have white-nose syndrome, this fungus causes them to wake up during hibernation frequently. This results in the bats using up their fat stores, leading to starvation, dehydration and tissue damage that makes it difficult or even impossible for them to fly.
Bats in SC
White-nose syndrome has led to a loss of about 97 percent of the population among SC’s tri-colored bats. The good news is that this decline has been slowing down recently, which could help these populations recover. However, this could take awhile, since there were only about 30 bats left out of a population that used to number in the hundreds.
Other bat species that have been affected by white-nose syndrome include the big brown bat, little brown bat and Southeastern bat. Among these species, some have only experienced mild problems that haven’t affected their populations as much.
In other SC bat species, white-nose syndrome has not been found, even when evidence of the fungus has been detected in their habitats. These species include the silver haired bat, Eastern red bat and Rafinesque’s big eared bat. Other bat species in SC don’t hibernate long enough for the disease to do much damage. The species that haven’t been found to have this disease include the Seminole bat, hoary bat, Northern yellow bat, evening bat and Brazilian free-tailed bat.
Bats and Humans
There’s no risk of bats spreading white-nose syndrome to humans. The fungus hasn’t been shown to be a health risk to people. However, bats shouldn’t be handled if they’re found on your property. You should keep pets and children away from them to lower the risk of any other diseases being spread, such as rabies.
If you find a dead bat that looks like it might have white-nose syndrome, cover it with a bucket and contact the wildlife office in your area as soon as you can, so it can be tested. For live bats, let Beaufort County bat removal professionals take care of getting them off your property.
What to Do About Bats
When you have bats on your property, should you remove them? While bats can be good to have around outside, since they feed on insect pests, some carry the risk of spreading rabies and other diseases. When bats get into homes, they sometimes end up sticking around and making nests. Homeowners then have to deal with the noise they make and the guano they leave behind.
If bats visit your property at night to feed, you can generally leave them be. However, bats in your home are another matter. In that case, you’ll need Beaufort County bat removal services to get these animals out of your home before they cause trouble. Don’t try to remove bats yourself, since this can be dangerous to do. Experts know how to handle these situations safely.
If you have bats in your home, please contact Island Pest Control for Beaufort County bat removal. Our technicians have the expertise and training to remove these animals as safely as possible.