First off – Bats are not evil blood sucking vampires. They do not attack people or pets. They dip, dive, swoop, and fly very erratic. They do not suck blood, nest in your hair, and do not chase you. If you are reading this, and don’t believe me and that means you are in the normal bat fearing majority. This fear has been instilled in us for years and reinforced by too many vampire and Dracula movies.
Bats are mammals that feed mainly on insects, fruits, and nectar. There are no vampire bats in North America. Here in Central and Upstate New York, there are several species of bats but the two most common structural dwelling species are the Big or Large Brown Bat and the Little Brown bat.
The Big Brown Bat has a body of about 3 to 3 ½ inches long with a wingspan between 10 to 12 inches wide. The Small Brown Bat has a body of about 2 to 2 ½ inches long and a wingspan of about 6 inches wide. Both bats are mammals and breast feed their pups. These offspring are born in mid June. The Big Brown bat as well as the little Brown bat will commonly bare one young. It takes 7 weeks for the pups to mature to flight. Both species will reside in our attics and walls but the Big Brown is more cold tolerant and often winters over in our homes. The Small Browns usually leave in September. The colony sizes vary. The large Brown has colonies that rarely exceed 50 and the Small Brown colonies and number into the hundreds.
The feces is called Guano and is the only feces that powders when it is touched. Guano accumulation deposited in attics and walls can host fungus spores that cause respiratory diseases like Histoplasmosis. The Guano can become a host site for parasites like fleas, ticks, bat bugs, beetles and worms, and is toxic in nature.
While both species are mammals and as such can carry the rabies virus, the Big Brown is much more like the carry the disease. Neither species should be handled by untrained personnel. Any injury by a bat should be treated as a rabies exposure and must be reported to both a doctor and the local health department. The percentage of rabies in bats is extremely low and averages about 3 percent of all bats tested. Because rabies is a fatal disease, any exposure should be treated and cannot be ignored.
Call us today for all those unwanted critters!
South of Rt 20: Call Albert Burns @ 315-415-7509.
North of Rt 20: Call John Richer @ 315-263-0855.
References given upon request
Serving Upstate and Central New York
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