The beloved bat is a friend of the Mississippi citizen for the simple fact that most bats subsist off a steady diet of insects and mosquitos. And, as anyone in Hattiesburg can attest, a critter that eats mosquitos can’t be all bad. And they’re not! Bats typically consume over half their body weight in insects every night! They can help farmers cut down on pesticides, reduce the amount of mosquito bites you receive every summer and disperse fruit and flower seeds.

Unfortunately, bats are still creatures of the wild and that means that if they get trapped in your home, you need to take serious precautions.

How to Spot a Bat

Bats can be identified by their small, dark, fuzzy bodies and the thin, membraned wings that connect their front legs and back legs. They look a little like mice with wings, but these pollinators are not classified as rodents. Bats belong to a separate order of mammals, called Chiroptera, because they are the only mammals on earth that are naturally capable of sustained flight.

Because bats are nocturnal, you are most likely to have a close encounter after the sun sets. However, bats can still end up inside your home during the day. In the late summer months, bats search for a cozy “nesting ground,” which often ends up being the attic of a Mississippi home.

For those who are allergic to fire ant venom, the sting of a fire ant can result in a life-threatening anaphylaxis reaction. Anaphylaxis can be identified by itching, hives, the swelling of the tongue or throat, dizziness, nausea or diarrhea. If you are allergic, it’s advisable to wear closed toed shoes in the grass and to wear gloves while gardening.

Which Diseases Do Bats Carry?

Bats are one of the biggest carriers of “zoonotic” viruses, which are defined as viruses that can be transferred onto another species. Famously, bats are carriers of rabies. However, though they are known to carry the virus, their propensity to commonly spread rabies is an urban myth. More dangerously, bats also host over 60 other dangerous viruses that can infect humans.

Additionally, bat guano hosts a number of dangerous fungi, including the infectious lung disease known as histoplasmosis. Also called “cave disease” or “Darling’s disease,” histoplasma is caused by the fungus histoplasma capsulatum. Symptoms of histoplasmosis typically begin to occur 3 to 17 days after exposure and, if left untreated, can develop into pneumonia, respiratory failure, fibrosing mediastinitis and other unpleasant illnesses.

Your Solutions for Bat Prevention and Removal

There are a number of measures you can take to prevent bat intrusion. While bats can typically see, their eyesight is poor, which hinders their attempts at escape. A professional can help you seal unexpected entryways such as windows, chimneys and vents. This sealing should be done between September and February, when the bats have left for the winter. Orkin uses Blow-In Insulation, an energy efficient product that seals and insulates your home from elements including weather, allergens and pests!

When dealing with bats, your main objective should be getting them to leave and then prevent them from reentering your home. Netting and exclusion devices let bats out but prevent them from getting back inside. Once the bats have left, it’s important to treat the space in which they nested with insecticides to eliminate any potential fungus or bacteria caused by their guano.

Call Orkin Today for a Free Quote!

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Nesting season begins in late summer, so there’s still time to protect your house from nocturnal invaders. And don’t forget to get $100 off your first service with Orkin’s Bat Control Service Coupon.