Bats of Virginia
Bats are amazing creatures. They are the only true flying mammal, they are able to fly through complicated areas such as caves and attics without the benefit of using sight, they possess a biological sonar system that allows them to do this, they eat voluminous numbers of insects per evening(little brown bats have been documented to eat as much as 600 mosquitoes per hour. WOW), they typically live in colonies that can reach hundreds of individulas here in Virginia. In Texas, the largest colony of Mexican free tail bats numbers about a million., They are a true hibernating species and many of them hibernate here in the caves of Virginia. The overwintering areas are called “Hibernaculum”.
There are 16 documented resident species here in Virginia and most of them roost and reproduce in caves and trees and abandoned structures. Only about 3 species will take of residence in occupied structures. These 3 species are; the little brown bat, the big brown bat and the evening bat. This is when companies such as Summit environmental solutions gets involved, especially when bats end up in the living area of peoples houses.
There are potential negative consequences for occupants of a home with bats. Homes where bats have maternity colonies in the structure can experience exposure to bats entering the living area and exposing occupants to potential disease such as rabies. Colonies in attics can, over time, do considerable damage to insulation and indoor air quality from the presence of droppings and urine. Large colonies can have a high incidence of ectoparasites called “bat bugs”, which are in the same genus as Bed bugs and have been documented to enter structures after the bats have left and bite human beings in desperation for a blood meal.
If a bat is flying around the living area of a home, we do not recommend you try to capture or kill the animal. Call Animal control or a reputable wildlife control firm to humanely extract the lost bat. If there is reasonable belief that someone in the house could have been exposed to the bat, most health departments recommend the bat be captured and tested for rabies. The exposed occupants may than be directed to have anti rabies vaccinations based on the results of the bat being tested.
WHITE NOSE SYNDROME
White nose syndrome is a fungal infection specific to bats that is severely impacting the nations bat populations. It causes the bats to wake up during hibernation and deplete their winter fat reserves and ultimately weakening and killing them. Bats with the infection have white smudges around the nasal openings. There are standards that informed agencies and companies use to insure that the spread of the devastating disease isnt amplified by our bat eviction and bat proofing procedures.
If you have had a bat in your home or business or suspect you do, you may call a company to do a professional assessment. Municipal organizations like county animal control will not remove colonies from attics, prevention of any kind or clean up and damage remediation. You will need to hire a company to do this. Before hiring a company, make sure they understand bats and how to humanely remove a colony without hurting or killing the colony since bats are so beneficial to our environment. Ask if they are insured and licensed in Virginia. Ask to see this documentation. Prefer to use a company that follows NWCOA bat standards or BCI bat removal and exclusion guidelines so that people, property and wildlife are protected. As a fully licensed and insured wildlife management company, Summit environmental solutions can remove bats, effectively seal out and exclude bats, clean up and remediate any damage from droppings(Guano) and bat urine, damaged insulation replacement, bat proof structures, and remove bats in living areas.