Bats across the country are getting sick and dying from a disease known as white-nose syndrome. Many experts consider it to be one of the worst modern wildlife diseases. Many homeowners and business owners in the Okanagan Valley are familiar with bat infestations. Does this new disease pose a new threat? Should it impact how seriously people take bat removal in Okanagan?
Bats and White-Nose Syndrome
White-nose syndrome is so named due to the characteristic white fuzz on the affected bats’ noses. This is caused by a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). Pd attacks bats’ bare skin when they are hibernating. Ultimately, it causes them to become more active and burn up the fat they need to survive the winter. It can also cause strange behaviours such as daytime flying.
Experts don’t currently know where Pd came from or why this disease started. However, white-nose syndrome is known to have been around since at least 2007. This makes it a relatively new disease, and there is still a lot to learn about it. Nonetheless, scientists are very actively studying it to learn more.
The disease has been spreading rapidly and has been observed from coast to coast. Bats can spread the fungus to each other directly and indirectly through their environments. This makes the disease especially infectious.
Which Bats Are Affected?
White-nose syndrome primarily affects hibernating bats, roughly half of the 47 species in the U.S. and Canada. At least 13 species have already been confirmed to have caught this disease. In some sites, the impact has caused between a 90% and 100% death rate. While it is not always this severe, the problem is very serious.
Does This Pose a Health Risk to Humans?
Some people who have had bat problems may not feel highly sympathetic to the bats. However, this disease creates a serious problem for people too.
First, we do not know enough about white-nose syndrome or the Pd fungus yet to know whether either could cause a health risk for humans. There are no known cases in humans, indicating that the risk is low. Nonetheless, extra caution is advised, especially for people with suppressed immune systems.
Additionally, bats play an essential role in our ecosystems. They eat insects that can carry diseases (and are much more active in spreading them to humans). Additionally, they can provide nutrients to ecosystems through their guano and even spread seeds to propagate plants. In short, we owe a lot to bats, even if infestations are annoying. That is part of the reason why we use humane removal strategies at Skedaddle.
The Importance of Professional Bat Removal
Although bats may not seem threatening, you should never attempt to handle them. Beyond white-nose syndrome, bats can carry a variety of diseases. This includes rabies that, while rare, is very dangerous. Being quite small and weak, bats may not pose the type of threat that a large mammal would and won’t act aggressively. However, they can be equally dangerous if disturbed.
Always work with a professional bat removal service. Knowledgeable professionals can ensure that the bats are removed safely from your home or business. Plus, if you choose Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we will identify how and why the bats are coming inside then correct those issues. For bat removal Okanagan, home and business owners can count on us to get the job done right.
Contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control for Your Bat Problem
If you need bat removal services in Okanagan Valley, contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. We use industry-leading practices and equipment to catch and remove bats and other wildlife. Our methods are proven to achieve long-term results while also protecting our fragile environment. If you think you have a bat infestation, don’t try to handle it yourself or ignore it. Contact us today.