The number of bats in the world represents 1/4th of all mammal species on the earth. It is safe to say that, unless you live in Antarctica or the extremely hot desert, you are in close proximity of bats. A bat is the only true mammal that takes to flight. Bats have extremely elongated fingers that are connected to each other with a thin membrane. Even though it may resemble a human hand, this actually serves as a very effective set of wings.
The Big brown bat is native to North America and has an average wingspan of 12-16 inches. The big brown bat ranges in color from brown to a glossy copper fur on their back and their belly has a much lighter color. The ears are rounded, black and very small. They have fleshy looking lips with a broad nose. The little brown bat also resides in most parts of North America including right here in New Jersey. They have an average wingspan of 8 – 11 inches, are brown to golden in color and have small ears and big hind feet. When understanding how to identify these winged creatures it makes it easier for proper bat control.
Many common misconceptions and fears regarding bats have caused people to view bats as dangerous, rabid and transporters of diseases; thus bat exterminators are essential. While it is true that bats are capable of transmitting rabies and other threatening diseases, a rabid bat is a rarity. On the other hand, bats are very helpful with the control of insects that are noted for destroying crops. The big brown bats are insectivorous, preferring beetles but also eating huge quantities of moths, flies, flying ants and mosquitoes; all of which they are able to capture while in flight. It has been estimated that one single brown bat is capable of eating up to 1000 mosquitoes in one hour!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bats are associated with diseases that can be deadly to humans and rabies is the most well-known disease associated with them. According to the CDC, “An exposure to rabies most commonly occurs when a person is bitten by a rabid animal. It can also be transmitted when the saliva from a rabid animal comes in contact with a person’s mouth, eyes, nose, or a fresh wound.” Bat control is necessary to ensure that you or a family member is not in facial contact with a bat within your own home.
The other threat associated with bats is Histoplasmosis. As defined by the Mayo Clinic, histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. Histoplasmosis is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne. Affecting the lungs, histoplasmosis affects often affects the lungs and sometimes other organs. If left un-treated, this disease could prove fatal.