Bats are defined as flying mammals of the order Chiroptera . They have a worldwide distribution in tropical and temperate regions and have modified forelimbs that serve as wings and are covered with a membranous skin extending to the hind limbs that allows them to fly. The bat’s the only mammal capable of true flight. They use echolocation to find their prey by emitting sound waves that bounce off objects in front of them and echo back to them.
By using their highly advanced hearing they can determine an object’s size, shape, location and even texture Bats are good at keeping insect populations in control by hunting Different bats live through the winter in a variety of ways. Some types of bats migrate while others hibernate. Some even go into Torpor (a state of controlled hypothermia). Bats in the wild usually find places like hollow trees or caves to hibernate in, but they also find comfort in man made locations. It’s during the winter that most homeowners need to be aware of bat activity surrounding their homes.
It’s not uncommon for bats to move into homes to stay warm, dry and secure during the winter months. They’re especially fond of places like attics, crawlspaces and unused chimneys. Bats are commonly thought of as carriers of rabies. While bats can get rabies the percentage of bats with the disease is less than one percent, so there is no reason to fear a bat more than other animals. However, it is recommended that bats found in houses or bats that come in contact with humans be taken to a local health department vet or police for rabies testing to rule out the presence of the disease.
Signs of a bat infestation can include the smell of urine or feces (or guano) in strange places (usually near walls or fire places) or maybe even the physical presence of animal waste. Another, more obvious sign includes scratching and squeaking in the walls or ceiling. Occasionally bats may find their way into the inner sanctum of your household. There are many rights and wrongs to getting a bat out of the house First of all, it is important to know your foe and be aware of a bat’s abilities. When trapped indoors bats have the tendency to swoop back and forth through a room quickly.
When this happens the best thing to do is to contain the bat in one room and open any doors or screenless windows leading to the outdoors. If this is possible simply stand back and wait for it to land or fly out the window. If you have some sort of net you could try catching it as it swoops by. Bats cannot take off from the ground, so they have to climb and take off from high places like walls or furniture, so when a bat is grounded you have the opportunity to catch the bat. This can be done in several ways. Regardless of how you catch a bat you must always be very careful to not touch the bat to prevent being bitten or scratched.
Cornered bats can be quite vicious if provoked. You can use gloves, a thick towel or net to capture the bat. If you prefer not to use your hand you could use a box, can, or Tupperware container by trapping the bat and then sliding a piece of cardboard under it. Regardless of how you choose to approach a bat, it is always a good idea to at least wear thick gloves to avoid being bitten. Any bat suspected of having physical contact with a person should be captured and submitted for rabies testing. Your local health department, animal control office or veterinarian can help you submit the bat to a laboratory for rabies testing.
If the bat tests negative, rabies treatment can be avoided. If a bat bites or has physical contact with a person, the wound or contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water. Unfortunately, bat bites and scratches are small and may go unnoticed. In certain situations it may be impossible to know if contact with a bat has occurred. These situations occur when a bat is found in the same room with a sleeping person, infant or young child, a person with a disease that reduces mental capacity, or persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Whenever a bat has physical contact with a person, or is suspected of coming in contact with a person, the bat should be captured and tested, if possible, and the incident should be reported immediately to a physician and local health authority to assess the need for rabies treatment. Bats are good for the environment and should not be feared but respected. Bats good for the environment and keep the mosquito population down preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria and West-Nile Virus. Bats are often viewed in culture as evil
Courtney from Study Moose
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