Spring’s Return Brings Bats Back from Hibernation

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Horne’s Pest Control Company offers tips on dealing with bats as they come back from hibernating all winter.

The weather is getting warmer, which also means that bats are slowly starting to awaken and migrate back to their spring and summer habitat after hibernating all winter long. With the start of the spring season, Horne’s Pest Control recommends that people protect the bats around their home, rather than trying to kill them.

Most people know that bats are mammals, but few realize that bats account for about 20 percent of all mammal species. Bats are found in all parts of the world except the Arctic. There are more than 1,200 species of bats, 45 of which are present in the United States. Bats are the only mammal capable of true flight. Bats usually live an average of 4-10 years but some live up to 20.

Contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind. They possess functional eyes which are used for long distance orientation and object identification. In fact, the visual acuity of bats is considered fairly good. Bats forage for food by emitting a continuous stream of high-pitched sounds (echolocation) audible only to other bats. This ability is so sensitive that it can detect objects as thin as a single human hair.

About 70 percent of all bats are insectivores. Bat colonies save billions of dollars per year in agricultural pest control. A single bat can eat 600 bugs per hour. Some bats live off of blood; however, they do not actually suck the blood. They use their razor sharp teeth to make a small incision in the skin of a sleeping animal and then consume the blood as it runs from the wound. They require approximately two tablespoons of blood a day. The saliva of bats has a similar anesthetic quality to that of mosquitoes. This helps to prevent the animal from feeling the cut which seldom causes harm.

Bats sleep while hanging upside down. Unlike humans, a bat’s circulatory system pumps the opposite way – away from its head. This also conserves energy for the bat in that it doesn’t have to hold itself up. Bats often share their home with thousands or even millions of other bats. The world’s largest natural bat colony is the Bracken Bat Cave in Texas which houses 20 million bats. In one night, this entire colony can consume 200 tons of bugs.

The beneficial value of bats cannot be overstated. Scientists are very concerned for the future of bats. There are real issues facing bats with habitat loss and emerging disease. In February of 2006, in Howe Caverns near Albany, New York, a fungus called White Nose Syndrome was discovered. This fungus accumulates around the muzzles of hibernating bats. This disease spreads rapidly and is now known to exist in 115 bat colonies across the eastern half of North America. It is also moving quickly towards the west. It has a 95 percent mortality rate and is responsible for the death of over 6 million bats in six years. Even if this disease were eliminated today, it would be decades before the damage could be undone.

Homeowners who have bats in and around their home should not fear them or kill them. It is best to provide them with a bat house which hangs from trees, which can be purchased at a home improvement store. Once the bat houses are installed, exclusion work should be done to prevent bats from entering an attic area through the gable vents and other areas. If bats have been nesting in the attic, the bat guano or droppings should be removed and the area treated with a sanitizing agent. Bat exclusion and guano removal should only be done by trained and knowledgeable people such as the staff at Horne’s Pest Control. The prices can vary depending on the number of bats and the size of the area to be sealed.

This spring season, Horne’s Pest Control welcomes the opportunity to give their customers recommendations should they develop any issues with bats. For any questions on dealing with bats as they return from hibernation, give Horne’s Pest Control a call.

About the company:
Horne’s Pest Control offers pest control solutions that combine the most advanced chemistry and targeted treatments in three protective layers. It takes the pest control battle directly to a home’s four defensive zones: exterior, attic, crawl space and interior. This pest control method stops a pest invasion at all possible entry points. Horne’s Pest Control also uses a comprehensive approach to termite control. Horne’s Pest Control has the most comprehensive damage repair warranty in Augusta, Ga. and Aiken, S.C. so homeowners can rest assured that their home is protected. Visit the website for more information, http://hornespestcontrol.com.

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