If you’ve heard the scurrying of little feet or the flutter of wings in your attic, you probably should get that checked out. What most homeowners mistake for mice or birds or even a squirrel could turn out to be bats — and some of them may be carrying rabies
“The Midwest / Madison / Dane County / Rock County Milwaukee County is just unbelievably infested with bats. I’d say 80 percent of neighborhoods are infested with bats, and people don’t even know about it.”
With bats coming out of hibernation and baby bats, or pups, being weaned out of their nests, reports of rabid bats are on the rise. The Wisconsin Department of Public Health reports 19 bats tested positive for rabies since Jan. 1.
Shockingly, most of Wisconsin rabid bats were found inside homes or other buildings.
This past week in Will County, a dead bat found inside the Crete Library tested positive for rabies; in Cook County, six rabid bats, excluding a seventh bat that someone brought home from DuPage County, have been reported so far. Most were found inside buildings, and the bat season has barely gotten started.
Little Browns and Big Browns
Little brown bat ( Myotis lucifugus ): Common throughout the state. Most frequently reside in attics and buildings. About as long as your thumb.
Wisconsin & Illinois is home to 12 species of bats, most weighing about an ounce. The most commonly found are little brown and big brown bats, sometimes known as “house bats.” Little browns are about the size of an adult thumb with a wingspan of 8.5 to 11 inches.
Big browns are much larger, about 4 to 5 inches long with an 11-to-15-inch wingspan. The big brown’s nose is much broader than the little brown’s pointy proboscis.
Female bats give birth live, usually to one or two pups. Bats are the only mammal that can fly. A common myth is that bats are blind; they’re not. Their night vision is pretty good, though they mainly use echolocation to find flying insects at night, much like sonar.
If bats don’t migrate in the fall (usually to caves or underpasses), they’ll hibernate in a warm attic, usually sleeping upside down.
Bats play an important role in the local ecosystem and can significantly reduce the insect population in your neighborhood.
“One bat can eat up to 3,000 mosquitoes in one night, or any insect outside after dark, like moths and crickets,” said Christopher Appelt, a biologist and associate professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. “Put 100 bats out there, and they can eat 300,000 insects in one night.”
Call or Text 24/7 at (608) 201-0807 For All Bat Removal / Bat Control / Bats in Your Attic Problems!
Bats Get a Bad Rap
Throughout history, bats have been vilified as vampires or the menace of terrified cave explorers. More recently, bats have earned a bad reputation as rabies carriers, and the summer months in Illinois feature frequent rabid-bat reports from local health departments.
Although far more raccoons, skunks and foxes carry the virus, a majority of human rabies exposures in the United States are from bat strains, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
IDPH is responsible for testing animals for rabies, and the only way to do that is when the animals are dead. In 2015, the state lab tested 3,096 critters — including bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, dogs, cats and other species. Last year, 97 rabid bats were recorded across Illinois; 2010 also proved to be a banner year for rabid bats, with 117 testing positive.
We Service Madison / Janesville / Milwaukee areas with local Certified Pest Control Technicians ready to help you! Immediate animal trapping & exterminator assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Save the Bat Head
If you wake up and find a bat flying around your bedroom or your kid’s bedroom, isolating and capturing the bat is crucial. One thing you don’t want to do is crush the bat’s head, because the brain, as in any animal specimen being tested for rabies, is needed to conduct a direct immunofluorescence antibody test.
Rabies is a viral disease causing encephalitis (brain inflammation) in humans and animals. Because rabies infects an animal’s nervous system, the ideal tissue to test for rabies antigen is the brain. The DFA test contains fluorescent labeled antibodies designed to specifically target unique antigens present in the bacteria or virus.
When the rabies antigen is present, fluorescent apple-green areas appear under a fluorescence microscope. If rabies virus is not present, there will be no staining.
Rabies is fatal in mammals, such as bats, and humans — the small number of people who’ve survived rabies without treatment were left with severe brain damage. The good news is rabies is treatable provided that a post-exposure prophylaxis regimen of human rabies immune globulin (HIRG) is administered immediately following an exposure.
Removing & Trapping Bats Can Be Dangerous!
Bat removal is a highly specialized task. Dealing with bats and other wildlife animals on your property is always dangerous and we encourage you to never try and trap them yourself. Whether you are a residential homeowner or commercial / industrial business owner, our expert bat trappers welcome your call today to help you get started. No project is too big or too small. Our residential and commercial work experience includes Schools and Universities, Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities, Food Processing and Industrial Plants, Vacation Cabins and Condos, Apartment Complexes, Large Homes, Warehouses, Large Retail Chain Stores, Historic and Landmark Buildings.
BATS IN THE ATTIC? ATTIC PEST RESTORATION SERVICES AVAILABLE!
We offer repair services to replace and fix any damage that the bats has caused to your attic or home structure, making us your one stop shop for all of your bat trapping needs! Learn More
Human Bat Removal and Bat Control
While Bohmz Pest Control highly respect bats and all they do for the environment, we understand that bats and humans are not meant to cohabit the same building or home. Bats do eat 1000’s of mosquitoes each night, but in your home they bring the risk of rabies, histoplasmosis, property damage, and bat bugs (often mistaken for bed bugs). In a commercial setting, you can add liability, loss of customers, and depreciation.
We remove live bats from all types of commercial and residential buildings in Wisconsin. We do not harm the bats – we perform an “exclusion” followed by a “bat proofing”.
Our bat removal service is available in Southern Wisconsin (all areas of Dane County, Rock County, Walworth County, Waukesha County & Milwaukee County) and we offer quick response. Most bats are legally protected and are classified as endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We comply with all state and federal laws and guidelines.