Bats are nocturnal, flying mammals which inhabit dark, secluded places and are considered a nuisance wildlife problem. In western cultures, they have traditionally been associated with witchcraft, sorcery, haunted houses, cemeteries, and Batman Marvel movies. For centuries, they have been the subject of fables, folklore, and myths. Unfortunately, many myths regarding bats still exist and serve as a basis for unfounded fear. Bats are a medical concern because a very small percentage are infected with rabies, and old droppings may harbor the fungal organism that causes the disease histoplasmosis. There are over 980 species of bats worldwide with about 40 species occurring in the United States. However, none occur in the colder areas located beyond the limit of tree growth.
Bats have relatively poor vision and instead rely on echolocation (similar to sonar) to avoid objects, find prey, and to communicate. During flight the bat emits a series of super-sonic sounds through its nose or mouth which bounce off objects and are picked up by its ears.
Of general concern are the medical implications of bats and their droppings. First, only a very small percentage of bats are infected with rabies, but infected bats may not show any symptoms. Rabies can be transmitted when saliva or body tissue of an infected animal comes into contact with open wounds or mucous membranes, such as those of the eyes and nose, of another animal including humans; it is not necessary to be bitten by a rabid animal to become infected.
The 3 most common bats to enter structures are the big brown bat, little brown bat, and the Mexican free-tailed bat. All 3 of these bats leave their roosts at dusk and return just before dawn. Usually their first stop is at a stream, pond, or lake for a drink of water and then feeding begins.
Possums are medium-sized animals that can be found inhabiting farmlands, forested areas and even residential areas where it can be a nuisance pest as it feeds on trash and food that it finds lying around. The possum is believed to have come from the basic marsupials that lived in the jungles of South America. It will be generally found in areas that are close to water.
The possum is known to be a carrier of rabies and is much more likely to have the disease than any other animal. Possums are also thought to have some immunity towards the venom of certain snakes such as pit vipers and rattlesnakes. The possum is an omnivorous animal and will eat almost anything that it can find but mostly feeds on insects, frogs, birds, snakes, small mammals, and earthworms. The possum is also a great scavenger and will feed on leftover kills of other animals along with road kill.
The possum has a number of natural predators including birds of prey such as owls and eagles, dogs, foxes and cats. Humans are one of the main predators of the possum as they hunt them for meat but the possum is also commonly killed on the roads by cars.
Raccoons are sometimes called “coons” for short and they live near streams, lakes, or marshes. They normally use hollow trees or logs, rock crevices, and burrows for dens. Sometimes, however, they create a nuisance of themselves when they raid garbage cans, tear up lawns, or use structures—including chimneys, attics, and hollow areas beneath porches and outbuildings for dens.
Rabies are a huge concern with raccoons and they are considered the major wildlife host of rabies in the United States, primarily due to their increased prevalence in the eastern United States. Another concern is the raccoon roundworm which is a relative of the dog and cat roundworms which, when human infections occur, can cause damage to the liver, spleen, lungs, eyes, and nervous system, and possibly death in severe cases. Several fatal human cases have been confirmed from raccoon roundworms, and many additional instances of larval damage to the eye have been reported. Infection occurs when the roundworm eggs are accidentally ingested after handling or contacting feces containing the eggs, such as from a contaminated raccoon live trap or from setting traps in raccoon-active areas. The incubation period is variable and may be from weeks to months. It is best to leave raccoon removal to professionals.
Snakes can be intimidating and most people prefer not to have them around at all. Despite the fear they can provoke, snakes are basically shy animals and prefer not to have any encounters with humans. Snakes can be helpful to have around because they eat insects, mice, and other pests. Contrary to popular belief, most snakes in the United States are harmless although there are some venomous species that should be avoided and may require professional assistance to remove.
Snakes taste the air with their tongues rather than smell. We provide products that can be applied to the perimeter of your home or business that will give off an unattractive odor typically causing a snake to turn in another direction and move away from the treated area. While some people feel comfortable around snakes, you should always use caution when coming into contact with them and let trained professionals help with any snake removal problems.
If you suspect or have problems with any of these Nuisances contact Walker Pest Management and one of our trained associates will come out and remove any threats or concerns you have.