Tag: Bats

Long-Eared Bat Declared Threatened

For years, migratory bat populations in the Midwest have been threatened by a disease known as White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that infects the skin on the nose, ears, and wings of migratory bats. The fungus causes erratic behavior and causes the bats to use up their winter energy reserves prematurely, resulting in their death over the winter. While ground zero for WNS has been Indiana, there has been considerable concern that WNS would spread to Michigan’s bat population via the migration of the Indiana brown bat. As of 2011, it appeared that Michigan’s bats were safe from WNS based on a study of 24 different known hibernation sites by the DNR. However, in subsequent years instances of WNS have been noted in Michigan’s migratory bats. This spring, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service have put Michigan’s long eared bat on the list of “threatened” species. This does…

Long-Eared Bat Declared Threatened
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A Sad Day for Michigan’s Bats

For years, wildlife specialists and the Michigan DNR have been attentively watching Michigan’s bat population for signs of the deadly White Nosed Syndrome, known as WNS. WNS is a fungal disease that has decimated bat populations in New York and other states. The disease is spread from state to state as the brown bats migrate throughout the seasons. Because cases of WNS have been found among the Indiana brown bat, which hibernates in Michigan, researchers were on end throughout 2010 and 2011 expecting outbreaks of WNS in Michigan. This never materialized and Michigan’s bats have been safe from WNS for the past few years. Unfortunately, routine DNR checks in northern Michigan this spring have definitively identified the presence of WNS in five of Michigan’s brown bats. While it is disappointing, it is not surprising. WNS has been located in Indiana, but also in Wisconsin and Illinois. Given that the bat…

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Tracking the Michigan Brown Bat

Several years ago, a virulent fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome (WNS) was threatening the integrity of Michigan’s brown bat population. Although fears of massive bat depopulation in Michigan did not materialize (see here and here), researchers are still concerned about the effects of WNS on our brown bats and are using a new procedure to track the hibernation patters of the bats, which is instrumental in charting how WNS is spread. The new procedure involves using stable hydrogen isotopes—a kind of chemical fingerprint found in tissues such as hair -to track the bats migratory patterns. This process has typically been used in the past to track the patterns of migratory birds, but researchers Michigan Tech are now using hydrogen isotopes to find out where Michigan brown bats spend their summers in order ot help predict and manage future outbreaks of WNS. Isotopes, taken from bat hair, have natural variations…

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Don’t seal those bats in!

When you first come to the realization that the scratching and moving you hear in your attic at night is a bat infestation, you might be understandably alarmed – maybe even panicked. Frequently when people contact Creature Control for bat evictions, they are extremely motivated to get working on the eviction and usually want something done that day. Sometimes they ask if they need to move out of their house, if they should be staying in a hotel, if they should get tested for rabies and all sorts of things like that. Talking to an animal control professional, who can go over the real risks in dealing with bats and calm the folks down, is generally a good idea. But sometimes people want to act quickly. They will go up onto their roof and look for the bat entry points themselves. When they find these entry points, they seal them…

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Bats Recover From White-Nose Syndrome

This week we heard some welcome news out of New York on the problem of white-nose syndrome (WNS). For the past 12 months, wildlife and animal control professionals were fearing the worst. WNS was raging through the brown bat population all across the north; some professionals specializing in bat removal in Michigan were fearing that WNS could potentially wipe out the state’s entire brown bat population. Fortunately, this has not been the case. Figures released out of New York this week by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation showed notable increases in the number of little brown bats in three out of five upstate New York hibernation caves where scientists first noticed white nose decimating winter bat populations six years ago. The largest cave saw an increase from 1,496 little browns last year to 2,402 this winter. These numbers suggest that perhaps bats are learning to adapt to WNS and…

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A Visit to the World’s Largest Urban Bat Colony

Here at Creature Control we deal with a lot of bats. Recently we performed a bat exclusion for a house that was home to over 100 bats. In our business, this is considered a very serious infestation. There have been a few jobs we have done in barns where as many as 500 bats have been evicted. On this blog we recently featured a story about an abandoned home in Georgia that was home to a colony of 20,000 bats. This makes one wonder how big a bat colony can actually get? I mean, in a worst case scenario, how many bats could take up residence in a home, barn or other urban structure? There only real limit to how big a bat colony can get is the limitations imposed by the size of the structure they are inhabiting. Typically, residential attics cannot hold more than one or two hundred…

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Georgia Home Hosts 20,000 Bats

“Last night, I was woken up by a bat flying around my bedroom!” A lot of bat calls at Creature Control begin this way. As terrifying as this experience may be, usually the homeowner can take consolation that at least there was only one bat flying around. While residential bat colonies usually number in the dozens, or a hundred in severe cases, one home in Tifton, Georgia was recently found to be hosting 20,000 bats. The home had been in foreclosure for some time and, since it was uninhabited, the bat colony in the attic was able to proliferate unchecked. The massive colony had spread out of the attic and was also inhabiting the second floor of the house; the first story was littered with dead bats. Neighbors stated that the odor of the house in the summer is horrible, as the intense Georgia heat roasts the hundreds of pounds…

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Rabid Bats in Ann Arbor

An Ann Arbor family was recently treated for rabies after a bat found in the home tested positive for the disease. There is no evidence at this point that anyone in the family was actually bitten; the family noticed the bat flying in the house on August 3rd and upon returning a few days later, found the bat dead. The family turned the bat over to the Health Department, who said that the bat did indeed test positive for rabies. If a bat is found dead in the home, the Health Department will usually recommend rabies treatment, since it is sometimes difficult to tell whether or not a person has been bitten. This is the third rabid bat that has been found in Ann Arbor this year. Rabies in bats is usually very rare; it is estimated that only 5% of all bats carry the disease. Humans getting rabies from…

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Creature Control Helps Family With Bat Eviction

It is always problematic anytime an unwanted creature takes up residence in your home. Bat infestations can be particularly troublesome to homeowners due to the health hazards of bat guano and the costly expense of restoring attic spaces damaged by bats. One Sand Lake, MI. family experienced this first hand. After dealing with bats in the attic for some time, they called in a professional wildlife control company. That company estimated that it would be $15,000 to remove the bats and restore the attic, which had been ruined by the bat guano. The family’s insurance company refused to pay for any of the clean up. This left the family in a tight spot: they could not afford to foot the bill for the bat eviction and restoration, but neither could they remain in the home with all the bats, whose accumulated droppings had turned the upper level of the home…

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Michigan Bats Safe from WNS – For Now

The DNR has recently concluded a study of 24 known hibernation sites for bats throughout the state and has declared that the dreaded fungal disease known as White Nose Syndrome (WNS) has not made any inroads among the Michigan bat population, for the time being. It was feared that the disease, which came from Europe via Canada, would decimate Michigan’s bat population, as it has already decimated the endangered Indiana bat (which hibernates in the Grand Rapids-Manistee area). All of Michigan’s nine bat species are at risk, including the little brown bat, the big brown bat, the tri-colored bat, and the northern long-eared bats, but especially the cave-dwelling bats who hibernate together, where the disease is easily spread. Farmers, animal removal specialists and conservationists are all gladdened by the news. Creature Control technician Jason Sutton, who handles bat removal in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, was quite pleased with…

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