Hoary bats infrequently make homes in buildings. The bats can be found hanging beneath the eaves of houses but most often roost in trees. The bats have been known to bite people. The animals are beneficial to man in many ways but can be harmful.
A hoary bat or a group of bats that are a problem to a farmer or a home owner should be dealt with by a professional that can arrange for a humane removal of the bats in order to maintain their beneficial effects. The hoary bat is one of the few species of bats that makes sounds that people can hear. One method of determining that a bat is a hoary bat is to listen to that bat’s call. A frequency monitor can tell if the bat is a hoary bat.
What good do hoary bats do?
Hoary bats are prodigious eaters. A single bat can consume insects that weigh as much as 40 percent of the bat's weight in a day. The bats consume many human pests and crop pests and are thus beneficial to people.
The bats consume mosquitoes and moths that are human pests. The bats eat the live moths and their eggs keeping the moth population under control. The bats are beneficial to farmers in that they eat army worms, corn worms, and cut worms that are common plant pests. A frequent hoary bat habitat is near a farm. The bats reduce the need for the use of pesticides to control destructive plant pests.
In some instances, depending on the area that the bats are located in, the hoary bat can eat insects that are considered beneficial to lawns and farms.
What harm can hoary bats cause?
Hoary bats can carry rabies. The bat can transfer rabies to animals or humans through a bite. Rare instances of a rabies infection have been reported from small children coming into contact with fresh bat droppings.
The majority of human rabies cases are produced by bat bites. Bats that have rabies can be identified by a clumsy flying ability and a tendency to stay on the ground rather than roost in trees.
Hoary bats also carry numerous insects and disease producing parasites. These include mites and fleas. Contact with the bats or their tree roost can transfer the insects to pets and humans. The fleas can also transfer rabies because the fleas eat infected bat blood and then bite an animal or person.
Mites can produce allergic reactions depending on the person that is exposed. Rashes and a tremendous itch can be the result of a mite allergy and hoary bats can leave mites in places where people can be affected.
Hoary bats can carry parasitic worms like Physocephalus that produce extreme intestinal distress.
Hoary bats can also transfer the protozoan commonly called liver flukes. The flat worms infest the gall bladder, bile ducts, and liver. The flat worms lay eggs that can produce an intestinal infestation. If the liver flukes are not addressed quickly and effectively, death can result from loss of blood, liver disease, and fever.
The bats also carry the vector that can produce the lung disease histoplasmosis. This ailment produces serious congestion of the lungs and is one of the most difficult lung ailments to diagnose.
How do you control hoary bats?
If hoary bats become a problem in your home, in the trees surrounding your property, or on your farm, it is best to consult a professional to achieve removal of the bats and to prevent the bats from returning.
Hoary Bat Removal and Exclusion in NJ
Hoary bats are probably the most common bat species seen by people in the United States and in fact all of North America. The bats are relatively small and weight about 0.9 ounces as an adult. The Lasiurus cinereus can have a wingspan as long as 15 inches. The bats are both beneficial to man and can be harmful.
Hoary bats normally live in trees or at least sleep in trees. The bats have a distinct white fringe on the fur of the wings and tail that make the bats easily recognizable by professionals. The bats are prodigious travelers. A single bat can fly as far as 27 miles in one day excluding a seven hour rest period.
Hoary bats migrate every year from all over Canada and the United States to warm areas of the west coast and the southeast. The migration is the only time of year that male and female bats remain with each other. The bats are capable of surviving temperatures as low as seven degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods. The Hoary bat is one of the few species of bats that hibernates in the open usually dangling from trees at 12 to 40 feet above the ground.