What is White-Nose Syndrome? Does it kill bats? Can it be transmitted to people or pets? Continue reading to review the answer to this common bat inquiry, plus additional frequently asked questions regarding White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats.
Local Bat Populations are Important
Bats are ecologically-important. Local bat populations play a vital role in farming, pest mitigation, economics, and more. It is necessary to protect bats in Tennessee, and all around the world. One such threat to our bat colonies is a disease called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). Below are the facts you should know about WNS, as well as the proper approach to safe and humane bat control around your property.
Frequently Asked Questions About White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)
What is White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)?
White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease that threatens hibernating bats. Caused by the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), this fungal disease tends to arise often among hibernating bat species because it thrives in cold, dark, and damp environments. Caves and caverns are a hot spot for bat hibernation, as well as the perfect incubator for this fungus. It attacks the bare skin of bats as they slumber in torpor, presenting as a white fuzz or powder-like substance on and around a bat’s face, hence the moniker, White-Nose Syndrome.
Does White-Nose Syndrome Kill Bats?
White-Nose Syndrome is dangerous to bat populations because it can cause sickness and death. You see, when bats are hibernating, they are in a state of torpor, which involves a lowered heart-rate and body temperature. This allows bats to preserve their fat reserves and energy through the winter. When bats become infected with White-Nose Syndrome, they have trouble remaining in torpor. The disease causes them to be more active during the day, which burns up their energy and fat reserves. As a result, bats essentially die from undernourishment and exposure to the elements.
Is There a Cure for White-Nose Syndrome?
There is no cure for White-Nose Syndrome once a bat is infected, however scientists and researchers are currently working on a vaccine and other strategies to help stop the spread. It does spread, as the spores can live on surfaces for quite some time. Millions of bats in North America alone have died from this fungal disease. The most effected bat species so far include the Virginia Big-Eared Bat, Northern Long-Eared Bat, Little Brown Bat, and Tri-Colored Bat. Not all bats die from WNS though; some live with it but spread it to other colonies.
Can I Get White-Nose Syndrome From a Bat? Can My Dog or Cat?
People do not become infected with White-Nose Syndrome; however, it may affect dogs or cats. Talk to your veterinarian about allergy abatement and vaccinations for your pet. If you are worried about bats posing threats or safety risks on your property, consult with an insured and TWRA licensed wildlife abatement company in Nashville about professional bat control strategies.
Are you dealing with nuisance bats around your Tennessee property? Do you suspect you have bats in the attic or chimney? If so, contact Smoky Wildlife Control at 615-610-0962 for TWRA licensed bat removal and control in Nashville and Clarksville,Tennessee. We serve both residential and commercial clients with the most competitive prices around.
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