Health Hazards Caused by Bat Infestations

Health Hazards Caused by Bat Infestations

Can a Bat Infestation be Harmful to me in my home?

Unlike birds, bats carry very few disease agents that can be passed on to people. The two of greatest concern are:

  • Fungal — Histoplasmosis (from the Histoplasma Capsulatum fungus)
  • Viral — Rabies

Histoplasmosis is a fungus spore that grows on the droppings of both bats and birds. Its effects can range from a simple bout of flu-like symptoms to a much more dangerous chronic respiratory condition.

Rabies can be contracted as a result of contact between infected saliva or nervous tissues and the mucous membranes found in the eyes, nose and mouth. It can also enter the body through open wounds. However, it is almost always transmitted by a bite from the infected animal. Although a minute number of cases of airborne infection have been reported as having occurred in cave environments, none have been recorded as having occurred in man-made structures. Only a very small percentage of the bat population are thought to carry the disease.

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