Bats have long been associated with Halloween. Find out why bats are such enduring symbols of Halloween and how a bat infestation can wreak havoc in your home.
Why Are Bats Associated With Halloween?
Long before Dracula gave them a reputation as terrifying creatures of the night, bats have been tied with the Celtic harvest festival Samhain, the precursor to our modern Halloween. They are most active in the evenings from September to November, finding mates and boosting their food intake to prepare for winter hibernation. Bonfires were a crucial part of Samhain celebrations, also attracting huge numbers of insects and the hungry bats that feed on them. These dark, shadowy creatures swooping in and out of the firelight conjured images of returning spirits, becoming permanent symbols of Halloween.
How Can Bats Damage Your Home?
Because insects are the primary staple of their diet, bats are typically found by outside lights and standing water, especially during the evening hours. However, they will intrude into your home if they find a vulnerable spot to nest and give birth. The bats we have in Southern Oregon are tiny, weighing about 60 grams, so they can enter your home through openings only 3/8 inches big. Bat guano is not only smelly, but it also features high levels of several chemicals that can seriously damage your home through corrosion and wood decay, weakening the structural integrity of walls over time.
How Can Bats Harm Your Family?
Bat guano can also carry bacteria, diseases, and other toxins, such as the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum that becomes airborne after drying and causes histoplasmosis, a lung infection that can rapidly become fatal as it spreads throughout the body. Despite the folklore, bats are unlikely to attack you or try to purposefully harm you. Still, like most animals, they can bite when provoked. After raccoons, bats are the leading transmitters of rabies, but this disease is often spread through contact with bat blood, fur, guano, and urine rather than a direct bite. While rare, bat species have also been found to carry SARS as well as Nipah and Hendra Viruses, both of which can lead to serious neurological and respiratory diseases.
If you have noticed signs of a bat infestation in your home, contact A-One Exterminators right away. Our technicians will perform inspections and decide on the right treatment option for your infestation.