Bats have an interesting reputation. On one hand, they are helpful creatures who eat pesky dusk and nighttime insects. On the other hand, if they decide to move into your home, they can be a serious problem. Bats rarely bite or attack humans unless they are sick or threatened. The incidence of rabies in bats is also incredibly low. If you are a fan of online animal videos, some are even pretty cute. Note: Never handle bats yourself! Always call a professional because bats that have lost fear of humans are more likely to be sick – it’s not worth the risk! Aside from that, you may be wondering what could be so bad about bats in the attic, then? Property Damage Even a small colony of bats in your attic produce enough urine and feces (guano) to cause serious property damage. Guano soaks into drywall and sheet rock, and accumulates in insulation. The built-up guano eventually degrades these surfaces enough to drip through ceilings and even cause portions of a structure to collapse. Not to mention the guano soaking into the materials within walls isn’t exactly a pleasantly scented situation to deal with. Bat Mites Bats carry a very specific type of mite. Bat mites are often mistaken for bed bugs, and to the untrained eye (and even quite a few trained ones) are often nearly indistinguishable. It’s not uncommon for exterminators to treat a home or building for bed bugs and believe the issue is resolved, only to be called out again for reinfestation. As bat mites reproduce and offspring migrate away from the animal looking for more hosts, it can appear that the property is experiencing multiple re infestations of bed bugs when really, the source of the infestation is an undiscovered bat issue. Human Health Hazard As we mentioned, rabies in bats is very rare, though it does occasionally happen. However, the bigger threat to human health posed by bats is actually guano. Bat guano often contains spores that cause a very dangerous lung infection in humans called Histoplasmosis. While any human can breathe in these harmful spores and become ill, Histoplasmosis can be potentially fatal for very young children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients. Bats are a vital part of the ecosystem. They play a natural role in curbing populations of insects active at dusk and at night. Some species are even pretty darn cute. However, a bat infestation in your attic is a serious problem. If you suspect you may have a bat – or a few – who have moved in with you, call in the wildlife experts to check it out.