Bats and Rabies

Bats and Rabies

Metro New Orleans is not heavily forested or home to many caves, yet bats still find lots of places to nest. They love to roost in attics, barns, and abandoned structures which, unfortunately, are easily found in and around New Orleans.

Bats could be entering your home now through holes in the roof, soffits, or broken windows. This happens very frequently throughout New Orleans and the surrounding areas with the excess amount of blighted property still around the city. Once the colony has found a home within your home, they can cause serious damage to the property, and litter the area with their foul smelling nitrogen-heavy droppings plus they carry diseases.

The Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat, like most other species of bat, is known for being a carrier of rabies. While it is not likely that the bat will bite you, they can transmit rabies and other serious diseases through their feces. Complicating matters is that fact that once one bat has contracted rabies, the entire colony will most likely become infected, and extend that risk of infection to every one in your home. Additionally, having bat droppings around your home can lead to serious health problems, including serious respiratory infections such as histoplasmosis, which left untreated can be fatal.

It s best to contact an animal-control or wildlife conservation agency for assistance with “bat-proofing” your home. But, there are a few things you can do to see if you have bats in your home and to prevent them from entering your home.

Carefully examine your home for holes that might allow bats entry into your living quarters. Caulk any openings larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch. Use window screens, chimney caps, and draft-guards beneath doors to attics, fill electrical and plumbing holes with stainless steel wool or caulking, and ensure that all doors to the outside close tightly.

Prevent bats from roosting in attics or buildings by covering outside entry points. Observe where the bats exit at dusk and keep them from coming back by loosely hanging clear plastic sheeting or bird netting over these areas. Bats can crawl out and leave, but cannot re-enter. When all the bats are gone, the openings can be permanently sealed.

Avoid doing this from May through August. If there are young bats in your attic, many of them cannot fly and keeping the adults out will trap the young who will die or try to make their way into your rooms.

Most bats leave in the fall or winter to hibernate, so these are the best times to “bat-proof” your home. Do not touch bats, call Dial One Pest Control to take care of them and protect your family.