Bats have long been used in horror films and various pieces of literature to symbolize something that is to be feared. However, maybe you’ve wondered if bats are actually dangerous or if they’ve just gotten bad PR over the years. As it is, so many animals have a bad reputation that they don’t deserve.
Knowing whether or not bats are dangerous can help you address them if they end up in your yard or attic. This is a great way to figure out whether or not you need to call an exterminator if you see them flying around, especially if you have kids or pets in your household.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- If Bats Are Dangerous to Humans
- If Bats Are Dangerous to Any Pets
- If Bats Are Poisonous
- If Bats Bite
- If Bats Pose a Health Risk
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table Of Contents
Are Bats Dangerous to Humans?
For the most part, it’s safe to say that bats aren’t usually dangerous to humans. Bats are very beneficial to the ecosystem and can be a big help if they’re in your backyard. They have an excellent ability to eat real pests like mosquitoes and small rodents, which can be a big help if you’re dealing with an infestation in your backyard or home.
However, it’s possible that bats can carry rabies, even though it’s rare. It’s even rarer for a bat to bite a human, which is how rabies is transmitted. Usually, if a human being is exposed to a health risk because of a bat it’s because that bat carries parasites and a fungus that can result in Histoplasma and cause histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis can create flu-like symptoms and is found in the bat’s guano. Rarely, some species of bats can also carry the pathogen lyssavirus, which has symptoms similar to rabies. This is why you must have a pest control professional clear out a bat’s nest if you have one in your home.
Are Bats Dangerous to Any Pets?
If you have bats in your backyard, it’s possible that they could be dangerous to your pets. However, the likelihood that they will cause harm is only slightly more than it is with humans. This is mostly because your pets, especially dogs, will be much more likely to chase after and antagonize bats, which will make them feel threatened. Any animal that’s backed into a corner will be much more likely to bite than it would be if they were simply left alone.
Different species of bats will be more dangerous to your pets than others. Large bats like flying foxes will be more likely to defend their nests, and they’re also much more likely to carry diseases like the Ebola virus and the Marburg virus. These can be fatal for pets, so it’s best to keep them away from any areas that may have bats.
Are Bats Poisonous?
Bats aren’t necessarily poisonous, but they can carry dangerous viruses and infectious diseases, which are similar. The rabies virus acts like a poison in your bloodstream, similar to the way venom does, but it’s not necessarily the same thing. Because of this, if, on the off chance, you’re bitten by a bat, you must get medical attention as soon as possible.
There have been several outbreaks of bat-related diseases in areas of the world where there are a lot of wild animals. While these diseases are certainly a public health concern, it’s important to remember that bats are probably more sanitary and less likely to have diseases than rats and other common household pests.
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Do Bats Bite?
Although it isn’t common, bats have been known to bite people. However, they don’t randomly attack humans, and bat bites are usually the result of people trying to handle bats when they don’t know what they’re doing. This is why you shouldn’t try bat removal on your own. A professional will be able to get rid of bats safely and effectively without the risk you might run trying to remove them yourself.
Your animals may also be more prone to bat bites than humans are because they tend to chase after them. If you have bats in your yard, it’s best to keep your animals in the house until you get a professional to come and remove them.
Do Bats Pose Any Health Risk?
The biggest health risk posed by bats is from bat droppings. They can carry zoonotic diseases that have been known to cause health problems in areas with large bat populations. This is especially true where many bats are roosting, and their droppings are spread all over a specific area. This is where the different fungi can grow and cause serious issues that can’t be fended off by the human immune system.
While the incidence of bats causing health problems for humans and animals is small, it’s still something that you should consider if you see a lot of bats in or around your home. Even if you probably won’t have any issues with bats, it’s always a good idea to be as safe as possible around them and not let them breed and become more prevalent in your area. The more bats you’re dealing with, the more likely you will get bitten or be exposed to some of the pathogens they carry.
Be Wary of Any Bats in Your Yard
No matter how rare diseases from bats are, it’s always best to be on the safe side when they end up in your yard. Just like with any other pests like rats or especially with mosquitoes, being exposed to them could potentially bring health issues, and it’s a good idea to remove them if at all possible. Ignoring them may work for a while, but they’re likely to grow in number.
If you’ve noticed bats in your backyard, contact a professional and have them removed as soon as possible. They’ll be able to safely handle them and keep you from being exposed to any of the diseases they could potentially carry. They’ll also be able to help you keep the bats from coming back and nesting again in the same area in the future.