White-Nose Syndrome has devastated bats in the Adirondack Park◀ Back To Blog
January 30, 2014
In 2006, massive die-offs of hibernating bats were first detected. Estimates quickly found that 75% or more of known bat populations had died due to a mysterious new ailment that has since identified as White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). Scientists put total bat deaths in the millions, and some local populations experienced die-offs of 80-90%. Well known and protected bat winter hibernation locations in New York were found infected with thousands of sick and dying bats. Among these was the Graphite Mine in Hague, a site protected by The Nature Conservancy, and other well-known hibernacula like the Howe Caverns and Schoharie Caverns.
Bats hibernate in specific locations from October – April and are believed to return to these caves for years. They cluster together in densities of up to 300 bats per square foot. WNS is a white fungus on the muzzles and wings of affected bats. Since initial detection in 2006, WNS has stunned natural resource agencies and scientists by its swift spread from New York and New England to the Great Lakes and Midwest.
In New York, four species of bats exist and all have been impacted by WNS. The Indiana bat, the Eastern pipistrelle, northern long-eared and little brown bats all hibernate together and are all suffering from WNS. The little brown bat is the most common hibernating species in New York, and has sustained the largest number of deaths.
WNS is believed to be spread bat-to-bat, but can also be spread on the clothes and equipment that humans use as the visit different caves. As WNS has spread it has devastated bat populations. The long-term impacts of WNS are not yet fully known. Healthy bat populations consume billions of insects each year and the consequences of the loss of the great majority of bats to the ecosystems in the Adirondacks and New York is not fully understood.
When bats get stuck inside your home or building, removing them can be tricky, but imperative. Bats are small, entering structures through tiny holes, chimneys, vents, eaves, overhangs, construction gaps, and other cracks and crevices. Bats only need 3/8 inches to enter an area. Once bats make it inside, bats begin their damage with their urine, urine stains, mounds of droppings, scratching, squeaking and crawling in the attic space.
Once bats have established in an area they can be difficult to evict. Contact your bat removal specialists to inspect the outside of your home for entry points where bats and other animals have access inside. Our bat removal service is a multi step process, beginning with humane eviction of bats from their established territory. Preventing their re-entry and fixing their damage is the most effective way to prevent bats and other wildlife from calling home in your structure. Lastly, Thomas Pest Services offers cleanup services to remove bat droppings (guano), sanitization services and in some cases remove/replace the contaminated insulation. Large accumulations of guano sometimes breed a fungus called Histoplasmosis, when spores become air born when/if the piles are disturbed.
It is important to contact your local Albany bat removal specialist at the first signs of bats or wildlife animals in your home. Attempting to control and remove wildlife and other mammals you’re your home is dangerous and should be left up to a wildlife and bat removal specialists. Thomas Pest Services offers bat removal services to Chatham, East Greenbush, Saratoga and surrounding areas throughout the Capital Region. Contact us for a free inspection to safely remove bats and other wildlife from your structure.