PESTS - BATS
Maine has eight bat species. Five species hibernate in mines or cave so are susceptible to WNS. These include the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), and tri-colored bat (Pipistrellus subflavus). The other three species hibernate in trees, including the little brown bat, the silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), and red bat (Lasiurus borealis). The most common bats in a Maine home are the Big brown and Little Brown bats.
Little Brown Bat
Bats In Maine
"Despite popular belief, bats are friendly, useful creatures that protect humans from disease. And their numbers are plummeting"
Big Brown Bat
As a result of White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a newly emerging fungal disease, more than five million cave and mine hibernating bats in the Northeast have died since 2007. Scientific models predict that the little brown bat may face extinction by 2026 if current trends continue, prompting the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct an official review to pursue listing northern long-eared and eastern small-footed bats, and consider emergency listing of little brown bats to the Endangered Species List.
Northern Long Eared Bat
Bats will use houses as “Roosts” meaning they will establish colonys and use the house to live in for shelter and a place to rear their young. When this happens they may start showing inside the living quarters. Occasionally a bat or bats may accidentally end up inside a house they are not roosting in. Big Brown bats which use a home to hibernate in during the winter and will occasionally come out of hibernation and become active.
Eastern Small Footed Bat
MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION
Bats can be a serious problem due to the fact that they can have rabies and nest in numbers. Fortunately less than 1% of bats ever contract rabies. It's highly unusual for a bat to contact a person but a sick bat may have no fear of a human or other animals. Bats leave waste, ie. guano, in homes and businesses and it can be a time consuming and expensive process to remove waste. This process needs to be left to the experts.
Like any other wild animal, bats should never be handled at any time, especially when found on the ground or in a home. NEVER try to catch a bat with your bare hands! Unless you are 100% certain the bat in your home had no contact with anyone, bats found inside your home should be taken to your local health department for rabies testing. If anyone in the home was unknowingly bitten or scratched, by the time rabies symptoms appear it is too late for help. IT IS A FATAL DISEASE.