Bat Bites and Their Impact

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How do you identify a bat bite?

Bats, like any other animals, bite to defend themselves. The reported bat bite incidents are very less, and most of them are when they are sick or trapped or threatened. Bat’s teeth are very tiny and extremely sharp.

In many of the instances, bat bites are rarely seen because of their size. It is just the size of the prick of a needle. Sometimes, even the person who is bit by a bat might not know.

This is because the bites do not appear like bites at all. Usually, humans encounter bites by brown bats.

Bat bite marks

Bats can bite anywhere on the exposed skin. Once the teeth come in contact with the skin, the teeth is so sharp that it just punctures the skin. Therefore, after the bat bite, you might not see the identification mark on the skin.

In such cases, you might be in ignorance that you are not bit by a bat and simply carry on with your life until one day you get to know that you are caught with a disease due to bat bite.

Even the physician cannot make out the point where the bat has bitten you. Therefore, it is very important to take care of yourself when dealing with bats.

Protective equipment can avoid bat bite

When dealing with bats, you should know all the precautionary steps to not to touch the bats directly.

You should make use of personal protection equipment like thick gloves, mask and also cover your complete body so that your skin is not exposed.

If you deal with a bat without using any protection equipment, then you should consider that you have been bitten by a bat.

To confirm yourself about the same, analyze your skin thoroughly for any scratches.

The size and impact of the wound depends on the size of the bat. The larger the bat, the more serious is its bite. Such large bats are generally solitary bats and are mostly found in caves.

When a person tries to enter these caves, the bats get threatened and thus bite to defend themselves.

Another category of bats that attack livestock are the vampire bats. These species feed on blood for their livelihood. They make a small incision on the encountered skin and lap up the blood from the wound.

These type of bats are usually not seen in United States. They fly at low heights to get an access to the host. Once they encounter the host, they land and crawl onto the host to find the nearby exposed skin from which the blood can be sucked.

When can you learn bat exposure?

Direct contact with bat of any species is rare, but needs to be considered seriously. You need to be aware of the impact of a bat bite. The bites leave marks that are as long as a millimeter, into the skin.

One should consider that if there is any direct contact with the bat while dealing with it, then an exposure with bat has occurred.

learn more about how to remove bats by various scenarios

Some of the common instances that determine bat exposure are discussed below:

  • If get in physical or direct contact with the bat, without using any protective equipment, and find a bite or scratch on your skin.
  • If a bat is found in a room that is occupied by an intoxicated or mentally challenged person or unattended child.
  • If you find yourself inside a room in which bat is flying.
  • If you wake up in the room after a good sleep and find a bat flying and you are not sure if you were bit by the bat.

First aid treatment for a bat bite

Bats carry diseases and when humans get in direct contact with them, they might get the disease. One of the most common diseases bats carry is rabies.

first-aid

You can get this disease either by inhaling bat droppings or through bat bites.  Therefore, it is very important to be careful while dealing with bats.

You should never forget to wear thick gloves, mask and ensure that your complete body is covered.

Unfortunately, if you are bitten by a bat, here is the most important first aid to follow:

  • Wash gently and thoroughly all the bites from any mammals, with soap and water.
  • If you find that the skin is torn and bleeding heavily, apply pressure to control the bleeding.
  • Immediately meet a physician.

Do bats carry rabies?

Bats carry various diseases that are highly fatal. Rabies is one of the mostly known disease associated with bats. Apart from bats, other animals like raccoons, foxes, skunks and dogs are also known to carry this kind of disease.

A person can catch this disease when the saliva of the animal that carries rabies, comes in contact with human mouth, nose, eyes or fresh wound. Therefore, when a person is attacked by these animals, a serious consideration should be taken.

A person who is affected with rabies must be treated on a timely basis. The person should be given appropriate dosage of vaccine, by name post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), in order to guard from further infection.

If the rabies symptoms begin to occur, then the person’s position is really fatal. Every year nearly 30,000 people take PEP vaccination to treat rabies, especially transmitted through bats.

How do you know if bat carries rabies?

After you encounter a bat bite, and you know which bat has bitten you, try to retain it to find out if it is affected with rabies. The only sure method to confirm that the mammal is carrying rabies is by verifying its brain for the virus, once it is dead.

Apart this method, you can also suspect the mammal for rabies by observing its personal behavior. Bats with rabies are docile and will not try to escape from humans though they get a chance. Sometimes, things might be on the other round that, a bat that is furious and makes a vicious attack might also carry rabies.

In certain instances, some bats might have excess saliva in its mouth that is visible to others in the form of a foam.

Treatment for rabies

No matter if the bat carries diseases or not, it is always suggested to meet a physician once you are attacked by a bat. Generally, doctors suggest rabies vaccination if you have bats in your house or surroundings.

If you already underwent rabies vaccination and then bit by a bat, then the treatment is less complex in the way that you might need to take two more injections of the rabies vaccine in the muscle that surrounds the wound.

If you have never undergone rabies vaccination and is attacked by a bat then, the doctor treats the inner part of the wound with an antibody by name, Human Rabies Immunoglobulin. Apart from this, the muscle that surrounds the wound needs to be injected with five injections of rabies vaccination.

How do bat feces look like?

One of the best way to guess the type of animal inhibiting in an area is by looking at their droppings. If you examine their droppings, you can learn many things and determine which animal is most likely to live there.

Bat feces, also called as bat droppings or bat poop or bat guano, is irregularly shaped and dried.

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They contain insect parts and vary with the type of bats. Generally, it is dried and possesses the size of mouse droppings. It is different from mouse droppings in the way that it is dry and crumbles when pressed.

If there is a colony of bats in an area, then at the entrance you can find piles of bat droppings. The larger the bats, the larger is the poop with larger insect parts.

On the other hand, mouse droppings are not found to be in piles and are not dry.

To give a clear explanation, the guano looks like dark brown rice grains, fairly uniform in size but, irregular in shape. Some of them have pointed or sharp ends while the others have rounded ends.

Some of the guano is clumped together because of the urine passed by bats. These droppings have unique odor, which is very dangerous when inhaled. It carries diseases like rabies. Therefore, it is suggested to wear a mask to avoid inhaling the bat poop.

Bat excrement leaking through the wall

One of the main reasons to exclude bats is because of the guano, which smells horrible. When inhaled, it transmit various diseases that are fatal. The excrement multiplies the growth of fungus, bacteria and rot that is hazardous to people when inhaled.

Not only risking diseases, the existence of bats threat a damage to the house. Unlike mice, rats and squirrels, bats show no interest in chewing things. They love to reside in the dark to keep themselves from predators and weather.

How to clean bat excrement?

If you see that bat droppings are leaking through the wall of your house, you should suspect their existence in the walls. Cleaning bat poop is not an easy task.

The process of cleaning first starts with excluding the existing bats from the place. For this, you need to find the entry and exit points of the bats where the guano is present in piles. Then, you need to install bat exclusion devices to send all of them out naturally.

Once they get out through the excluding device, they will be unable to get back in. This way, you need to wait till all are out. Then you have to start the cleaning process. You need to clean the materials that are affected with the poop, clean the stained walls till you find no odor. Else, the fungus spreads and multiplies rapidly.

There is no reason available to retain the bat droppings. If you cannot handle the situation, hire a trained professional who can do the work for you.

Benefits of guano

Bat’s guano is rich in nutrients and plays a very important role of acting like fertilizer in agriculture. The guano not only contains nutrients, but also nitrates.

During 19th century, the bat poop played a very important role during battles and international quarrels in the way that it was used in the manufacturing of explosives.

Today, bat poop is still utilized as a fertilizer. It is also available for purchasing online. One may be surprised to know that bat poop is considered as an organic fertilizer.

Bat’s waste is harvested professionally in caves, where big colonies of bats are found. Many invertebrates make use of bat waste as a primary source of food, thus leading guano mining to disrupting the natural balance of the animals.Guano mining can also disturb the guano producing bats, thus lessening the bat population, the source that produces guano.