What Is White-Nose Syndrome? | Critter Control Tampa

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What Is White-Nose Syndrome?Bats play an important role in our ecosystem; they not only eat crop-damaging insects, but they also support cave communities and improve pollination through seed dispersal. However, there is a rapidly spreading epidemic that is threatening bats across the United States. Since first being identified in 2006, white-nose syndrome (WNS) has been reported in 33 states from Maine to California and has killed millions of North American bats.

Causes of White-Nose Syndrome

White-nose syndrome is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) which grows in dark, cold, and damp places such as caves. The disease attacks the bare skin and wings of bats while they’re hibernating. It gets its name from the fungal growth’s white, fuzzy appearance that forms around the mammals’ mouths.

Effects of White-Nose Syndrome

White-nose syndrome kills bats by waking them from hibernation and causing them to act erratically. The heightened activity of WNS-diseased bats causes them to burn stored fat that their bodies need to survive the winter months. Aside from a powdery nose, signs of WNS in bats include flying outside in the daytime during winter.

Species Affected With White-Nose Syndrome

While several types of bat have been affected by WNS, the disease has been particularly decimating to following species:

  • Little brown bat
  • Northern long-eared bat
  • Tricolored bat

At the other end of the spectrum, species such as the gray bat and Virginia big-eared bat may be immune to the effects of WNS. Both species have been found with Pd but haven’t exhibited any signs of white-nose syndrome.

White-Nose Syndrome Risks to Humans

To date, there have been no reported human illnesses attributed to white-nose syndrome. However, while WNS is not currently a danger to man, bats are known to carry a host of other diseases that they can spread through bites, waste, or direct contact. Common diseases spread by bats include:

White-Nose Syndrome Treatment

With no known cure, white-nose symptom is becoming an epidemic to our nation’s bat population. Luckily, scientists are working on a vaccine to protect these important and largely endangered mammals. While their contributions to the environment are welcomed, the presence of bats in suburban areas and residential homes can be quite the opposite.

Bat Removal Experts

If you notice signs of bats living in your home or on your property, do not attempt to remove them on your own—the risk of disease or personal harm is too great. Instead, contact the bat removal experts at Critter Control® of Tampa. Our expert technicians are fully equipped and trained to permanently rid your property of a bat infestation. To get a free estimate or for more information regarding our services, please call us today at 813-948-0870.

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