Coronavirus has been dominating the headlines in recent weeks with the number of people and countries affected increasing. Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus is currently responsible for the deaths of over 267,467* people and another 3,815,561* plus people have been infected worldwide. These numbers are only rising, with countries scrambling to use preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus.
*statistics updated on May 7,2020
DID THE CORONAVIRUS ORIGINATE WITH BATS?
It’s especially hard for us to ignore the numerous reports pointing towards bats as the root cause of the virus spreading to humans. The new coronavirus is more than 96% genetically identical to a bat virus from the Yunnan province in southern China.
Research suggests that the initial infection point was at a wet market in Wuhan. At these poorly regulated wet markets, humans are in very close contact with live and dead animals making it the ideal environment for contracting a zoonotic disease – one that transfers from animals to humans. It’s possible that bats transferred the virus to another mammal (perhaps through feces) that was brought to the market for trade and thus started the spread of the coronavirus.
Despite the above, it is not certain the virus originated from the wet market in Wuhan. US Senator John Cotton from the Armed Services Committee said on Fox News on Sunday, February 16th:
“This virus didn’t originate in the Wuhan animal market,” Cotton said. “Epidemiologists who are widely respected from China who have published a study in the international journal The Lancet have demonstrated that several of the original cases did NOT have any contact with that food market. The virus went into that food market before it came out of that food market. So, we don’t know where it originated,” Cotton continued. “But we do know that we have to get to the bottom of that. We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level four super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.”
We trust the world’s health officials will eventually ferret out the real source and hopefully will get this virus under control as soon as possible.
Of course, with news of their potential link to coronavirus, a bat’s reputation has been dealt yet another blow. Bats get a bad rap and there’s always been an element of fear associated with them. Bats are known to harbor many diseases, but the transmission to humans is rare and is often due to mishandling them. After all, the wet market associated with the coronavirus is a manmade initiative creating a link between bats and humans that otherwise probably wouldn’t have happened.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A BAT PROBLEM?
We can drive ourselves batty trying to defend bats and telling everyone how crucial and fantastic they are for the environment, but the bottom line is that humans and bats are not intended to co-exist. While it’s highly unlikely that any bats in the US carry the coronavirus, it’s a great reminder to err on the side of caution when seeing a bat in your home or business. It’s a little quiet at this time of year, but temperatures will be on the rise before we know it, and bats will be flying again. So, what might point towards a bat infestation problem at your home or business?
- More than one bat has been seen in the home or business
- Bat guano (droppings) is present outside below eaves, window sills, on the ground or piles in the attic
- Small openings found in the soffit, rooflines, and siding. A bat only needs ⅝” to enter the structure.
- Evidence of a bat’s entrance can be oily smudges, discoloration of siding material, or droppings on the siding or ground.
- A strong smell, especially when hot, could be guano/urine build up.
- Scratching or scuffling noises.
Bat infestations are dealt with most efficiently and effectively by an experienced bat removal specialist. If you think you’re dealing with an infestation in your home or business contact our customer service team on (877) 264-2287 who can answer all of your questions.
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