In Bat Conservation, Informative Articles, White Nose Syndrome

If you don’t know about White Nose Syndrome, you haven’t been reading our blog. And that’s ok, we know not everyone is as fanatical about bats as we are.

White Nose Syndrome - Get Bats Out

Hibernating little brown bat with white muzzle typical of White-nose syndrome. Location: PA, USA Photographer: Greg Turner, Pennsylvania Game Commission

So, a brief recap on White Nose Syndrome:

White Nose Syndrome was first discovered in the United States 10 years ago in New York. It has been in Europe for much longer than that, but no one knows exactly how it jumped across the ocean. Many experts believe it was tracked into caves in New York on the shoes of people that had been in infected caves in Europe.

White Nose Syndrome is a fungal infection that attacks hibernating bats. It is noticeable by the white fungus that grows on their noses; hence the name. This fungus wakes a hibernating bat by eating up all of its fat reserves needed to make it through the winter. The woken bat then needs to go in search of food. Which is a problem in the dead of winter when there are no insects to eat. The bats then die of starvation or exposure.

Since it was first discovered in the United States, White Nose Syndrome has killed approximately 90% of the Little Brown Bat species in infected areas. The Little Brown Bat is the most prevalent bat species in the United States and is beneficial in pest control for the agricultural community in our country. Bats, in general, are estimated to contribute roughly four billion dollars in agricultural pest control per year.

The Latest Development in White Nose Syndrome

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have discovered that bats may be making some headway in their fight against White Nose Syndrome. The bats decline may be leveling off.

The bad news is that the bats in the northeast, the hardest hit area, are still getting the deadly fungal disease. The good news is that some bat species are developing a resistance to the disease.

Jeffrey Foster is an assistant professor of genomics at UNH and participated in the research. He says, “We know that these bats that are still here are getting infected and that’s good in that we know that they’re able to at least persist with the fungus.”

Foster says it’s an encouraging sign that the bats won’t go extinct in the region.

Bats on the Mend

This new development is obviously good news. It will, however, take many years for the bat populations to recover.

This makes it more important than ever to make sure that if you have a bat infestation in your home that you, or the company you hire for bat removal, use humane exclusion techniques.

We here at Get Bats Out realize the important role these little critters play in our ecosystem. We always use 100% humane techniques to remove bats from our clients homes or businesses.

If you need help with a bat problem in your home or business, call us today. We’re here to help you, the bats, and the environment.

Your local bat removal expert,

Michael Koski

Speak with one of our bat experts today.
Click here to request your free phone consultation.

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