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Bats are a vital part of the ecological system of Guyana and provide many valuable services. They consume huge quantities of agricultural insect-pests like moths and beetles, the larval stages of which cause immense damage to food and other valuable crops. They also consume huge quantities of mosquitoes on a nightly basis. Bats pollinate and disperse the seeds of many species of locally occurring trees and plants. For these vital environmental benefits, bats are now protected by law in Guyana.

Some bat species, however, can become a nuisance when they decide to take up residence in your home. Like all animals, bats are always on the lookout for food and for a safe place to rest.  Bats resting under galvanize roofing seldom cause problems for home owners, but those that roost in ceilings and the insides of houses should be encouraged to find alternative lodgings. It is best, therefore, not to invite homeless bats by leaving entry points available for them to move in, where they can become nuisances in your homes.

Diseases associated with Bats

Although bats are highly beneficial in helping control insect populations, such as mosquitoes, moths, beetles and rainflies, and partner with many fruit bearing and flowering trees for pollination and seed-dispersal, they can be associated with diseases too. In Guyana, these are usually restricted to two main illnesses: Rabies and Histoplasmosis.

● Rabies is probably the most well-known disease associated with bats (and other mammals). Historically, however, rabies transmission is generally restricted to vampire bat attacks.

● Histoplasmosis is a disease that attacks the lungs. It is caused by the inhalation of spores (microscopic seeds) released by a fungus that resides in bird and bat guano (droppings), though usually in confined spaces. Large bat colonies in confined spaces can leave behind large quantities of guano, which can produce fungal spores that cause serious illness if inhaled. Bats that are allowed over time to set up large colonies in your ceiling or attic, therefore, can leave droppings that have the potential to create health risks, especially to those who suffer respiratory illnesses or from weakened immune systems.

Worried about the dangers of bats on your property? Call Rentokil at 592 226 9658 for expert advice.

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