Category Archives: News

Bats and Disease

Surely bats are one of the most interesting and important wildlife pests we encounter in pest control. Bats become pests when they roost in or around human buildings. They can create a major odor problem with their quano, but even more importantly, can carry and transmit human disease. Bat carried diseases are known as zoonoses. A zoonosis is a disease that is normally harbored within an animal host, but given the right conditions can jump from animal to human. Rabies is a zoonosis, as is West Nile virus…. Read More →

Bless the bats of agriculture by Chris Bennett in Farm Press Blog

Little bats play a giant role in agriculture. They account for approximately a quarter of all mammals — a massive army that operates as the scourge of the insect world. Their appetite for insect destruction translates to about $3.7 billion worth of pest control in North America each year, and that estimate is probably on the low end. Moths, beetles, stink bugs, leafhoppers and the rest — bats consume the crop-eaters without much discrimination. (Bats also pollinate over 300 types of fruit across the globe.) From a 2011… Read More →

Bat study lands young Texas A&M researcher global recognition

‘What!? No more margaritas!?’ Emma Gomez, a doctoral student in Texas A&M University’s wildlife and fisheries sciences department at College Station, is doing her best to keep that from happening. Gomez is studying the Mexican long-nosed bat, an endangered night-flier that pollinates the agave plant used to make tequila, the key ingredient in margaritas. Her efforts to save the bat just won her the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Young Researcher Award for a doctoral student, according to Dr. Thomas Lacher, a wildlife expert and Gomez’s major professor. Lacher… Read More →

A bat in the bedroom leads to a lesson on rabies

Ann Hawthorne awoke at 2 a.m. on Easter to see what she described as “a shadow of a bird flying past on my ceiling.” She got up, turned on the light and saw the shadow again, flying down the hall, around her condo and back again. A bat. With a 10-inch wingspan. Hawthorne thinks it was a little brown bat, “the color of coffee with cream in it.” A gap next to a vent may have been its point of entry. Hawthorne has no aversion to bats, rather… Read More →

Notes from the Field: Histoplasmosis Outbreak Among Day Camp Attendees — Nebraska, June 2012

Weekly September 21, 2012 / 61(37);747-748 On June 21, 2012, the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) in Omaha, Nebraska, was notified of an acute respiratory illness cluster among 32 counselors at city-sponsored day camps. Laboratory-confirmed histoplasmosis was diagnosed in one camp counselor. DCHD and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) investigated the extent and source of the outbreak to prevent further infections. Histoplasmosis is a common fungal infection in the United States (1) and is a cause of respiratory illness outbreaks in endemic areas, which… Read More →

A primer on bat behavior during the spring bat migration in Texas

Now that it is spring/summer, we are seeing more bats in East Texas. Some of the species that migrated south to spend the winter in warmer climates have returned to the area. In addition, the major maternity season for bats in the US and Canada is from April through August. The bat maternity season is significant for two reasons: 1. Since the young bats, called “pups” may not be too adept at flying, some of them end up on the ground in their early efforts. IN all probability,… Read More →

DEADLY, BAT-KILLING EPIDEMIC TRAVELED BY SHOE A fungus that has caused the deaths of millions of North American bats traveled here on the bottom of a human shoe.

  From Discovery News New clues are helping explain the mysteries surrounding white-nose syndrome, a devastating epidemic that has killed more than five and a half million bats in the eastern United States and Canada in just a few years. In the latest advance, the strongest evidence yet suggests that infection with a suspected fungus causes the deadly disease. What’s more, the fungus appears to have traveled to North America from Europe, most likely on a human shoe. Follow this link for the full story and to watch… Read More →

Texas State researcher warns of coming vampire bat invasion

Texans are used to putting up with the consequences of notoriously hot summers, but if researchers’ predictions are correct, then record drought and wildfires won’t be the only hazards residents of the Lone Star State will have to contend with in the future. Vampire bats may be on the way. Once only seen in the U.S. in horror films, vampire bats are expanding their range in Mexico as a result of climate change, and computer models indicate they could become year-round Texas residents within 50 years. For Ivan… Read More →

Bats worth billions to agriculture

Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats in the United States likely save the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year, and yet insectivorous bats are among the most overlooked economically important, non-domesticated animals in North America, according to an analysis published in this week’s Science. “People often ask why we should care about bats,” said Paul Cryan, a U.S. Geological Survey research scientist and one of the study’s authors. “This analysis suggests that bats are saving us big bucks by gobbling up insects that eat or… Read More →