BAT Removal in AUSTIN, TEXAS
- #1 BAT REMOVAL SERVICES IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
- On-site evaluation. Humane, Poison free, trapping, and removal solutions. Complete exterior seal-up of the residential or commercial structure. Decontamination of affected areas. Guaranteed work, with a warranty to count on. We specialize in bats and other wildlife.
- We offer safe and reliable residential and commercial bat removal and control services in Austin, Texas.
- Call 24/7 to discuss your bat problem Austin, TX
- Same-day or next-day appointments Austin, TX
- 32-point inspection of your property Austin, TX
- Written estimates for the bat removal project Austin, TX
- Fully state licensed and insured Austin, TX
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BAT REMOVAL AUSTIN TX
Not only do We remove the Bats, we also Cleanup the Guano they leave behind. Let's face it Austin is home to A LOT of BATS, although most of the bat population in Austin flock towards the bridges. AUSTIN BAT REMOVAL SERVICES Bat removal Austin, TX Structural Bat Exclusions Austin, TX Odor Remediation Austin, TX Bat Guano Cleanup & Removal Austin, TX Deodorization & Disinfection Austin, TX
Perform an inspection of the building by trying to identify their location, openings they are entering, and a survey of damage. Watches performed right before dark can allow you to visibly see where they are exiting, as they drop from their roosting area.Perform an attic inspection, paying special attention to time of the year and species of, damage in your attic, or fecal accumulation areas. They should not be disturbed during certain times. Professional help is recommended. Repair and seal all secondary openings, leaving the main and problem opening undisturbed. This is an important step as if anything is missed as they are excluded, they will have an opening to re enter. It is also important not to disturb the primary areas as it could cause the colony to split or move to another part of the home.Exclusion of the bats, or installation of excluders on primary openings to allow them to fly out, but not fly back into the structure. This is recommended by a professional only, and can end in disaster if they are trapped in, or using improper excluders.Removal of Fecal Accumulation or Guano from attic, walls, soffit, roof, or ground. Before removing, disinfecting and deodorizing is recommended, and using a professional is suggested.A follow up Bat Watch to ensure none are present or roosting on the outside, entering, or exiting, and that the home is secured.
THE TWO BATS MOST COMMONLY FOUND WITHIN STRUCTURES IN CENTRAL TEXAS ARE THE:
As Austin is home to a significant bat population, we are here to assist you in dealing with any bat-related issues you may encounter. Our team of experts is well-equipped to handle any bat infestation, and we use the latest techniques and equipment to ensure that your property is free from any bat infestation.
You can trust our team to provide reliable and professional services, and we guarantee that we will work with you to find the best solution for your specific situation. Don't let a bat infestation compromise the safety and health of your family or employees. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Next, open all windows and doors leading outside to provide the bat with an exit route. It's not necessary to worry about other bats entering your home from outside. However, it's important to remove any pets from the room and leave the lights on. This will help the bat see its way out.
Stand quietly against a wall or door and observe the bat until it leaves. Avoid trying to herd the bat towards a window. Instead, allow it to fly calmly and get its bearings. Don't worry if the bat swoops down towards you. When indoors, bats tend to make steep, banking turns. They fly upwards as they approach a wall and swoop lower near the center of the room.
Within ten to fifteen minutes, the bat should settle down, locate the open door or window, and fly out of the room. Remember, bats are an important part of our ecosystem and help control insect populations. If you're concerned about bats in your home, it's best to reach out to a professional for safe and humane removal.
1. Wear a pair of leather gardening or work gloves to protect your hands from bites or scratches.2. Place a large plastic bowl or container over the bat as it rests on the wall. The bat is likely tired and disoriented, so it should not fly away as you approach it. If it does take flight, follow the procedure for flying bats.3. Slide a piece of rigid cardboard between the container and the wall to trap the bat inside.4. Hold the cardboard firmly against the container and carefully carry the container outside.5. Place the container facing away from you on a secure location above the ground, such as a ledge or against a tree.6. Slide away the cardboard to release the bat. It may not fly immediately, so releasing it above the ground keeps it safe from predators until it has regained its bearings.7. If you are experiencing recurring problems with bats entering your home, it is recommended to inspect your attic to determine if you are housing a bat maternity colony.
It is important to never handle a bat or any other wild animal with your bare hands. By following these steps, you can safely and humanely remove a bat from your room.
DESCRIPTION AND APPEARANCE
While some bat species feed on nectar, other small mammals, fish, or, like the notorious vampire bats of South America, blood, the vast majority of bat species are insectivores and maintain a diet of night-flying insects like mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. As these insects are often pests themselves, controlled populations of bats around homes can be considered favorable. AppearanceBats have furry bodies that range in color to include shades of tan, red, brown, and grey. To compensate for their poor eyesight, bats typically have large ears designed for echolocation. As the only mammals capable of flight, they are very light and have wings. The bone structure of the wing resembles that of a human hand, as there are flaps of skin between the bones.
At their tiniest, bats grow between 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6 to 9 cm) in length and have a wingspan of about 8 inches (20 cm). Larger species range from 7 to 8 inches (18 to 20 cm) in length and have a wingspan between 21 and 23 inches (53 and 58 cm).
HabitatHighly adaptable, bats set up roosts in a variety of environments like deserts, woodlands, suburbs, and urban areas. They are found around the world and only avoid extreme climate zones like polar regions or especially harsh deserts. While bats prefer warm temperatures, they survive in temperate environments by hibernating come winter months. Bats will use barns, attics, caves, tree cavities, and the undersides of bridges to roost and/or overwinter.
EntryAre bats known to enter homes or yards? For the most part, bats are innocuous because they are nocturnal and humans sleep through their activity. However, in order to survive cold winters in various regions of the world, bats enter homes and roost in secluded locations like attics. They can squeeze into openings as tiny as a quarter of an inch (6 mm) in diameter, such as cracks around windows and doors, pipes and electrical wiring that lead inside, and vents.
RabiesAgain, while bats are beneficial creatures overall, they do pose certain health risks. Diseases like histoplasmosis and rabies are the most common diseases associated with bats. Although Bats do carry Rabies you are much more likely to be bitten by a rabid dog, in fact, 99 percent of rabies-related deaths are caused by rabid dogs, although bats are still carriers of the disease they will not attack, they while not go in your hair, and they do not suck blood (not Austins bats anyway). Thankfully, even rabid bats refrain from biting humans unless they feel threatened in some way, this is why you should never handle a downed bat.
HistoplasmosisWhile bats do not carry the fungus that causes it, it lives in warm, humid soil. Bat droppings act as a catalyst for the development of the fungus, and human infection occurs when people inhale the spores.
EctoparasitesBats also host ectoparasites, like fleas, flies, ticks, and mites, that endanger the health of humans and pets. Finally, bat urine can cause a pervasive and unpleasant smell, while bat droppings stain ceilings and building visages. Austin BatsAustin's bat population and bats, in general, have proven to be extremely beneficial to our ecosystem, although Bats in a somewhat controlled setting like The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge are safe from a distance to remember bats should never EVER be handled since they are extremely fragile creatures, not to mention you run the risk of being bitten by the bat and possibly contracting rabies. Although we've discovered and evicted various types of bat colonies in Central Texas over the years by far the most common bat Austinites come encounter is the infamous migratory Mexican Freetailed Bat followed by the Big Brown Bat.
Bat Removal AustinBat removal can be tricky and should only be attempted by a professional. If the bat was found in a room where the person/s were sleeping have the bat tested for rabies or Call Your Local Centex Certified Wildlife Professional to manage the procedure to ensure the bat's safety as well as yours. While at your property, our technician can perform A Bat Inspection in which he or she will spot the entry points the bats are using to access the structure. After a Thorough Bat Inspection, our representative will discuss what needs to be done to exclude them permanently. Bats suspected of having rabies should always be left for professionals to remove.
MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BAT Bat Removal AustinCentex Wildlife Control specializes in the removal of unwanted bats from all structure types in a humane and safe manner. Then, through a process called an Exclusion, We will seal up all vulnerable bat entry points to prevent further entry in the future. Every Bat Exclusion Centex performs comes with a 5 Year Warranty (unless otherwise stated). This protects our clients for the future in case there is a recurrence bat problem. We also provide guano clean-up and Insulation Removal/Installation.
The state of Texas is home to 32 different species of bats, 10 of which are known but not limited to Central Texas. Three of these species are known to roost primarily or more often in buildings or attics. Whereas the other 7 may be more likely to roost in caves, trees, and not as common, but buildings as well. If you are a victim of a bat infestation, give us a call and we can remove the bats and properly perform a highly permanent and professional exclusion (Guaranteed or we keep coming back). Remember, Bat removal is an extensive process and should only be carried out by an experienced professional.
The first step would be to give Centex Wildlife Control a call to perform a thorough Site Evaluation to determine the severity of the problem.
Centex offers residential and commercial Austin bat removal and control in a number of states. We are fully licensed and insured with years of experience and work hand in hand with state wildlife agencies and are multi-state certified. Our bat removal step-by-step solutions will effectively solve bat problems permanently.
On-site evaluation.Humane, Poison free, trapping, and removal solutions.Complete exterior seal-up of the residential or commercial structure.Decontamination of affected areas.Guaranteed work, with a warranty to count on. We specialize in bats and other wildlife. Human expansion and destruction of habitat have resulted in bats seeking alternative roost sites like roof voids (as small as 3/8 inch), attics, wells, buildings, and barns.
According to the Health Department, if a bat is in your home, there is evidence that it is possible for the bat rabies virus to infect victims purely through airborne transmission, even if there was no direct contact with the bat. The biggest problems with bats come from their droppings (or guano), diseases, and parasites.
A Bats In The Attic Austin is the leading bat removal company. We not only remove the bats, but also clean up any contaminants, and parasites, and repair any openings. We can even work with your homeowner’s insurance to take care of any costs. We can help you remove bats in the attic in Nashville. We use humane bat relocation practices to release the bat back into the wild. Call us today for your bat control needs.
Do not attempt to remove bats on your own, as they are federally protected. Do not touch any bats or disturb the droppings (guano), as it is a serious hazard. Bats are the number one carrier of rabies.
Austin Bat ControlOur professionals will control your bat problems. Bats have long adapted to living in attics and chimneys. Droppings on the outside of your home are usually a sign that you have a bat problem. Aside from bats being a nuisance, they carry several diseases and parasites and bat control should only be attempted by a professional.
The following are some of the bat nuisance concerns you may have: Bats In The Attic Austin, TXBats In The House Austin, TXBat Exclusion Austin, TXBats In The Soffit Austin, TXBats In The Wall Austin, TXBats In A Gable Vent Austin, TXBats In A Dormer Austin, TXBats Behind Shutters Austin, TXBats In A Cabin Austin, TXBats Under Barrel Tiles Austin, TXBats In The Peak Of Tin Roof Austin, TXBats In A Attic Vent Austin, TXBat Sick or Rabid Austin, TXBat In The Interior Austin, TXBats In The Insulation Austin, TXBats In The Basement Austin, TXBats Hanging on A Home Austin, TXBat Guano Removal Austin, TXBat Droppings By Door Austin, TXBat Droppings In Attic Covering Insulation Austin, TXBats Left, Need Clean Up Of Droppings Austin, TXBat Droppings On A Porch Austin, TXCommercial Bat Removal Company Austin, TXBats In The Chimney Austin, TXOdor From Bat Droppings Austin, TXDrywall Damage From Bat Droppings Austin, TXHad Bats In The Attic, Now Notice Bugs Austin, TX A Bats In The Attic Austin, TX Home Preventing bats from entering your home, attic, or building, is relatively easy. Close up or repair all possible or potential openings. Bats can get into the smallest openings as small as 3/8″, so keep that in mind. Being proactive and addressing openings before they happen to be used by a bat is key, especially if you have bats in your area. Most openings can be easily determined, but there are openings that are not easily seen, which is why it is best to hire a professional. Bat Damage And Diseases Austin, TX Once bats have moved into your attic, there can be a concern. Bat colonies can produce the quickest amount of fecal accumulation of any animal, even though remarkably small in size. In an attic, it can be bad news if it covers insulation and duct lines. Droppings in an enclosed, limited air space like an attic, do not break down naturally as if outside, and can harbor viruses, pathogens, bacteria, fungi, and diseases. Histoplasmosis, the fungus that grows on bat droppings is one of the top concerns. As droppings dry, disturbance to droppings from the bats moving over droppings, or someone walking over droppings can circulate particulates becoming airborne. People and pets can be at risk of getting histoplasmosis. Rabies is the other disease that should be a concern, and according to the Health Department, they suggest if you are in the same room with a bat, you need to get checked out or pre rabies shots, and the Centers for Disease Control suggests scratch or bite to seek medical attention immediately. The presence of ectoparasites in bats can be of concern. Of the more than 50 ectoparasites in bats, the most noticeable are Bat bugs, Mites, Ticks, Fleas, and Flies. The presence of ectoparasites can usually be seen once the hosts or bats are removed, and the ectoparasite searches for a new host. How Do I Get Rid Of Bats Austin, TXGetting rid of bats can be challenging for someone untrained, which can easily make the problem much worse. Successfully removing a Bat Colony should be done by exclusion of the bats, a process that allows them to fly out but not fly back in, only after every possible and potential secondary opening is permanently sealed off. Bats should never be trapped or poisoned as they are Federally Protected. Bats should not be disturbed or removed during pup season when they give birth. This can range in time depending on geographical area and species of bats, but usually mid-April – mid-August. Removal of Bats should not be the only concern, as droppings will need to be removed as well. Follow these steps to aid in the removal of bats from a building or structure.
Perform an inspection of the building by trying to identify the location of the bats, openings they are entering, and a survey of the damage. Bat Watches performed right before dark can allow you to visibly see where bats are exiting, as they drop from their roosting area. Perform an attic inspection, paying special attention to the time of the year and species of bats, damage in your attic, or fecal accumulation areas. Bats should not be disturbed during certain times. Professional help is recommended. Repair and seal all secondary openings, leaving the main and problem opening undisturbed. This is an important step as if anything is missed as bats are excluded, they will have an opening to re-enter. It is also important not to disturb the primary areas as it could cause the bat colony to split or move to another part of the home. Exclusion of the bats, or installation of excluders on primary openings to allow bats to fly out, but not fly back into the structure. This is recommended by a professional only and can end in disaster if the bats are trapped in, or using improper excludes. Austin, TX Removal of Fecal Accumulation or Guano from attic, walls, soffit, roof, or ground. Before removing, disinfecting and deodorizing are recommended, and using a professional is suggested. A follow-up Bat Watch to ensure no bats are present or roosting on the outside, entering, or exiting, and that the home is secured. Bat Maternity Season Austin, TXMaternity season of bats is and occurs between April 15th and goes through August 15th. Maternity season is when female bats will congregate and have baby bats, known as pups. Pups are born hairless, and require roosts in higher temperatures to stay warm, which is why an attic makes a perfect location, especially when the mother is out finding food. When pups are born, they can not fly. Removal should not be attempted during this time, as sealed-in bats can die, or even find their way into the interior of a home. So what can be done during Maternity season? If the bats are causing a health and safety issue coming into the home or causing property damage from their droppings, bats can be removed during this time, only with special authorization from the state wildlife agency by an approved company like Centex. There will be a lot of miscommunication on this topic if you are researching, as not all companies are properly trained in Bat Compliant standards. Bat Identification Austin, TXbats-attic Austin, TX There are several Bat Species in every state, but most nuisance concerns involve the Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat, and the Mexican Free Tail Bat. All are nocturnal, primarily feeding at low light through the dark. Most of their time is spent on roost sleeping until they emerge at dark. Man-made structures make excellent areas for bats to roost in a colony. Bats can live 15 years up to 30 years in the wild and have between 1 and 2 pups at birth between Mid-April – Mid August. Most people wonder how a bat can find food at night. They use echolocation or the bouncing of sound waves to navigate and feed. Colonies of Bats can be very noisy from moving in the walls to high-pitched chirping and smells from fecal accumulations or large colonies that can drive people from a structure.
Bat Insurance Claims AustinTrust the professionals at Centex to work with your insurance provider to make your Bat Removal and Control problem an easy process. We work with all insurance providers to insure that the homeowner is taken care of fairly.
Contact one of Centex’s state-certified professionals to handle your bat problems. Government agencies, property managers, businesses, and thousands of homeowners have relied on Centex.
Bat Repellents Austin, TXBat problems can become costly, especially if the problem has occurred for a long amount of time. We receive requests asking if there is an effective repellent or frequency device that does repel or scare away bats. Having seen thousands of bat problems, I can tell you that there is no effective repellent or sound frequency that deters bats. We have seen people try sprays, frequency devices, ammonia, ultrasonic sound devices, mothballs, bright lights, natural ingredients, aerosols, and even loud playing radios, to no avail. Simply, bats possess excellent homing capabilities and will return to a roosting location, overriding any repellent. It is also illegal to harm or harass bats with sounds, sprays, lights, and toxic substances. If you are experiencing a bat problem, do not take the law into your own hand, and call a professional at Centex.
Question? We were hearing noises in our attic and used a pest control company to remove the animals making noise. They placed out glue boards in the attic and said we had mice, but now we are finding bats on the glue boards. What should we do now? Answer: Sounds like your Bat problem was misdiagnosed. It is important when hiring a wildlife service to only hire a service that specifically deals with wildlife, as opposed to a pest control company that primarily deals with bugs. Not all wildlife companies are properly trained on Bats, and we would recommend only using NWCOA Certified Bat Compliance operators. I would have the pest company retrieve their glue boards and ask for a refund. I would then hire a professionally certified company to resolve the Bat problem. You can contact us 24 hours a day. Question? Bats are roosting behind my shutters. Is there anything that can be done? Answer: Yes, this is a common problem, and requires special attention. Anything short of completely sealing all shutter access, and can be a continual problem. Opening shutters in most cases will allow bats to choose a different roost site. The openings on shutters that will need to be addressed are the louver openings and the openings around the back of the shutters. Louver openings can be screened and the screen painted to match, making it aesthetically pleasing and preventing any access. Either making the shutters flush mount can repair openings around the back of the shutters or by building shutter boxes of wood, completely closing off openings. Those too can be painted, making the repair aesthetically pleasing, and is an affordable process. Question? We have noticed Bats in our attic and have Bed Bugs too. Could the two problems be related? Answer: Yes, these two problems are related, but chances are you have Bat Bugs instead of Bed Bugs. Bat Bugs are an ectoparasite that is found on Bats, in guano, in areas where there have been bat colonies, or around roosting areas where bats congregate. They look exactly like bed bugs, and only the trained eye can distinguish the two. Infestations can be very minor to very major problems. Once Bats are removed or happen to take up a roost elsewhere, ectoparasites like bat bugs can start searching throughout the home for a new host. If you notice activity like this calls one of our specialists immediately. When Do Bats Leave Their RoostWe have a lot of misconceptions about bats. Thanks to how they have been depicted in movies and books, bats are one of the most misunderstood creatures. Bats deliver a range of benefits to mankind. They can help spread seeds to a different locations and their bat guano ensures that the seed will have enough nutrients to grow. Some of them are pollinators and can control the population of insects.
Time That Bats Leave the RoostIn the US, there are more than 40 species of bats. The time that they will leave their nest and how long they will remain outside will vary depending on the bat species. For instance, some bats will leave 15 minutes after sunset while others will leave while there is still light.
Most Bats Are Nocturnal CreaturesThe bats are usually active at night. As the sky goes dark, the level of their activity will increase. They will start to emerge from their roosting sites and start hunting for their food. Bats have a voracious appetite since they will have to build up their body fat in preparation for the winter. The feeding of the bats will last for at least 1-2 hours. They will then rest for a couple of hours before they begin hunting again before sunset.
The Time They Return to Their RoostThe time that the bats will return to their roost will vary depending on the species. Usually, you will catch them leaving their nest at sunset. They will then be returning to their caves in the early morning. The bats will usually spend the daytime resting inside their cave. They can also be socializing with each other or grooming. In urban communities, the potential roost of the bats will be in the human structures.
Bats Are Not All NocturnalWhile the majority of the bats are nocturnal that hunt in the dark, there are also species of bats that will remain active during the daytime. Different species of bats can sufficiently handle varying levels of light. However, there is a particular study that discovered that the presence of lights can significantly reduce the presence of bats. All in all, bats prefer to move in the dark to avoid their predators. However, you should not be surprised when you notice some bats leaving their roost during the daytime.
While bats are known to be essential for the health of the environment, you still don't want to discover them inside your home. Bats can harbor a range of ectoparasites and may be infected with a disease that is transmissible to humans. You should have a preventative measure in place to keep your house protected against their threat. Once the bat decided to establish their roosting site in your house, expect that it will keep on returning. Furthermore, they have protected species under federal law which makes it complex to exclude and remove them. Sealing all the entry holes that are a half inch and above can help you keep a bat-free house. Call 24/7 to discuss your bat problem. Same-day or next-day appointments. 32-point inspection of your property. Written estimates for bat removal project. Fully state licensed and insured. Residential and commercial service 100% no-kill Austin bat extraction Complete bat-proofing of your building Compliance with all Texas, federal laws Guano removal and attic decontamination
RabiesGeneral Epidemiology Bats are distinct from most vertebrate pests that inhabit human dwellings because of the potential for transmitting rabies — a viral infection of mammals that is usually transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. Rabies does not respond to antibiotic therapy and is nearly always fatal once symptoms occur. However, because of the long incubation period (from 2 weeks to many months), prompt vaccination following exposure can prevent the disease in humans. Dogs, cats, and livestock also can be protected by periodic vaccinations. Bats are not asymptomatic carriers of rabies. After an incubation period of 2 weeks to 6 months, they become ill with the disease for as long as 10 days. During this latter period, a rabid bat’s behavior is generally not normal—it may be found active during the daytime or on the ground incapable of flying. Most human exposures are the result of accidental or careless handling of grounded bats. Even less frequently, bats in this stage of illness may be involved in unprovoked attacks on people or pets (Brass, pers. commun.; Trimarchi et al. 1979). It is during this stage that the rabid bat is capable of transmitting the disease by biting another mammal. As the disease progresses the bat becomes increasingly paralyzed and dies as a result of the infection. The virus in the carcass is reported to remain infectious until decomposition is well advanced.
SignificanceRabies is the most important public health hazard associated with bats. Infection with rabies has been confirmed in all 40 North American species of bats that have been adequately sampled in all of the contiguous United States and in most provinces of Canada. Figure 8 shows the frequency of bat species submitted for rabies testing in New York State over the last 12 years. While not a nationwide measure of human encounters with bats, Figure 8 illustrates that bat species are not encountered equally. Note that bats submitted for testing are often ill and/or easily captured. The numbers and species encountered will vary with the region of the country; data are generally available from local and state health authorities.
A random sampling of bats (healthy and ill) indicates an overall infection rate of less than 1%. Finding a rabid bat in a colony does not imply that the remaining animals are rabid. In fact, the probability of immediately finding more than one additional infected bat in that colony is small.
Bats rank third (behind raccoons and skunks) in the incidence of wildlife rabies in the United States (Krebs et al. 1992). In the last 20 years, however, there have been more human rabies cases of bat origin in the United States than in any other wildlife group. Furthermore, the disease in bats is more widely distributed (in all 48 contiguous states in 1989) than in any other species. In Canada, bats also rank third (behind foxes and skunks) in the incidence of wildlife rabies. Therefore, every bat bite or contact must be considered a potential exposure to rabies. While aerosol transmission of the rabies virus from bats in caves to humans and some other mammals has been reported, this is not a likely route of infection for humans entering bat roosts in buildings in temperate North America. Note that vampire bats are not a threat north of Mexico.
Histoplasmosis—General EpidemiologyHistoplasmosis is a very common lung disease of worldwide distribution caused by a microscopic fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum. Histoplasma exists in nature as a saprophytic mold that grows in soil with high nitrogen content, generally associated with the guano and debris of birds (particularly starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, and chickens) and bats. Wind is probably the main agent of dispersal, but the fungus can survive and be transmitted from one site to another in the intestinal contents of bats, and also in the dermal appendages of both bats and birds. The disease can be acquired by the casual inhalation of windblown spores, but infections are more likely to result from visits to point sources of growth of the fungus. Relative to bats, such sources include bat roosts in caves, barns, attics, belfries, and soil enriched with bat guano.
Numerous wild and domestic animals are susceptible to histoplasmosis, but bats (and perhaps the armadillo) are the only important animal vectors. Unlike bats, birds do not appear to become infected with the fungus. Both guano and particular environmental conditions are necessary for H. capsulatum to proliferate. In avian habitats, the organism apparently grows best where the guano is in large deposits, rotting and mixed with soil rather than in nests or in fresh deposits. Specific requirements regarding bats have not been described, though bat roosts with long-term infestation are often mentioned in the literature.
While histoplasmosis in the United States is particularly endemic to the Ohio-Mississippi Valley region (which is also an area with the greatest starling concentration) and places along the Appalachian Mountains, it is also found in the lake and river valleys of other states. Outside areas with “appropriate” environmental conditions, there also occur scattered foci with high infection rates usually associated with caves inhabited by bats or birds.
SignificanceWhen soil or guano containing H. Disturbing capsulatum physically causes the spores to become airborne. Persons at particular risk of histoplasmosis of bat origin include spelunkers, bat biologists, pest control technicians, people who clean out or work in areas where bats have habitually roosted, and people in contact with guano-enriched soil — such as around the foundation of a building where guano has sifted down through the walls.
Infection occurs upon inhalation of spores and can result in a variety of clinical manifestations; severity partially depends on the number of spores inhaled. The infection may remain localized in the lungs where it may resolve uneventfully; this is the case for about 95% of the 500,000 infections occurring annually in the United States. Such infections are identified only by a positive histoplasmosis skin test and/or calcified lesions on routine radiographs. Other individuals may have chronic or progressive lung disease requiring treatment. Less severe forms of these infections may be accompanied by fever, cough, and generalized symptoms similar to prolonged influenza. Resolution of the disease confers a degree of immunity to reinfection. In addition, resolution confers varying degrees of hypersensitivity to H. capsulatum; as a consequence, massive reinfection in highly sensitized lungs may result in a fatal acute allergic reaction.
In a small percentage of chronic histoplasmosis cases, the fungus disseminates to involve multiple organ systems and may be fatal. This form is usually seen in young children (1 year or older) and in immunocompromised adults. In recent years, systemic infections have been increasing in frequency globally as opportunistic infections of AIDS patients.