Are Squirrels in the Attic Really Better Than Bats in the Belfry?
Since you probably don’t have a belfry, it is more likely that you’ll have an infestation of squirrels in the attic. A belfry is actually a tower that houses a bell, most commonly found in churches. Even so, whether or not your attic is invaded by squirrels or by bats does have consequences, particularly for your health.
Bats in the Belfry
While bats have been known to invade a church belfry or two in the past, it is more likely that you’ll find them in your attic. Typically, bats prefer to live in caves or mature trees. When either of those options is not available, bats look for other places to go. A barn is often a top pick, but sometimes an attic comes in as a close second.
Dangers Presented by Bats
Bats have been identified as carriers of the rabies virus. Therefore, an infestation of bats in your home can put your life in danger if the bats escape from the attic and enter the main living quarters of the home. Although the most common way for bats to transmit the rabies virus to humans is to bite them, just having a rabid bat’s saliva enter your mouth, nose, or eye is enough to put you at risk of developing the disease.
In addition to the risk of coming into contact with the rabies virus, a bat infestation also opens up the possibility of being exposed to bat guano and the peril of developing Histoplasmosis. When a person cultivates Histoplasmosis in their system, their organs can fail and breathing becomes difficult. Left untreated, this disease leads to death.
Squirrels in the Attic
While squirrels are perfectly okay living in the outdoors, they will take the opportunity to move into a home when they are preparing to have their litters. Attics are particular favorites for squirrels due to the fact that humans rarely go into them. Basements, decks, and porches are also frequently chosen by squirrels for the purposes of building a nest to house their young.
Dangers Presented by Squirrels
Squirrels are not carriers of the rabies virus. Nevertheless, their presence in your home can place your life at risk, particularly if you are bitten by an angry squirrel that is acting defensively to protect its litter. If you are bitten by a squirrel, you should get the wound treated properly by your physician or someone on staff at the emergency room.
Squirrels or Bats? Which Type of Infestation Is Better?
Ideally, no infestation is the best kind of all. However, if you could pick based upon health reasons, squirrels prevent less of a danger than bats. Bats carry the rabies virus and their guano can lead to Histoplasmosis, a disease that is deadly to humans. On the other hand, squirrels do not carry the rabies virus; and while their feces and urine are dirty, neither one of these leads to the development of a deadly virus.