Of all animals in North America, the bat is the most misunderstood. Many people consider bats to be pests, to be diseased and dangerous. However, bats are actually incredible animals and they’re a key part of our ecosystem. They make great neighbours because they provide a valued service: They eat flying insects like mosquitoes.
Bats only become a problem to humans when they enter manmade structures. Due to a lack of mine shafts and caves in most areas, bats often roost in attics. And because they’re quiet and do little damage to the structures they’re in, they often go unnoticed for years. That is, until an odour notifies you of their presence.
That terrible odour is often caused by having a bat die in the walls of the home. Often, bats, especially young bats, get lost, get stuck in walls and, unable to find their way out, they die there.
What is wrong with having bats die in the walls of your home? It comes down to bad odours, insects, and risks to your health.
The biggest complaint homeowners have when it comes to dead bats behind walls is the terrible odour that comes next. When a body decomposes, a noxious smell occurs. After death, the body releases a combination of chemicals, including benzene derivatives, sulfur dioxide, and methane. When these gases mix together, they lead to what is commonly known as “the smell of death.” It’s a very specific, very sickening smell.
If bats die inside your walls, you’ll be able to smell this decomposition for weeks until the body does through the natural stages of decay. With time, the smell will get stronger. It will seem like your entire house smells. The location of the dead bat as well as the temperature outside could make the stench even worse.
What is wrong with having bats die in the walls of your home? Nothing—if you love living with flies and maggots, that is. Unique types of insects known as carrion flies seek out dead and decomposing bodies in order to lay their eggs inside the decaying organic material.
If you have dead bats in the walls, you’ll probably also have swarms of carrion flies, such as blow flies, in your home, too. And soon, you’ll be dealing with maggots, beetles, and worms as well. Your walls could quite literally become carrion flies’ breeding ground.
Risks to Your Health
A bat has died behind your wall. To prevent the stench of death from wafting through your home, and to prevent inviting hundreds of flies into your home, you might take action and attempt to remove the dead animal carcass on your own.
This is a mistake. Handling dead animals poses serious health risks. If you come in direct contact with a dead animal, you put yourself at risk of contracting diseases and parasites. You may accidentally disturb bat guano (feces) in your attempt to remove the dead animal. By disturbing bat guano, you can make Histoplasma capsulatum spores go airborne. Then, you could breathe in these spores and contract a dangerous illness called histoplasmosis.
You can also end up spreading parasites by handling a dead bat. Most wild animals, including bats, carry parasites. Once the animal is dead, the parasites need to find a new host to survive. You don’t want to become that new host and spread parasites throughout your home. This can lead to an additional problem since parasites are known to be difficult to get rid of. It can also put your pets at risk.
Now you know what is wrong with having bats die in the walls of your home. To prevent these three issues, call a wildlife removal company and request dead animal removal services if a bat has died in your home.