OTHER VERTEBRATE PESTS
After completion of the study of Other Vertebrates, the trainee should be able to:
Describe the habitats and life cycles of other vertebrates.
Describe the impact of other vertebrates on household and structural
Discuss the non-chemical and chemical alternatives of bird control and
Bats are the only true flying mammals. A thin
membrane of skin stretches from the long, modified
front legs to the back legs and then to the tail. The
bones in the bats "fingers" are greatly elongated "ribs"
for the wings.
Bats in the United States are almost always
beneficial. Some species are endangered. Many bats
feed on insects, and can consume up to l/2 their body
weight in insects in one feeding. Occasionally,
however, they become a nuisance inside buildings or
pose a public health problem.
The bats that most often become a problem
around people are the ones that live in colonies or
groups. Examples from around the country are little
brown bats, big brown bats, Mexican free-tailed bats,
Although rats, mice, and birds are the vertebrate
and big-eared bats. All of these species sometimes
pests most commonly encountered in the urban
hibernate or roost inside of buildings.
environment, other vertebrates sometimes become
Roosting and hibernating sites may occur in
pests too. Some of these animals become pests when
building attics, wall and ceiling voids, belfries,
they wander into residential areas from nearby wild
chimneys, unused furnaces, and the like. The bats'
areas or parks; examples of these are skunks,
droppings and urine can cause a foul odor and stains
raccoons, and possums. Some vertebrate pests have
on walls and ceilings. Their squeaking and scrambling
taken to living along with people -- next to or
noises can be intolerable to residents of the building.
sometimes inside buildings, e.g., bats and squirrels.
Bats and Disease
Whatever the pest, sometimes they must be
controlled; because they are often game animals or are
Bats are associated with a few diseases that affect
otherwise protected, most control actions will be
people. Rabies and histoplasmosis are the most
serious. Rabies is a dangerous and fatal disease.
However, the bat's role in transmission has been
The mammalian order of bats is second only to
rodents in number of species.
greatly exaggerated. Although bats are confirmed
Module Three Chapter 5, Pg 1