Brief Review of 1970-80 Killer Bats and Killer Rats
Ever wonder why anyone would name a Vintage & Used Clothing store “The Rat’s Nest?” That’s what we find in Charlotte’s NoDa district. It’s a small redbrick store on E 36th St. They cater to the artsy crowd, carrying vintage clothing, furniture and even retro video games – all dating back from the 1970s and forward. Perhaps the name implies a sort of cluttered clothing collection that would make a rat colony feel at home. You guess is as good as mine. That said, it’s a cool place to shop!
Think back to the original 1971 release of “Willard”, with rats as clawing, chewing and bloody agents of revenge (1). Daniel Mann directed. Bruce Davison played Willard. Sondra Locke starred as Joan, the gal without a last name. Ben and Socrates, a couple of rats that Willard raised from birth, ended up running rampage with a host of their own brethren.
Is it any wonder that men, women and children harbor at least some token fear of rats? And I’d be remiss to move forward without also mentioning a few movies from the ‘70s and ‘80s that helped spur the common conception that bats as well as rats are spooky night beast with a taste for human blood. After all, who doesn’t dread the bats in the attic?
Let’s look first at “Chosen Survivors,” released in 1974 and featuring Jackie Cooper and Diana Muldaur (2). You remember that one, don’t you? It featured an underground bomb shelter, a sociological experiment pulled by the government, and “killer” vampire bats with a keen interest in the clueless human characters.
Well, maybe you missed “Chosen Survivors.” I’m not real thrilled in admitting that I saw it. But I’m sure you remember the 1979 release of “Nightwing,” featuring Nick Mancuso and Kathryn Harrold (3). It was one of the most intelligently handled “killer bats” tale of the time. It was reworked 1999 when the wretched bats came out to attack Lou Diamond Phillips and Dina Meyer
– and still the bats get a bad rap.
Are Bats and Rats Really Spooky? The Truth Revealed
In spite of Halloween settings, critter-based scary movies and the host of haunted trails and haunted houses currently spotting the regional Charlotte landscape, vampire bats are not swarming in the attic of your Carolina Metro home. They aren’t circling and awaiting opportunity to tangle-dance in your hair or to nip your neck so that you too may join in on the ghastly blood feast. In fact, bats of all types prefer to avoid contact with humans.
On the other hand, rats tend to have little fear of humans. Even so, rats rarely attack humans….though not because they do not enjoy the taste of blood. In fact, some breeds of rats are almost exclusively carnivorous! However, rats generally feed on insects, seeds and fruit; they usually leave people alone.
That’s not to say that bats and rats do not present hazards to human health. Indeed, there are some critical facts that every Charlotte regional homeowner needs to understand about these nocturnal scare factors.
Real World Dangers From Bats and Rats
Bats and rats add value by helping control other insects and pests. In fact, bats are excellent consumers of mosquitoes and are a natural form of mosquito control. But like rats, they also tend to spread disease – especially when living in a human occupied house. Here are some dangers specific to bats and/or rats:
- Both carry pathogens that can be threats to humans
- Bats carry rabies; rats cause rat-bite fever that results in death for 10 percent of untreated patients
- When bats or rats take up residence in your Charlotte home, even breathing air that passes through your home ventilation system can cause you to contract infectious disease
- Other possible risks include: Bubonic plague, Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Tapeworms, and more.
Signs of Bat or Rat Infestation
- Both bats and rats typically operate on the sly. Unless the house is unoccupied, even rats tend to remain quiet by day. Here’s what to look for:
- Morning, evening and nighttime scratching sounds in the attic, ceilings, walls and even from underneath
- Physical sightings: rats on the counters or the floor; bats heading out of the attic at dusk
- The distinct ammonia-like odor of bat urine
- Rat droppings in cupboards and/or drawers
Learn more: Read “10 Fascinating (but Scary!) Facts About Rodents.”
Resolving The Issue Of A Bat or Rat Home Invasion
Maybe rats and bats do not live up to the hype of Halloween scare tales. But when they get inside your Charlotte regional home, it’s time to talk about resolving the issue of a bat or rat home invasion. Consider the following pointers:
1) Bats and rats eat lots and multiply quickly. In short time, Ben and Socrates or their bat counterparts can overrun a home.
2) Bats and rats prefer being left alone. If there is no rat or bat food source or water source available in your Charlotte Metro home, these mammals don’t want to be there. A bat in the house is a confused bat. However, a rat in the house may be a comfortable rat.
3) Trapping rats is not always a DIY task. Trapping bats is never a DIY task. Rats are smart, and if one escapes from even a well-placed sticky trap, they learn to avoid the danger. Bats have very small teeth, but if they feel pressured they may bite. And with bats, rabies is rare but possible.
4) Call For Professional Carolina pest management
A bat colony can range from 20 to 200 members. The average rat colony can contain 75 or more members. Unless you prevent full invasion, the complications of full removal most likely exceeds layperson skill levels. And an active rodent infestation can be harmful to you, your family and your regional Charlotte home.
Don’t play the odds with personal safety or home damage. Carolina Pest Management offers 100% natural pest control solutions. Eliminate the wildlife from your home, not the world. Click the link to learn more about Carolina Pest rodent control.