Chapter 1: The Importance of Gloves in Handling of Bats
Wildlife control is a risky and challenging job that requires a high level of expertise and careful handling of wildlife animals, including proper techniques in the handling of bats. One of the most critical aspects of wildlife control is personal protection, particularly for the hands, which are prone to injuries from animal bites and scratches. To minimize the risk of such injuries, wildlife control consultants and experts use gloves to protect their hands from animal bites and scratches while handling wildlife animals, including bats.
In this episode of Living the Wildlife, Stephen Vantassel, a wildlife control consultant, explores the different types of gloves available for wildlife control, the balance between dexterity and protection, and the importance of selecting the right glove for the job when handling bats.
Chapter 2: Understanding the Puncture Resistance of Gloves In The Handling Of Bats
Dr. Patricia Freeman and Dr. Cliff Lemon, both mammologists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, conducted research to determine the puncture resistance of gloves for handling bats. They aimed to balance protection for the hands with manual dexterity to enable wildlife researchers and consultants to physically manipulate bats, take measurements, and perform scientific research on bats. The research focused on the handling of bats, specifically.
The researchers developed a puncture tool that mirrored the sharpness of a bat’s tooth, which they used to mechanically test the puncture resistance of various types of gloves. They tested natural leathers, such as split cow, pig, deer, goat, top grain cow, and elk, as well as cotton and rubberized cotton gloves, and analyzed the data for the handling of bats.
Chapter 3: Finding the Right Balance Between Dexterity and Protection
The results of Dr. Freeman and Dr. Lemon’s research showed that the thicker the glove, the greater the protection, but the lower the dexterity, specifically when dealing with bats. Conversely, the thinner the glove, the higher the dexterity, but the lower the protection when handling bats. The researchers recommended using gloves with a thickness of at least 0.5mm to balance protection and dexterity, especially when handling bats.
When selecting gloves for wildlife control and bat handling, wildlife control consultants should consider the type of animal they are handling, the level of protection required, and the level of dexterity needed, with specific emphasis on bat handling techniques. It is crucial to use gloves that provide adequate protection against bites while enabling you to take measurements and perform scientific research on bats safely.
Chapter 4: Understanding the Different Sizes of Bats
According to the article “Puncture Resistance of Gloves for Handling Bats,” medium-sized bats are those that weigh between 15 to 25 grams, while small bats weigh between 5 to 15 grams, and large bats up to 90 grams, such as the greater spear-nosed bat and up to 70 grams, such as the great fruit-eating bat. It is important to know the size of bats you are dealing with, especially in terms of the proper bat handling techniques and the specific level of protection required when handling bats.
Chapter 5: Best Gloves for Protection and Dexterity
Split cowhide gloves offer the highest protection when handling bats, while deerskin gloves offer about 82% of the protection provided by split leather gloves. Although deerskin gloves are not as protective as split cowhide gloves, they are still a good option for those who need to balance dexterity with protection, especially when dealing with small to medium-sized bats, and require specific bat handling techniques.
Chapter 6: Rabies Prophylaxis Shots and Conclusion
It is highly recommended to consult with a physician about getting rabies prophylaxis shots before handling bats, as bats are known carriers of rabies. These shots offer protection against rabies and may save you from costly post-exposure shots in the event of a bite from a rabies vector species. While there is always a risk with any medication, balancing the risk and reward of getting vaccinated is important. Additionally, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and avoiding getting bitten in the first place should be a top priority when handling bats. With the right gloves and protection, it is possible to handle bats safely and with confidence.
In conclusion, handling wildlife animals and especially the handling of bats can be a risky and challenging job, and personal protection is crucial. Gloves are an essential part of personal protective equipment, especially when it comes to wildlife control. Researchers have conducted studies to determine the puncture resistance of gloves for handling bats, and they recommend gloves with a thickness of at least 0.5mm to balance protection and dexterity. It is important to choose the right type of glove for the animal being handled, and it is highly recommended to consult with a physician about getting rabies prophylaxis shots before handling bats. With the right gloves and protection, it is possible to handle bats safely and with confidence.
As a call to action, those working in wildlife control and handling animals should prioritize their personal protection and consider investing in the appropriate gloves for the job. They should also consult with a physician about getting rabies prophylaxis shots to ensure their safety. Furthermore, it is crucial to follow safety protocols and avoid getting bitten by animals in the first place. By taking these precautions, we can protect ourselves while performing necessary wildlife control and research tasks.
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Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE
Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC
Phone: 406-272-5323 Mtn Time
Helping people resolve conflicts with wildlife through teaching, training, writing, and research
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