Rapidly Spreading Disease Found In Bats In SC - WSPA.com

Rapidly Spreading Disease Found In Bats In SC

Posted: Updated:
A disease that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. has reached South Carolina. (USFWS) A disease that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. has reached South Carolina. (USFWS)
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

A disease that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. has reached South Carolina.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said Monday it found a bat that died from white-nose syndrome in February in a remote part of Table Rock Park in the northwest part of the state in Pickens County.

The disease was first found in bats six years ago in New York state. South Carolina is the 20th state to record a case. Scientists estimate up to 7 million bats have died, and the disease kills more than 90 percent of the bats it infects.

According to a news release issued by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, bats eat thousands of metric tons of insects every year, making bats a vital asset for agricultural pest control.

In fact, bats save the agricultural industry about $3 billion annually in pest control costs, but with millions of bats dying, DNR says food costs could increase if farmers spend more on artificial pest control means. 

"We know that when farmers ... has to use more pesticide ... you always see the cost at the consumer end," said DNR biologist and bat expert Mary Bunch.

While there's not much in terms of preventing or curing the disease, wildlife officials say caves should be closed to the public to keep from spreading the fungus that causes the disease.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • 1 Dead After Crash On Greenpond Rd.

    1 Dead After Crash On Greenpond Rd.

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:32 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:32:58 GMT
    1 dead after crash in Greenville County.1 dead after crash in Greenville County.
    The Highway Patrol says one person is dead after a single car crash in Greenville County.Troopers say ithappened at 12:05 a.m. on Greenpond Road near Martin Road just outside the town on Fountain Inn.Investigators say the drive of a 1998 Ford Expedition went off the road overturned and hit a fence.
    The Highway Patrol says one person is dead after a single car crash in Greenville County.Troopers say ithappened at 12:05 a.m. on Greenpond Road near Martin Road just outside the town on Fountain Inn.Investigators say the drive of a 1998 Ford Expedition went off the road overturned and hit a fence.
  • Extra Patrols in Place for Labor Day Weekend

    Extra Patrols in Place for Labor Day Weekend

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:49:54 GMT
    Extra patrols for Labor Day WeekendExtra patrols for Labor Day Weekend
    More South Carolinians will be traveling for Labor Day weekend than in the last 6 years. Over 450,000 people will be traveling more than 50 miles, according to AAA Carolinas.With so many people on the roads, law enforcement is putting out extra patrols to keep you safe.Hands Across The Borders starts Wednesday in the Upstate. This is where dozens of law enforcement agencies from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia work together to stop drinking and driving.
    More South Carolinians will be traveling for Labor Day weekend than in the last 6 years. Over 450,000 people will be traveling more than 50 miles, according to AAA Carolinas.With so many people on the roads, law enforcement is putting out extra patrols to keep you safe.Hands Across The Borders starts Wednesday in the Upstate. This is where dozens of law enforcement agencies from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia work together to stop drinking and driving.
  • Lyman Employee Suspended; SLED, FBI Involved

    Lyman Employee Suspended; SLED, FBI Involved

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-08-27 03:06:27 GMT
    Former Lyman Public Works Director Alan Johnson has been suspended without pay pending an investigation. Town council called an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the matter.
    Former Lyman Public Works Director Alan Johnson has been suspended without pay pending an investigation. Town council called an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.