In 2013, the Gig Harbor Times.com posted an article questioning the disappearance of the bat population. Prior to 2013 we observed many bats during summer months. At dusk, just after sunset, bats were seen swooping and fliting about as they fed on insects.
The US Forest service seems to answer that question in a confirmation of the bat “white nose syndrome” fungus presence is Western Washington as of October 2016.
The Gig Harbor Times suspects that recently discovered evidence of “white nose syndrome” in Western Washington has been present for many years. The decline of our local bat population is scientifically undocumented and only observationally reported in the Gig Harbor Times.com
What does that mean for Gig Harbor and Western Washington? Bats consume thousands of pounds of insects including mosquitoes. The Zika virus and West Nile fever are two emergent diseases that first arrived on the east coast. In 2012 the east coast, coincidentally, experienced a massive die-off of bats (5.7 million bat deaths) due to the white nose fungus.
Mosquitoes breed in small standing water sources. Breeding grounds can include gutters, plant pots, blue tarps, old tires or anywhere water can accumulate. The Gig Harbor Times.com recommends that one should inspect their surrounding environment for sources of standing water. Both renters and homeowners need to be responsible for their personal health protection in this coming fight against emergent diseases.
Gig Harbor burn bans follow Pierce County burn bans except in No Burn areas within the city limits of Gig Harbor. Burn ban information can be obtained from the Pierce County burn ban website where you may also subscribe to burn ban starts and stops via email.
Limited residential outdoor burning is allowed in portions of Pierce County Fire District #5 (253- 851-3111) Other “No Burn” areas within Gig Harbor city limits do NOT permit outdoor burning at any time. See Map for No Burn areas. Residents who live outside the non-attainment areas are allowed to burn their yard debris. Contact Pierce County Fire District #5 to see if you are outside this area.”
For more information regarding burn regulations within the city limits of Gig Harbor please see the city website: Gig Harbor Burn Permit
Western Washington coyotes birth their litters in April. The coyotes are now searching for food to feed their pups fed. Pets such as cats and small dogs often fall prey to coyotes especially this time of year. The “lost cat” or “lost dog” posters will soon appear on telephone poles.
Don’t let your pet become a victim. Keep your pets inside at night and early morning. We’ve had one report of a coyote in a backyard at noon on Monday. If your cat is an “outdoor” kitty, please be aware that the coyote danger exists now and will be very high for the next several months.
Keep pet food inside to avoid encouraging coyotes visiting your property. Pick up fallen apples. Although coyotes are mainly carnivorous they will eat fruit, berries and vegetables.