Bat Guano And The Potential Health Risk It Can Cause.
Bat Guano has always been a problem when it accumulates in living areas such as homes and businesses. Bats can literally create a home for themselves in your attic and give the homeowners a headache from that time onwards.
The scratching noise they make throughout the night is not the only issue, they carry rabies which is a disease that is potentially fatal to humans and pets. But did you know the real danger is actually in bat droppings also commonly known as bat guano? These droppings should be a reason for you to immediately seek the services of experts who specialize in bat removal and guano cleanup. Some of the risks posed by bat droppings are not limited to but include…
- Bat guano can affect the structure of the house and drywall especially when the weight becomes too much. Excessive piles are not uncommon in homes in which the issues have gone untreated for just a couple years.
- Bat waste is corrosive and could harm the metallic or wooden structure in your attic. This means the wood would rot, something which is not very friendly to the durability of your house!
- The droppings have very strong and unpleasant odors that with the right moisture levels can affect your whole home.
- The scent from bat guano tends to attract and lure other insects and rodents into your house. It is not strange to find cockroaches roaming on piles of bat droppings.
- The biggest problem however is a fungus called histoplasmosis. This is a condition that affects the lungs.
How can I distinguish between bat droppings and other animal droppings?
The fecal material actually looks like that of mice, but the difference is that it is in piles as opposed to that of mice which is scattered. This is because bats drop their guano near a concentrated area such as the entry point or directly below the place where they roost for the day.
Their droppings also tend to have a shiny or speckled appearance which is actually from the wings of the insects they eat. When touched, the guano crumbles like dust but a mice’s dropping tends to harden as it dries up. Do not inhale the air around a pile of guano especially when the soil has been disturbed. That is the leading cause of histoplasmosis!
What exactly is histoplasmosis?
It is a condition caused by the spores of the fungus histoplasma capsulatum. The extremely light spores tend to float in the air when the contaminated ground is disturbed. This is one of the reasons why you must never try to clean bat guano by yourself especially if you do not have the right gear or expertise. We take guano removal seriously for this reason and has become one of the primary services we get calls about.
The fungus flourishes well in areas which are damp and with a good supply of organic material, a situation made perfectly conducive in areas where there are piles of bat droppings. Anyone can get histoplasmosis although some people are more prone to it due to the nature of their jobs. These are gardeners, chimney cleaners, cave explorers, construction workers, roofers, farmers, poultry keepers and people who deal with repairs around air vents.
Poultry keepers may be at risk because the fungus histoplasma capsulatum fancies other bird droppings as well, it is just that guano piles favor their ability to thrive for a long time. Other people who are highly at risk are young children who may not have developed their immunity system to its optimum. The very old and people with low immunity are also very likely to get histoplasmosis at the slightest exposure. Low immunity could be brought about by:
- Chemotherapy sessions.
- Arthritis medication.
- Any medication that interferes with the body’s normal ability to fight bacteria that could cause diseases.
Note however, that the disease is not contagious from one person to another. If you were previously infected, you still need to be extremely careful because you can get the disease again. The symptoms may not however be as severe as the first time.
What are the symptoms of histoplasmosis?
Some people are lucky enough to report mild or no symptoms at all when they have been exposed to the fungus. However, within 10 days of exposure, one may develop flu like symptoms which could be a sign that one has been infected. Other tell tale signs are; general loss of appetite, shortness of breath, unusual chest pains, fever like symptoms, headache, dry cough, impaired vision and in extreme cases, pain in the muscles or joints. Once you have been exposed and you show some symptoms, seek medical services. Your doctor will opt for the best method to test and tell if you really have the fungus that causes histoplasmosis so the condition is brought under control before things get out of hand.
Chronic signs of infection include:
1. Heart related problems. Pericarditis is a condition where the sac that surrounds your heart is affected. Histoplasmosis affects your pericardium sac, making it hard for your heart to pump blood properly. The risks of not having normal heart functions are numerous and they basically lead to other problems within the system.
2. Adrenalin interference. The condition destroys your adrenal glands. These glands are responsible for ensuring that there is enough adrenaline in your system to facilitate the production of other hormones.
3. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Also known as ARDS, it is a chronic condition where your lungs get so damaged they start to fill with fluids. When this happens, it becomes hard to experience normal exchange of air. This results to an oxygen shortage in the body, something tt could lead to death.
4. Meningitis. This is an extremely dangerous condition which leads to the inflammation of membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Early diagnosis could lead to the prevention of these extreme cases of infection by the histoplasma capsulatum fungus. Of course when bats are evacuated and their guano is safely cleaned out you will not have to worry about getting infected in the first place.
Histoplasmosis prevention measures.
If you know that you have low immunity or you have a small child who might contact the infection easily, then by all means
stay away from areas where you might be exposed to the disease. Avoid areas that have pile droppings and spray areas where you suspect the soil could be contaminated. Spraying with water will minimize the risk of the spores floating in the air as you work around the area.
If I already have bats in my attic what steps should I take?
First of all you must understand that it is illegal to fumigate and kill bats. You would also be violating the law if you decided to seal your house when the bats were out hunting! This is because there could be baby bats trapped inside. However, the law would be the least of your worries when these baby bats start crawling down your house and end up dying in the vents, rotting and stinking up your house. That is not a problem you would want to even start imagining!
The only way you can effectively get rid of bats is by the use of live bat exclusion. This means installing a device that allows the bats to fly out but not back in. Experts are well versed with bats and their breeding seasons so they would know when this method should be implemented to avoid a situation where baby bats are left inside. Once all the bats have been evacuated, seal off their path into your attic. Fix every other crack and opening as well.
Bats can enter through the smallest hole, even any crack that is 3/8 inches wide would allow them inside. It is actually safe to vacuum scattered bat droppings. The real danger lies in trying to clean up areas where the droppings have piled up. You might want to seriously consider the services of qualified professionals to handle these areas. Ensure that you wear disposable clothes when you clean these minor bat droppings and wear a mask that filters out the dirt to prevent inhalation.
Cleaning bat guano in the attic without taking care of bat removal first is actually a futile process as they will keep coming back to gift you with their toxic fecal material. Some people tend to employ tactics such as using light or sound to discourage the bats from coming back. However, bats will just adapt to this light or sound and within no time they will get used to it. If you really want a permanent solution, it will be more beneficial if you sought the services of those who will deal with the problem once and for all.
Bat removal, Guano clean up and Our services.
Bat Removal and Prevention Inc. is definitely your go to company when it comes to all problems related to bats in the state of Michigan. We have taken years to gather experience and build a team that is not only well versed with bat removal, we also clean your attic and take up the right measures to ensure that your home is restored to its former state.
The process of cleaning bat guano may not be easy for you as a homeowner due to the amount of droppings and the health risk you could be exposing yourself to. Just do this simple calculation, a bat defecates about 20-30 times a day depending on how much food it had to eat. If you have a colony of about a thousand bats in your attic, that is a lot of droppings in a day! This is what makes it so easy for bats to destroy your attic in a few months because the amount of guano becomes too much. It is also the factor that makes guano in attics the perfect hub for the histoplasmosis fungus to thrive.
Our company has industrial vacuum cleaners that are able to deal with these enormous piles of bat droppings. Our working system ensures a very extensive way of dealing with your bat problem. There is no room for compromise!
Step 1. A thorough inspection. It is imperative that we know the exact species of bats that are in your attic. We then check whether there are baby bats. Bat removal is best done when the colony has no babies. We also inspect the openings that could be possibly be allowing the bats into your home.
Step 2. We then assess the damage caused by the bats. We check the amount of guano in your attic and any other harm that has been caused.
Step 3. We discuss the problem with you. Just to keep you on the loop so you may know the extent of the damage to your house and the procedure that we will undertake to fully restore your house, we take pictures during our inspection. We then sit down with you, evaluate the pictures, discuss our findings and then propose the best course of action. Once you give the go ahead, we can then start working on your property.
Step 4. Bat removal. Our professionals use only natural methods to effectively evict bats from your attic.
Step 5. Sealing off the entry points. Bats can be quite territorial, so we ensure that all openings are properly sealed so they do not return.
Step 6. Guano cleaning. Once we are sure that the bats cannot come back, the cleaning process now begins. With our industrial vacuums, it is possible to reach the depths you could have missed. We also use environmentally friendly antiseptics to kill the fungus contaminating the surrounding area.
We take it upon ourselves to be very thorough in each step, something that has given us a very reputable status in the state of Michigan as our clients recommend us to others who may be in need if bat removal or other wildlife control services. Bats should not alarm you, with us you have a partner who will take the necessary steps to give you top notch services for the removal of unwanted rodents, animals and their toxic waste. Bat guano can cause a serious problem if you do not deal with it ASAP.
Do not put yourself, your family or your pets in potential danger by allowing them to bring histoplasmosis and other related problems! Call our 24/7 emergency services for consultations regarding unwanted wildlife around your home. We are always happy to help for all your bat control problems!
Call now for a home or business inspection. Bat Removal and Prevention 248.403.8167.