Bat Guano 101
If you’ve had bats in your home, office, or commercial space, you’ve probably encountered guano or bat droppings. How can you be sure and what should you do if you find bat guano in your home? Here’s everything you need to know:
What Does Bat Guano Look Like?
Guano looks similar to mice droppings, but unlike mice droppings which scatter, bat droppings pile up in a concentrated area (typically near an entry point or roosting area). Additionally, bat guano is shiny or speckled (this is caused by the wings of the insects bats ingest), and when touched (please wear gloves!), guano crumbles into dust, while mice droppings will be too hard to crumble.
Will Guano Cause Permanent Damage To The Structure?
Guano is corrosive by nature. It can corrode metal and rot wood, and as it piles up, it can put pressure and weight on drywall and ceilings, causing sagging and threatening the structural integrity of the home or business. Additionally, bat guano can attract other insects and rodents (because of its smell), who then could cause even more damage to the home or business.
Does Guano Present A Health Risk To Humans?
The inhalation of air near guano can lead to histoplasmosis, which is a lung infection caused by the fungal spores (histoplasma capsulatum) in the guano. These spores are light and easily float into the air, especially if the guano is disturbed, which is why guano cleanup should be performed by a professional with the proper equipment. While this fungus can be a threat to people of all ages and at all stages of health, it can particularly threaten those with weakened immune systems, like children, the elderly, and those affected in these ways:
- with HIV.
- undergoing chemotherapy.
- taking arthritis medication.
- taking any medication that interferes with the body’s normal ability to fight disease-causing bacteria.
What Are The Symptoms Of Histoplasmosis?
Although it’s possible you may have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, people commonly develop flu-like symptoms within 10 days of exposure to bat guano. Here are some other tell-tale signs of histoplasmosis:
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Dry cough
- Impaired vision
- Muscle & joint paint
If you experience any of the above symptoms after exposure to bat guano, please seek medical attention. Your doctor will determine the appropriate method for testing you for histoplasmosis so that treatment can begin before things get worse.
Some chronic signs of infection include: heart problems, adrenaline problems, ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), and Meningitis.
How Can Histoplasmosis Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent histoplasmosis is to avoid exposure to bat guano. Steer clear of any droppings and if you think soil around your home or office has been contaminated with guano, spray the areas down with water to prevent the spores from floating into the air where they can be inhaled.
How Should Guano Be Removed From The Home Or Business?
First things first: you should call Bat Removal & Prevention! An inspection should be performed to ensure that all bats are out of the space so that more guano doesn’t accumulate after you’ve had a cleaning performed. Once it’s confirmed that the bats are gone, we’ll seal up the area to prevent future bat visitors and begin the cleaning/guano removal process.
We use industrial vacuum cleaners that are capable of effectively removing and containing large piles of guano, and throughout the cleaning process, we put the safety and health of our clients first. We take great care to provide the most thorough possible cleaning and to prevent any guano from contaminating other areas of the home or air supply. Our team wears specialized suits, masks, and gloves, and kills any fungus in the attic or space using environmentally-friendly antiseptics. We’ll remove all guano and disinfect your space so you can be sure your home is in the clear.
Note: We don’t recommend you try to remove the guano yourself, but if you do, please be sure to wear disposable clothes and gloves, as well as a respirator or mask to prevent inhalation of the fungal spores that cause histoplasmosis.
Ready To Have Your Space Cleaned Of Bat Guano?
If you think you may have a bat infestation or you’ve spotted guano somewhere in your home, office, or commercial building, give Bat Removal & Prevention a call at 248-403-8167. We remove bats, remove guano, restore attics, and bat-proof homes and businesses throughout Michigan. Don’t let bat guano turn into a serious problem and a serious health hazard — call on Bat Removal & Prevention today!
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