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How To Minimize Bat Guano Health Risks

Small brown bat crawling down a wooden wall.

Now that you have removed all the bats in your home, you’re probably wondering about the next step. Little did you know that bat removal is only the first out of several steps to take to make your home “bat free.” Most people’s first reaction when they find bats in their homes is to get them removed as soon as possible. Very seldom do people think about the guano cleanup that they will have to undertake after the bats are gone? But take it from us: though guano is not the first thing you think of when hearing bats in their home, it can definitely become a huge problem and a danger to your family.  

Some people think that bats are dangerous creatures, but a lesser-known danger is bat guano and the fungus that grows from it if not disposed of quickly.

Bat guano (also known as bat feces/droppings) is the accumulation of excrement that bats produce. While it has a horrible and potent smell, many people use it for gardening, as it is very rich in phosphate, nitrogen, and potassium. All these are essential for planting. These high nutrient levels are a product of a bat’s diet, made up primarily of insects or fruit.

While bat guano can be beneficial as a fertilizer and for gardening, it has some health risks that you should not overlook. You should be very careful when dealing with bat droppings. One major health risk is histoplasmosis.

What Is Histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is a condition caused by the fungus that grows on nutrient-rich bat droppings. Most histoplasmosis infections are mild and produce either no symptoms or a minor flu-like illness. The disease can cause high fever, pneumonia, blood abnormalities, and even death. Yes, just thinking about the possibility of something like that happening can be nerve-wracking!

So what should you do? You might also wonder how to clean up bat droppings. Well, there are a couple of different options and routes you can take in order to ensure your safety and the successful removal of the bat guano.

Assess The Bat Guano Situation

First and foremost, if you are anxious and don’t have the confidence to get rid of bat guano on your own, do not feel bad or ashamed. There are professionals who are out there to help you! We here at CP Bat Mitigation have been working with removing bats and bat guano for many years and can assist you in assessing the situation and how to proceed with making your home safe again.

Calling a professional can be beneficial because they will have all of the professional-grade tools needed to get rid of guano to make it easier on your family. If you want guaranteed sanitization, then a professional will give you that piece of mind.

Bat guano can and will get everywhere when there are bats in your home. The attic, beams, insulation, etc., are where the bat professionals who specialize in bat removal and bat guano will be cleaning.

DIY Bat Guano Removal

If you decide to “Do It Yourself,” there are a couple of steps you should follow before you can say that the sanitization is complete:

  • Collect loose guano
  • Put the remainder in bags
  • Scrub all surfaces

Luckily, now there are a lot of tutorials and even books on the subject of bat guano that go into detail about how to clean up bat droppings.  

Collect Loose Guano

The first thing you should do when cleaning bat droppings yourself is to take a vacuum and pick up all of the loose droppings on smooth surfaces, including surfaces like wood beams and concrete. Make sure you use a vacuum rated to carry hazardous waste products safely.

Buy Hazardous Waste Bags

Next, the majority of the guano should be shoveled or picked up with a vacuum, and you should place the guano in sealed bags. The safe disposal of those bags will be critical as they contain hazardous waste. You’ll also need to comply with local waste disposal laws concerning hazardous waste, so make sure you connect with your local municipality about that.

Scrub All Surfaces

Lastly, using an enzyme-based cleansing spray, scrub all the smooth surfaces in which you found guano or any areas that were in close contact with it, whether direct or indirect. Scrubbing would take care of any remaining guano. It is important to remember to clean down everything. If there is any guano that is left, it can bring to grow fungus again.

What To Wear: Bat Guano Disposal Gear

When figuring out how to clean up bat droppings, what you wear and what equipment you use is essential. While cleaning, you always always, always wear gloves suitable for removing bat guano. The bat guano health risks diminish as well when you wear a HEPA filter mask as you are doing the removal. You can buy HEPA filter masks at places like Walmart, Home Depot, and even Amazon.

Wearing long-sleeved shirts or sweaters as well as pants will make working with bat guano much more pleasant. It is something that you do not want to get on your skin.

Eyewear is also a definite must-have: If you have safety glasses, we strongly recommend them. Just the thought of having bat guano flung into your eyeball is enough to make anyone cringe; don’t let that happen to you. In reality, any eye protection will do, sunglasses included. However, if you are cleaning up bat guano that is in an attic or another dark place, please make sure you have sufficient light coming through to allow you to see during the process. Cleaning up bat guano when you can hardly see does not sound like a fun thing and might not reduce the bat guano health risks because you might not clean as well as you would have hoped!

Got Bat Guano? Call Us

Call us today for any bat removal services or bat guano removal that you may need. Our company has worked in many different types of buildings, from churches to schools to homes, and that gives us an advantage when working with our clients. We have the perspective, safety protocols, equipment, and experience to help you find the best solution for your home.

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