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Image by Trevor Gerzen

Bat Guano Removal

Even years after bats have left a building, the feces and urine pose an incredible threat to human health. It is not advised to disturb bat guano without the proper protective equipment as it may release spores or dust from fungus.

Where Is Bat Guano Found

Bat guano is the technical name for bat poop. Bats like to live in older brick structures as the brick holds heat and small holes in wood or brick allow them access to empty attics, roof areas, barns and chimneys. Bats will deposit guano and urine just before their roosting area. If the guano is on wooden structure, it can cause rot and increase access of bats and spread of the guano.

Why Is Bat Guano Dangerous?

Along with Rabies, bats can contract Histoplasmosis. This infectious disease is caught by inhaling fungal spores that cause the disease. The fungus is passed through the bat into the animal's feces and as the fungus thrives in the moist environment it produces more spores that become airborne as soon as the feces pile is disturbed. It is very important to not move or sweep up bat guano as this activity creates airborne spores that are inhaled and can lead to Histoplasmosis.

What Are the Signs of Histoplasmosis?

This disease is caused by airborne fungal spores which are breathed into the lungs. The disease first affects the lungs within the first few days of being in contact with the fungus. A little over one week later you symptoms may appear to be those of the common flu: cough, headache, fever, chest pain, loss of appetite, cough, headache. Extreme symptoms can include shortness of breathe, impaired vision and joint and muscle pains. For some people, symptoms of Histoplasmosis may pass. Others may have to receive treatment with anti-fungal medication.

If you have a weakened or compromised immune system, Histoplasmosis could be significantly more dangerous to your health. This can be true of the elderly, the very young, and smokers. Histoplasmosis in these cases can lean to long-term illness that can take years to treat and have symptoms similar to tuberculosis. In extreme cases, this illness can be fatal.

Dealing with Bat Guano

Because the Histoplasmosis spore is invisible, odourless and airborne, proper respiratory equipment is necessary when cleaning up bat guano. When disturbed, spores can attach to clothing and can become airborne even after you are nowhere near the cleanup site. It is strongly recommended that you contact professionals like AGS Environmental to deal with this dangerous fungus containing animal waste.

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