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Bat Guano & Bat Feces Cleanup

bat caught in a window blind bat guano biohazardBuildings where bats have resided for years can suffer incredible damage from the guano and urine left behind.
Readers are cautioned that bat cleanup requires special equipment as it can pose incredible safety hazards.
Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage 1994
Bat Biology & Control
Bat Bugs
Guano Cleanup
 
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Scientific Name: Order of Chioptera bat droppings bat guano. Photo courtesy of Morely Farwell

Identifying Bat Droppings

 If you find piles of mouse like fecal material in your attic or on the ground outside your house, then you probably have bats. (Bats defecate before they enter your home and below where they roost for the day see photo)Make sure that the fecal material is     not old by laying down a piece of newspaper and see if any more droppings fall on the paper. If there is, you have bats. (Just a word of caution about droppings. They can carry a fungus known to cause Histoplasmosis. Don't breathe the feces and avoid contact with them. Ideally, you should wear a HEPA filter mask and spray the fecal material down with 10% bleach solution). You can distinguish between bat droppings and mouse droppings in two ways. First, bat droppings tend to be clustered as they will pile up below where the bat is roosting. Second, bat droppings will have a shiny speckled appearance (from all the insect wings) and will crumble like dust when touched. Mouse droppings on the other hand, tend to be scattered about and become hard when dry.

Bat Bugs (Cimicid)

  • Bat bugs (Eastern bat bug, C. adjunctus and Western bat bug, C. pilosellus) can be easily confused with bed bugs (Cimix lectularius).
  • Bat bug life-cycle. The eggs hatch from four to 12 days and the bat bugs proceed through five nymphal stages, each lasting about three to 10 days. Optimal development temperature is 86F (30C). The total development time for the common bed bug has been calculated to be from as little as 24 days at 86F, and being delayed for as long as 128 days at 65F. 
  • To bat bugs, humans are a secondary host. When bats are excluded, sometimes the insects which feed on bats will enter the living space in search of a new host (like you) for a blood meal.
  • Look at ceiling lights for signs of insects as this can be a clue that insects are coming from the attic. (PCT Magazine Feb '05 p. 94.)
  • Bobby Corrigan also published a piece on bat bugs in PCT Magazine Dec '05.
  • R.L. Usingers (1966) Monograph of Cimicidae. Thomas Say Society, Vol. 7. Entomological Society of America, College Park, Md.

    Should I Remove Bat Guano?

STEP 1. Get Informed!

STEP 2. Consider the following:

  • Guano can pose two different risks, excessive weight on ceiling structures, and disease by contaminated materials.
  • Removal is not risk free as it may simply spread contamination elsewhere.
  • Proper industry standards are lacking regarding appropriate removal methods and practices (But see the NIOSH Materials above. We suspect, however, that the principles applied to the removal of asbestos would be appropriate for the removal of guano.

Step 3. Consult at least 2 qualified professionals.

  • Check insurance, including: Workmans' Comp, Liability (including Hazmat liability and remaining threat liability).
  • Experience-- has this person/company done this sort of work before? Read our information on finding a professional at find a pro.
  • Ask some questions!
    • How will the person/company prevent the spread of contamination during cleanup?
    • Is the problem serious enough to require cleanup versus encapsulation?
    • Is there a guarantee?

 

Cleaning up Bat Guano & Bat Urine Stains

Here are a few suggestions. We would love feedback on whether people found these techniques effective or not.

Cleaning Stucco

Suggestion #1. Remove the affected portion and repatch.

Suggestion #2. Muratic acid. Be careful though as this is potent material.

Suggestion #3. If I was going to try it I would scrub lightly with bleach solution, let it dry, cover with strain primer like Kilzit and than paint.

Information courtesy of Thomas J Reilly
All in One Wildlife & pest management
Home repairs & Chimney service
allinonepest.com

 

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