You might have a bat infestation in your attic or there might be a couple of bats nesting near your home. If any of these statements are true then you will run into some bat droppings. Bat droppings are small ovoid shaped lumps of material, are black in colour and are called guano. So is bat poop dangerous?
Bat droppings can become an issue because they can carry a variety of diseases that can be transferred to you. You need to clean the droppings up on a regular basis to prevent your house from becoming a guano landfill. Yes, when this guano is processed correctly it can be a wonderful fertilizer for your garden but the raw material is pretty dangerous.
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What diseases can you get from bat droppings?
If you let the droppings sit and you don’t clean it up then it will grow a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. Not only will this fungus grow on the batt droppings but it will thrive. If inhaled this can result in histoplasmosis developing in your repository system. This is where it takes a turn of the worst, this disease can turn into a serious illness and eventually this can lead to death.
The symptoms of the disease are similar to other diseases. This will include flu-like symptoms such as coughing and fever. Because the disease has flu-like symptoms you might find that the actual reason for your sickness will only be found after death. It is difficult to identify by medical professionals.
Eventually, if not cleaned up, the bat droppings will wind up attracting a variety of other unsightly pests into your house, this will include cockroaches. Cockroaches come with their own set of issues and diseases.
What diseases can you get from bats
You can get rabies from bats. The large majority of bats don’t necessarily carry the rabies virus but there is a percentage of bats that will carry the virus. Rabies has a negative effect on all animals including bats. When infected the animal becomes weak and sick and it is easy to transfer the sickness to you if you get into contact with the bat.
Luckily for us, bats are peaceful creatures and they will generally not attack any humans. If you try to catch one and it gets confused and irritated it might try and succeed in biting you. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen but if this happens it is very important to seek medical attention urgently.
If a bat bites you then you need to seek medical attention immediately, rabies is much harder to treat when the symptoms of the disease appear. If you leave it too late this can be fatal.
What happens if you inhale bat poop?
If you inhale the poop then you will be inhaling the spores of the bat droppings. This can lead to you getting the histoplasmosis disease. When you are in an area full of bat droppings be sure to wear a mask with a HEPA filter for safety.
How do you clean up bat droppings?
If you realise that you have bat droppings in your home then you need to remove it all and sterilize the area as soon as possible. There might be a lot of bat droppings where the bats are. Bats are known to defecate up to 30 times a day. If you don’t get rid of it, the structures of your hose will eventually collapse and your health will be greatly affected.
You need to be very careful if you intend on getting rid of the bat droppings yourself. It is possible to get rid of them as long as you are willing and ready to do so but you need to be very cautious when you clean up.
This is how to get rid of the droppings:
- You need to make sure that you are protected, you need to wear eyewear, a mask with a HEPA filter and some gloves
- To keep yourself safe you need to spray the dropping with a 10 percent bleach solution, this will wet the droppings so they don’t crumble as you pick them up
- Use your hands (with the gloves on) to pick up the droppings and throw the droppings into a heavy-duty plastic bag. Be sure to do your best to keep the pieces whole and don’t let them break as you pick them up.
- When all the larger pieces of droppings are cleaned up sweep the smaller pieces of the droppings using a plastic hand broom and pan.
- Throw the pan and the brush into the trash bag when you have finished using them.
- Use an enzyme-based decontaminant to fog the area afterwards, make sure that this also contains a deodoriser
- Ask your local garbage removal service where you can throw this hazards waste away. This cannot be thrown away with regular waste. Make sure that everything you used for this process is thrown away in the bag.
Cleaning this area up is not for the faint-hearted and you can easily miss something during the process. You will need to make sure no stone is left unturned. If you can, get the professionals to help you deal with the bats and bat dropping problem for you.
Can you eat bats?
Bats have long been eaten as a food source for many years by people in various parts of the world. Bats are considered a delicacy in some areas and can be made into a variety of stews, curries and soups.
Although this the of meat is eaten in various parts of the world it is banned in many countries as it has been hypothesised as the possible origin of many diseases. For these reasons, you should not be eating bats.
Are bats in the attic dangerous?
Yes, bats in the attic are dangerous, having any wild animal in your attic is dangerous to some extent. Here are the dangers that bats pose to your health:
Bat guano may be safe to use out in your garden but the unprocessed bat poop is not safe to have in your home. The droppings of bats carry this fungus. When the droppings become dry the fungus gets into the air. If you inhale this air you can develop a lung infection, this can even travel to the rest of the body and can kill you.
Rabies is not only a raccoon disease, in fact, when comparing racoons and bats the majority of rabies reported cases are from bats. If a bat with rabies bites you and the saliva gets into your body then you can develop rabies.
If the bats in your attic leave droppings all over your attic floor this can result in bacteria growth. Bat guano is most dangerous when it dries up because airborne pathogens can get into the air as it turns to powder. The insulation of your attic can become negatively affected by these droppings as well.
If you don’t get the bats out of your attic then they will die in your walls at some point or another. Just as with any other dead animal, the animal will decompose and the smell in your home from the decomposing bodies will be overwhelming. Other insects may come into your home to feed on the dead bats which can become a problem in itself.
Is Bat Guano safe to use?
Yes, bat guano is safe to use, it has been used for hundreds of years in agriculture and does an amazing job at fertilising gardens. Bat guano is nutrient-rich fertilizer made out of bat poop.
That being said, the bat poop needs to be professionally processed to make it safe for us to use in gardens. It can be dangerous if not professionally processed.
When being processed, the labourers who process it need to wear a mask to stay safe. Once the processing is done you also need to wear a mask when using
Is bat poop toxic to dogs?
Yes bat pop is toxic to dogs. If the viral infection Histoplasmosis gets into a dog it can pose a health risk . If the dog eats the bat poop it will get into the animals intestinal tract and cause the dog to become very sick.
Make sure that dogs don’t go near bat poop and if it does then you need to get your dog to a vet as soon as possible. If your dog gets this disease you can expect diarrhoea, weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, coughing as well as a change in the skin.
What does bat pee smell like?
If you suspect that you have bats in your home your suspicions will be validated if you smell bat urine. Bat urine smells like ammonia, this smell can be very overpowering.
If you have a larger colony the smell of all this becomes even more difficult to live with. You may see the urine leaking from the walls if you have an attic.
Bat urine can also damage your structure, you will notice this even if you don’t see the bats in your house. The urine contains uric acid. This a strong chemical that can damage your building’s structure over time.
This includes causing damage to your wooden shingles, damage to the waterproofing under your tiles and damage to the metal sheeting on your roof. A bat infestation will result in a lot of damage and this will result in very expensive repair costs.
Can you get sick from bat urine?
Yes, you can get sick from bat urine. The urine can carry diseases including the bacterial disease leptospirosis. This disease is transferred through the urine of infected animals.
This disease can be fatal to humans but only in rare cases. If the urine gets into your eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin then you can get infected and you need to see a physician.
How do you clean bat urine?
To remove the bat urine you need to use protective equipment to keep yourself safe. This will include a mask that covers your nose and mouth, rubber boots, a protective suit and thick gloves.
- To start off, you need to remove any stains that are still wet. Dab the stains with a paper towel to soak up all the urine.
- Add a cleaning solution to the area when everything is dry. A good cleaning solution for this job is one that has enzymes. This will not only clean off any stains but will also get rid of any harmful bacteria on the surfaces. Use more than you think you need to make sure everything is clean
- Allow the product to work on the stains for as long as the instructions suggest.
- When time is over you can clean off the solution
Tip: The smell may still be in the air after you’ve cleaned the area. This may take some time to go away. If you want to speed this up you can follow up the cleaning session with a deodoriser to get the bad odour out of the room or house. You can make one at home using 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap and ¼ a cup baking soda. This will help with the smell.
What to do if you touch a bat?
If you accidentally or purposefully touch a bat you need to contact a physician as soon as possible. Bats carry a variety of diseases, these diseases include rabies. If you contract rabies and the symptoms begin to show then it can be fatal. If the bat that you touched can be tested for rabies then this will be helpful.
You should never touch a bat. If you need to pick it up to bring it for testing then you should use heavy gloves to pick it up. The gloves you use should be leather work gloves. If you intend on taking it with you for testing put the bat in a sealed container or in 2 plastic bags one within another plastic bag.
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