Bat Guano: Should I Clean It or Leave It?
Dealing with a bat infestation may be one of the most difficult problems when owning a home or a business. How and when a person should deal with the bat guano (or droppings) that come along with having bats in your home or business can also be a difficult decision.
The first step in deciding what to do with the bat guano is getting the bats out of your home or business. It does not do any good to clean up all the guano when you still have bats in your attic or building and that problem has been taken care of first. The reason being is guano will continue to show up as long as the bats are getting into your structure and have not left. In some cases, bats have been in your structure for so long that there is so much guano at the bat’s exit locations, the technicians will need to remove it before it is safe to set up the exclusion devices. In this case, a guano clean-up might be something to really think about.
Once the bats have been excluded from your structure there are a few things to consider when debating if you need a guano clean up or not: structural damage to the building, staining, and smell.
Because bat guano and urine are so potent, bats can cause A LOT of damage to your home. Guano and urine can erode soffit and fascia metal, ruin insulation and drywall, and even weaken or completely rot wood depending on how long bats have been living in the structure. If there has been structural damage to your home or business, the best thing to do is clean up the guano and fix the damages caused by the bats. It may not be the cheapest solution, but will definitely be the safest and best way to move forward to protect your home. Leaving the bat guano and not fixing the problems the bats have caused is something we would never recommend. Bats causing structural damage is the biggest reason why we tell people even if bats are not getting into your home and scaring you, they are causing problems that you cannot see right now and it is very important to stop that.
In some extreme cases of a bat infestation, the smell of bat guano and urine is very musty and can resemble the smell of ammonia. It can be hard to detect in your home, as the smell will gradually grow in your home. This makes it hard because we get used to smells where we spend a good amount of time. If you aren’t certain, it’s a good idea to bring in a trusted friend or someone who will give you an honest opinion on the smell. Our technicians are also excellent at identifying the scent of bat guano and urine if you would like a professional opinion. (We have not seen very many bat infestations that cause a whole house to smell, but it can happen.)
Staining can be very common with an infestation of bats. The urine and guano are potent enough to soak right through the sheetrock on ceilings. Paint can sometimes cover the stains for a while, but in the end, it would be best to just remove the guano and start over with fresh, new sheetrock and new insulation. This may not even require a full attic clean-up but maybe more so, just cleaning up where the bats have made staining visible.
Structural Damage, Smell, and Staining are the three biggest reasons to get a guano clean-up, but when can a homeowner leave the bat guano and not do a clean-up? Is it ever a good choice to not touch it? The answer is yes. There are times when leaving the bat guano is a better option than cleaning it up.
If you have had bats excluded from your home or business and do not have any structural damage to your building, it does not smell, and there is no staining on your ceilings, you may be fortunate enough to not take any other steps after the house is safely sealed and closed up. It might seem gross to think of leaving the guano in your attic, but over time it will dry out and will not be an issue.
Another good reason why it is a good choice and okay to leave the bat guano in your attic untouched is that touching it will stir up particles into the air. Some of these particles can have spores that can contain histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum. Histoplasmosis is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from an infected person or animal to someone else. But by doing a clean-up when it is not completely, 100% necessary, will increase the risk for this to happen even when all safety protocols are put into place and carried out.
Skipping the cleanup phase if it is unnecessary will also cut back on your overall expense for bat removal services as well. Bat removal jobs vary from home to home and building to building. Lots of things factor into the price of the bat removal services and lots of things will also factor into the clean-up as well. Our technicians and estimators will help guide you through the entire process of what is going on, how it looks, and if a guano clean-up is something you should do or consider.
As always, Nice Bats is here to help you with any of your bat problems, needs, and questions. Call in to get a free estimate on our bat removal and guano clean-up services!