How To Clean Up Bat Guano
How to clean up bat guano can be a difficult question to answer because of the potential health hazards involved in removing bat guano. If you have bats in the attic of your home or building, then you have large piles of guano, or bat poop, as well. Besides making your house smell bad, guano can cause a lung infection called histoplasmosis that is caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus that is carried in bat guano. Pests, such as cockroaches, are also attracted to guano, causing even more infestation. In addition, the droppings and urine can corrode wood and drywall.
Before cleaning up bat guano, the bats must be gone and all of their entry points sealed so they can’t return. It is illegal to fumigate or harm bats while trying to remove them from a building. It is also illegal to seal off your home at night, while the bats are out hunting, because at any given time there will still be many members inside and possibly flightless baby bats still in the roost. There are no effective commercial bat repellents; even if light or sound repellents work for a while, the bats will soon get used to the light or sound and return. The only way to remove bats permanently is to perform live bat exclusion. Only after the bats are gone and the building 100% sealed should you bother to begin the bat guano decontamination, removal, and deodorization process.
Start The Clean-up
Because of the health problems associated with bat guano, it is important that you are EXTREMELY careful or have professionals do this, as they are trained in safety precautions in dealing with hazardous waste materials. The first step in clean-up is to remove all of the loose guano from smooth surfaces, such as wood planks or concrete. This can be done using a vacuum that safely contains the hazardous waste products. Next, the bulk of the guano should be removed, by shovel if necessary, and placed in sealed bags. All excess guano should be vacuumed up with a filter vacuum cleaner. Next, all of the smooth surfaces should be scrubbed thoroughly with an enzyme-based cleanser. Walls can also be scrubbed with the enzyme cleaner to remove guano and urine stains.
What To Wear
First of all, wear protective gear. I wear a biohazard suit, a disposable Tyvek suit with booties for over the shoes, and hood. I also wear rubber gloves. A good strong headlamp is a great tool for seeing in the attic, and you probably want extra lighting up there. Most importantly, wear a good HEPA air filter mask. A full face mask is best – do not use one of those strap on masks.
Don’t Forget The Insulation
Even if the insulation does not appear to have any guano on it, you should spray it with the enzyme cleaner. If the insulation is infused with guano, then it will have to be pulled up and replaced, as it won’t be possible to clean all the guano and remove all of the fungus spores that may be in the insulation. This job must also be done while wearing a mask and it’s also a good idea to wet it down so the spores don’t get in the air as easily. In the final step for guano clean up, an atomizing mist machine that produces a fog of enzyme-based hazardous waste cleanser is used. The fogging method will ensure that the cleanser reaches every nook of the area, and it will break down any remaining organic matter left from the bats. It will also eliminate any pheromones left behind from the bats that may attract pests to the area. Once the cleaning is complete, the area will no longer be a health hazard.
We hope that this has been helpful information on how to catch a bat in your house. For more info about Bat Removal, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.