Bat droppings, also called guano, collect where bats roost during the day, both beneath where they sleep and around the places they enter their nest. Because some colonies choose to nest in the shelter provided by homes and commercial buildings, the buildup of guano in those settings can directly affect people and property.
A few scattered droppings have little risk and can be easily cleaned. It is when bat guano accumulates that the potential for damage to property and health becomes a concern.
Common Damage Caused by Bat Droppings
Many surfaces can be damaged by long term exposure to bat droppings. This is because the droppings contain uric acid that eats through metals, paints, woods, and clay. The guano also contains potassium, ammonium, and phosphate in high quantities, all of which will generate moisture where they collect. The combination of these elements leads to:
- Corrosion – The uric acid will remove the exterior coating in metals before eating away at the underlying material and weakening it.
- Wood Rot – Wood fibers are susceptible to acid, which causes them to separate. Over time, the acid will eat through the wood until it can no longer function as a support.
- Stains – The acid and moisture caused by the minerals in guano leave stains on walls, and also on glass and marble surfaces.
In extreme cases, the guano deposits from a large and lasting infestation have destroyed buildings. More often, clean up after removal involves addressing any corrosion, replacing insulation and damaged surfaces, and repainting.
Health Risks from Bat Guano
Bat droppings contain the fungus histoplasma capsulatum, which begins to grow when droppings land in soil or the accumulation of guano grows large enough to sustain the fungal growth. Disturbing the droppings releases dust particles containing the fungus into the air where they can disperse throughout a property.
Inhalation of the dust from bat guano can lead to Histoplasmosis. This respiratory infection generally leads to flu-like symptoms, but in extreme cases can cause long term breathing problems and even death. Anyone is at risk for Histoplasmosis, especially the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised.
The best way to prevent both the property damage and health issues that bat guano can cause is to have bats removed quickly if they nest in your home or business, and trust a professional to clean and restore the location where they nested.
If you think you have bats, contact our animal trappers today. Available in NY and NJ, we’re available for rapid service and support when you need us most.