Is bat feces dangerous to touch or breathe?

One of the major issues when you have a bat colony in your home is that in no time you will have a lot of bat feces, also known as guano. Bats are small animals, but animals that eat lots of nutrients (in their case, insects) and create lots of feces. One bat can defecate up to 30 times a day, which gives you an idea about what volume of bat guano we are speaking about!

Now, once you manage to get rid of the bats from your home using one of the accepted methods of bat exclusion, it is important to clean your home from bat feces. There are several important reasons why this should be done as soon as bats have been removed – and why it has to be done in a proper and safe way.

For one, bats can be carriers of some diseases that are highly dangerous for people, such as histoplasmosis, a lung infection that is caused by a certain type of fungi that remains dormant in bat feces, waiting until someone will pick up the bat feces and inhale it. Histoplasmosis has symptoms similar to the flu and in the majority of cases the disease will not have serious consequences. However, in the cases where a person has a weak immune system or other health problems, histoplasmosis can cause life-long problems and even a fatal outcome.

Bat feces have a nasty smell, and when it is present in a large volume, it can create such a bad smell that the entire house can become rather unpleasant for living. Besides the smell, bat feces and urine have aggressive substances that can cause corrosion in metal and wood. This can damage a home’s structure and actually have very dangerous consequences. Bat feces attracts insects and animals that feed on them (feces and/or bats). Quite often, besides having a bat colony, you will end up with a cockroach colony as well.

With all that has been said, it is evident that bat feces shouldn't be touched or breathed in if a person isn't properly equipped with protection equipment: a mask over the nose and mouth (even better is full head protection), rubber gloves on hands, a protective suit and rubber boots. Before you begin removing feces, spray the entire area with an antiseptic solution and then begin the removal process, putting the waste into garbage bags. Close each bag shut so that there is no possibility that some droppings will fall out and possibly be inhaled by someone else. Sanitize the entire cleaned space after all the droppings have been removed.

Go back to the How to Get Rid of Bats page or email us if you have any other questions about Is bat feces dangerous to touch or breathe?