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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - How do I clean Bat Feces out of my Attic?

How do I clean Bat Feces out of my Attic?

In cleaning up bat feces, or guano, your first concern should be your personal safety and that has mainly to do with protecting yourself from the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus spores that exist in the droppings. When inhaled, the spores cause a disease called histoplasmosis, which manifests with flu-like symptoms – fever, chest pain, dry cough, and head, joint and muscle ache, among others. While the symptoms often are barely discernible, fatalities resulting from the disease have been known.

Bat feces consist of tiny pellets that are virtually dry when fresh and over time, they become more so, essentially turning into dust that over time can accumulate to considerable piles under the roost. Any disturbance of the pile is sure to raise a cloud of dust, so the first consideration in the clean-up campaign should be your gear: most important, a full face mask with a HEPA vacuum cleaner-level filter and a set of coveralls. Disposable ones are a good idea. So protected, you’re ready to go to work.

Start by wetting down the material you intend to remove with a light spray of water containing 10 percent bleach to keep the dust from becoming an aerosol. While professionals normally perform the job using industrial vacuums with high efficiency filters, your approach most likely will involve scooping up the material, placing it in plastic bags and tying the bags shut securely so that no dust escapes.

If necessary, continue to wet down the area during the removal process to minimize the possibility of the dust escaping to other areas of the house. Once you’ve cleaned the attic, take the bags of guano to a landfill, making sure that it’s permissible to leave them there. Sometimes, it is considered hazardous waste and if so, landfill personnel or local health officials can steer you to an appropriate disposal site.

Finally, be sure to clean the equipment you’ve used thoroughly in order to assure that you don’t store some of the contaminants along with the gear.

If you haven’t already done so, take a survey of the building to locate any openings where the bats might try to reenter. If you find any, close off the small ones with silicone, and address the larger ones with wire mesh, if you want air flow; or cover them completely with sheet metal, plastic or wood.

Then, assuming the bats are still around, buy or build them a house and place it on a pole in the yard.

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