Bat Guano – Will It Make You Sick?

Bat Guano
Not likely!  You can relax.  A bigger issue is why you have reoccurring bat guano (see picture of bat guano) on your porch.  It might be time to call Batman to see if bats are gaining access into your home.

Histoplasmosis (caused by spores in infected soil, bird or bat guano has also been called “Cavers Disease” and “Spelunker’s Lung” because it would sometimes occur after long exposure to bat guano that had been stirred up by cave explorers.  It can be a very serious disease, although most people infected with these spores will never display symptoms.  It is a disease that usually affects the lungs, and often used to be misdiagnosed as tuberculosis.  It is not limited to just the lungs however, and is very serious (or fatal) when it travels to other organs.  Symptoms can include coughing, fever and general flu like symptoms.

The people who are at the highest risk of infection are those who inhale a large number of spores by working with heavily infected soil, cleaning  poultry pens, working in bat infested buildings, frequenting caves and farmers.  People with compromised immune systems are also at high risk for contracting Histoplasmosis.

In our office, we have heard of families contracting Histoplasmosis from having large deposits of guano in the ceiling of their home.  We have not heard of it being contracted from small amounts of guano being swept away.  However, if you were to develop symptoms of the disease, you should always contact your doctor.

If you have bats living in your structure, you may need a bat “clean out”, or bat remediation.  We are bat specialists in removing guano from buildings and homes, and you will see us using our protective gear and face masks as necessary.

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