When considering the potential dangers of bats, most people will know about the possibility that the flying rodents carry rabies, which is undoubtedly a valid concern. There’s no reason to downplay that risk because it’s certainly real, but a far more likely issue (statistically speaking) is contracting Histoplasmosis.
Histoplasmosis is a disease that generally affects the lungs and can be contracted through exposure to bat feces, commonly known as guano. Large amounts of guano left to dry are usually a result of a successful bat eviction that did not involve any cleanup or a failed cleanup. Exposure usually comes from disturbing guano that has dried out, as the disease comes from fungal spores that infect the bats themselves and are present in the guano. Symptoms of Histoplasmosis include aches, chest tightness, fevers, chills, and in chronic cases, bloody coughs. It is treatable, but if left to spread outside the lungs, it can be fatal.
Exposure to the spores is rare because if the proper steps are taken while cleaning up the guano, the risk of contracting Histoplasmosis is minimal. If attempting to clean up yourself, be sure to clean the area with a spray bottle of water. This process will prevent most spores from spreading into the air, as they’ll be too heavy from the mist. Also, make sure to wear a mask, preferably one that is HEPA rated.
Alternatively, nearly all risk is avoided by having a professional take care of any necessary cleanup. Creature Control has technicians trained to safely clean up minor spots where guano is concentrated. In severe cases, we employ our department dedicated to attic cleanup and restoration. If you think you might have some guano in your attic, feel free to contact Creature Control today and let us alleviate any worry you have.