While bat guano (poop) is a health hazard, it is also favored by gardeners as possibly the best fertilizer on the planet. Bat droppings and mice droppings can look very similar and many people are unsure as to whether they have bats or mice. Check out our quick guide on how to identify, remove, and even make use bat guano.
Identifying Bat Poop
Since mice and bat droppings are similar in size and shape, identification can take be tricky. The main differences between bat and mouse poop are:
Bat poop is shiny as bats feed on insects
The texture is dry and crumbly
Bat poop is often bigger than mouse poop
Bat poop is generally found higher up than mouse poop
Why Remove Bat Droppings?
Having identified bat poop in your attic, you should take steps to remove it for various reasons.
The main issue with bat poop is that the fungus Histoplasma Capsulatum can grow and thrive on it. The respiratory disease Histoplasmosis can cause serious illness and, in extreme cases, even death in humans.
Bat droppings can cause a seriously bad odor as well as staining in your home.
Bats defecate up to 30 times a day and a buildup of bat poop can even cause the structural collapse of beams and ceilings.
The guano will also attract other pests, such as cockroaches which can lead to secondary infestations and potential disease.
How to Clean Bat Guano
If there is a small amount of bat guano in your attic, then you can go about removing this yourself with some soap and water.
You should call in a professional, however, if there is an accumulation of guano due to the health risks. Histoplasmosis is contracted from breathing in airborne spores and a professional will use specialized apparatus during a clean up to prevent contamination.
The Benefits of Bat Poop
Bat guano makes an ideal fertilizer due to many reasons.
Bat guano is nutrient-rich and contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Gardeners attribute nitrogen to rapid green growth and find nitrogen a useful element in promoting lawn growth. Phosphorus is found to be helpful with flowers and trees whilst potassium may help plants develop hardy stems.
Please note: it is not safe to “harvest” bat poop from bats that may have entered your attic.