Posted February 1st, 2019

Bats are pretty interesting creatures. For instance, did you know that they are capable of eating over 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? It’s true. Bats can also find many ways to make your home their home. The flying rats basically need a very small opening to infiltrate your house. Whether it’s through your not-quite-sealed siding fascia boards or under your soffits, bats can and will find a way in. Other areas they can be found just to name a few are chimneys, behind those lovely shutters, and their main go-to, gable vents.

The Need for Decontamination

bat feces in an attic

Guano – Bat poop piled up in an unattended attic.

No matter how you feel about bats and other creatures, their ability to spread disease is very real and can be quite serious. Though beneficial with pest control (ie. mosquitoes), bats can and do carry rabies but that isn’t the rub. The rub lies in histoplasmosis. What is histoplasmosis? When bats defecate (poop) in your attic or other spaces, their droppings are called guano. Guano can actually emit spores that contain the fungus histoplasma capsulatum. Though infected people may not be able to spread this infection to others, there is a large chunk of people who can be at risk.

What’s the Risk of Getting Histoplasmosis?

No one is immune to this infection, though, without exposure, you severely eliminate the chance of infection. Specific occupations may put a person at risk of being exposed, however.  Roofers, home inspectors (who go into attics or crawl spaces), HVAC techs, chimney cleaners, and construction workers just to name a few. Anyone who encounters fungus could be at risk, though the likelihood is extremely low.

Without Being Bitten, How Would I Be Infected with Histoplasmosis?

Although it’s rare, becoming infected could happen easier than you may think. It’s best to have any contractor you hire to use a bat tunnel that’s a one-way device. When a bat is infected with histoplasmosis, its feces is as well, and the fungus it contains is the real culprit. This fungus, Histoplasma Capsulatum, can be emitted from the guano droppings and cause serious harm. If not properly cleaned and decontaminated fungus then continues to grow, the problem can get out of hand. Having a professional expert removing and decontaminating is crucial in keeping any formerly bat-infested area.

Attic Kings employs a bat funnel to funnel the bats out of your residence. But they can’t get back in if every entry point is screened with galvanized steel or the necessary sealant. Without proper exclusion and barring of further entry, your home will always be susceptible once bats have entered, mated, or nested on your property.

 

 

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