A client of mine had over 650 bats in her attic. She did not realize she had such a large infestation or that the bats were the cause of her and her daughter’s health problems. Bats in attics and walls can cause a variety of health issues including respiratory disorders and infections.
Bats roosting inside exterior walls can literally fill the spaces between studs with guano (excrement) and can drop significant amounts of urine and guano on top of attic insulation. In the attic of another client of mine 45 gallons of guano was removed.
Bacteria, mold and viruses associated with bat urine and guano can become airborne as particulate matter. The particles can enter the indoor environment through small points of air leakage in walls or ceilings, thus exposing the building occupants to potential health issues.
Bats are helpful to the environment and a protected species so they should never be exterminated. There are one-way doors available that can be installed over the openings where they enter and exit homes. The doors allow them to exit, but will not allow them to re-enter. This is a humane way to eliminate the problem in a home while allowing bats to safely relocate.
Once bats are removed from the home remediation can begin. If building materials or insulation has been significantly affected with bat urine or guano, I recommend remediating those materials in the same manner as one would remediate mold contaminated materials. You can find specific instructions in the book Do-It-Yourself Mold Cleaning and Prevention. Reading this book will help you learn how to protect yourself from contaminants and prevent them from spreading.
Once affected areas have been cleaned and sanitized I recommend sealing all vulnerable openings on the exterior of the home. Small openings can be sealed with caulk and larger openings should have screen or mesh installed over them.
Because a single bat will eat as many as 1500 mosquitoes per day, I also recommend keeping them around by providing safe shelter for them. You can do this by installing bat houses on the exterior of a home or on tall poles. Using tall poles will increase the likelihood of bats occupying a bat house because doing so ensures the bats that their home cannot be reached by predators.
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