Did you know that bat droppings have its own name? It’s called guano. Will there be guano coming out of my bat house, and is it useful or is it dangerous?
We talk with bat expert, Dr. Merlin Tuttle to find out what the real risks of guano are, and what to do about the bat poo.
HOW DANGEROUS IS GUANO ACTUALLY AND SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT IT?
It turns out that the main health risk associated with guano is histoplasmosis.
Histoplasmosis is a type of lung infection. It is caused by inhaling Histoplasma capsulatum fungal spores. These spores are found in soil and in the droppings of bats and birds.
Because they’re common in bird droppings, The fungus that causes histoplasmosis is found nearly everywhere, including in most city parks.
Most human cases are asymptomatic. Though it is not a major threat, it is good to avoid inhaling.
“FOR ANYONE WHO DOESN’T STIR UP AND INHALE DUST ASSOCIATED WITH ANIMAL DROPPINGS, HISTOPLASMOSIS POSES A VERY REMOTE THREAT.”
-DR. MERLIN TUTTLE
If you do ever need to interact with bat droppings (guano) that might be at the base of your bat house, use proper protective gear: wear gloves and a respirator to avoid inhaling any particles. If someone with a weakened immune system gets in contact with bird or bat droppings, a medical professional should be consulted for safety.
CAN BAT GUANO BE USED AS FERTILZER?
Yes! Bat guano is rich in Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium: all of which are essential for plant growth. Bat guano is sold all over the world as fertilizer for organic gardens.
If you have a bat house, you can obtain this valuable fertiliser for free. Be mindful however, that if too much guano accumulates in one spot, it could burn the plant like too much of any fertilizer. If you decide to move the bat poo around your garden or yard, avoid inhaling dust from it by positioning yourself down-wind and wearing gloves and a respirator for extra precaution.
MAINTENANCE NEEDED FOR YOUR BAT HOUSES’BAT GUANO?
Thankfully, because BatBnB’s bat houses stick out about one inch from the wall, most of the bat droppings won’t hit the mounting surface, and maintenance typically won’t be required.
If there ever is some guano on the walls, rain or a hose will easily wash it away.
Because may be some guano collecting at the base of your bat house, we recommend hanging your bat box somewhere where the droppings will be slightly out of the way.
AVOIDING HANGING IT DIRECTLY ABOVE A DOORWAY OR A FOOTPATH SO THAT IT WON’T GET ON ANYONE’S SHOES AND CAUSE A NUISANCE.
If there’s no ideal spot on the walls, you can also consider mounting your bat box on a pole in your yard instead. (Learn how to hang your bat house on a pole here!)
Bats are incredibly valuable animals. Did you know that a single bat can consume up to 1000 mosquitoes in a night? But bat populations are declining all around the world, and putting up a bat house is a great way to help save them.
Want to put up a bat box at your own property? Visit BatBnB.com to learn more.
See the Bat Education Zone to learn more about our amazing bats!