Bat Guano in a Greenwich, CT Attic

Bat guano in a Greenwich, CT attic was found during an inspection of the attic for bats. The homeowner had lots of bats hanging on and around the home. She became concerned When she was moving things out of her attic and saw all the bat guano. Bat guano when disturbed can cause many health risks.

Ask nearly anyone, and you’ll hear that bats (although beneficial in insect control) can be dangerous because they carry rabies. But a lesser known danger, and one that is not as easy to avoid, is histoplasmosis, a disease you can get from exposure to bat guano (bat droppings). It is an infectious disease caught by inhaling the spores of the histoplasmosis capsulation fungus. While it is not contagious, the disease can affect a wide variety of the population who may not even be aware they are at risk.

Anyone can get histoplasmosis. There are, however, certain people whose occupations make the risk of exposure greater than others. Included in that group are chimney cleaners, construction workers, gardeners, HVAC installers or repair people, roofers, and, of course spelunkers (cave explorers). In reality, however, anyone who comes across the fungus can get histoplasmosis, it’s easier than you might think. Bats become infected with histoplasmosis, and their feces contain the histoplasmosis fungus. This fungus grows in the soil where the droppings land, or in the droppings found in an attic occupied by bats. The fungus then continues to grow, just waiting for you or me to come along to clean out the old barn, the attic, or other place where the spores now lie.

Or sometimes, we disturb the dirt (cleaning up the garden, sweeping out the empty building, or doing other seemingly harmless dirty work), causing the spores to become airborne. When we breathe that air, we then become infected with the histoplasmosis fungus and the real trouble begins.

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