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Infection Control News

Even if you find bats more cute than creepy, there is nothing good about an infestation in your home or business. The fact is that bats pose far more serious threats than even their blood-sucking vampire lore would suggest: The waste they leave behind and the removal process expose inhabitants and remediation teams to potentially hazardous viruses and bacteria.

Histoplasmosis is a lung infection caused by inhaling Histoplasma capsulatum spores. For those with weakened immune systems or the very young or old, the infection can be serious. These spores are often found in bat guano, or waste. Remediating a bat infestation must be handled with extreme care to ensure that the removal process doesn’t create a real health hazard.

bat infestations
Histoplasma capsulatum spores found in bat guano, or waste. Photo Credit: CDC/Dr. Libero Ajello – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #4223.

Histoplasma capsulatum spores found in bat guano, or waste. Photo Credit: CDC/Dr. Libero Ajello – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #4223.

Tom Licker, Certified Environmental Infection Control Remediator (CEICR) and Division Manager of Infection Control Technologies, says, “The public is largely unaware of the risks presented by bat infestation and the fungus spores of H.Capsulatum. As biological remediation contracting professionals, we must do everything we can to prevent cross-contamination and risk to our workers and building occupants.”

Mr. Licker has outlined the proper bat infestation remediation process:

How to safely remove bats and clean bat infested areas

  1. Always hire a Certified Wildlife Control Professional to remove bats. These specialists have completed board approved training courses and seminars and meet required levels of professional practice.
  2. Always hire a Certified Remediation Contractor to properly decontaminate the affected area. These professionals are bound by a code of ethics and have documented training and certification to handle these remediation events.
  3. Have a decontamination area to safely remove personal protective equipment (PPE).
  4. Follow CDC guidelines for using the appropriate PPE for the situation.
  5. Follow industry remediation protocols when removing, discarding and/or cleaning insulation, filth and impacted contents.
  6. Validate the disinfection by testing treated surfaces.
  7. Clean and disinfect the paths to and from the affected areas.
  8. Follow state and federal laws when disposing of bat waste.

ICT: First in Infection Control and Biological Decontamination. Infection Control Technologies, (ICT) a division of Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc. (IRS) is one of the nation’s leading Building Hygiene contractors. ICT provides Facility Hygiene Services and Emergency Decontamination for some of the nation’s most respected real estate and Risk Management Professionals, Health Care, Municipalities, Institutions, Food Safety, Transportation, and government organizations.