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Guano Removal: Safely Clearing Bird Droppings

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Guano Removal: Safely Clearing Bird Droppings

Introduction

Guano, or bird droppings, can accumulate quickly and pose health hazards if not removed properly. As a homeowner, you may find guano on your roof, patio, or other outdoor surfaces. While guano has value as a natural fertilizer, excessive amounts can damage property and spread diseases. In this article, I will discuss how to safely remove guano from your home and yard.

Dangers of Guano Buildup

Guano may contain:

  • Bacteria – Such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious illnesses in humans.

  • Parasites – Including roundworms and tapeworms, which can infect people and pets.

  • Fungi – Certain types like Histoplasma capsulatum release spores that are hazardous if inhaled.

  • Corrosive uric acid – Guano has high levels of uric acid that can eat away at roofing, paint, or metal over time.

Too much guano buildup can also block gutters or downspouts, leading to water damage. For health and home maintenance reasons, guano should be removed promptly and safely.

Protecting Yourself During Removal

When clearing guano, it is vital to protect yourself from the hazards it presents:

  • Wear gloves, goggles, and a face mask to avoid contact with guano. Use a N95 respirator mask if removing large amounts.

  • Wear waterproof boots and coveralls to keep guano off your clothes and skin.

  • Work in calm weather to avoid blowing guano dust. Mist areas with water to control dust.

  • Clean yourself and your clothing thoroughly after working with guano. Wash hands with antibacterial soap and shower immediately.

  • Contact a doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms after exposure to guano.

Removal Methods

There are several effective methods for eliminating guano buildup:

Manual Removal

  • Use a plastic scoop and stiff brush to scrape off guano. A drywall scraper also works for deposits on wood or concrete.

  • Wear proper protective gear and work carefully to minimize stirring up dust.

  • Place guano in heavy plastic bags for disposal. Seal bags tightly.

Pressure Washing

  • A gas pressure washer with 2000+ PSI effectively blasts off guano crust while containing the spray.

  • Position washer nozzle at least 12 inches away to avoid driving guano into the surface.

  • Divert runoff so it does not contaminate soil or waterways.

Disinfectants

  • Spraying a bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) helps eliminate bacteria and parasites.

  • Rinse thoroughly after 15 minutes before the bleach damages the surface.

  • Vinegar or quaternary ammonium products also disinfect and deodorize areas.

Guano Removal Services

For large accumulations or high areas difficult to reach, hire a professional guano removal service. They have industrial equipment and safety training for dealing with hazardous guano.

Disposing of Guano

Check your local regulations for proper guano disposal:

  • Most municipalities allow bagged guano to be placed with regular trash pickup. Just be sure bags are sealed tightly.

  • Guano can be composted but should not be used on edible gardens due to the risk of parasites.

  • Larger amounts may require disposal at a hazardous waste facility. Contact your local waste management company.

  • Never dump guano in storm drains or waterways where it can threaten public health.

With proper precautions and removal methods, you can safely eliminate a guano problem at your home. Protect yourself against the health hazards during the process.

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