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April 8, 2015

Birds and Bats: Watch Out for Droppings

It's time to begin thinking about spring cleaning, and since many churches contain architectural features that birds and bats find appealing, it's important to clean up their waste during this time. Oftentimes, bird and bat droppings contain fungus, bacteria or other harmful pathogens that cause human illness.

In addition to the possible health hazards presented, the droppings also are corrosive and can significantly accelerate the deterioration of building components. With spring cleanup days taking place over the next few weeks, be sure to detect areas where these droppings occur. If a large amount of waste is present, consider hiring a professional cleaning company. For smaller, more manageable amounts of feces, use the following precautions recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • The cleanup should be done by healthy individuals;

  • Wear an appropriate respirator that can filter particles as small as 0.3 microns;

  • Wear disposable and protective gloves, hats, coveralls and boots;

  • During the cleanup, seal heating and cooling air ducts, or shut the system down;

  • Moisten the droppings with a light mist of water to keep dust and spores from becoming airborne;

  • Put droppings into sealed plastic garbage bags;

  • When finished and while still wearing a respirator, remove protective clothing and place it in a plastic bag;

  • Wash or shower;

  • Check with the local government agencies to verify that disposal of the waste is permissible through standard trash pick-up; and

  • Consider modifying the building structure to prevent birds or bats from reestablishing the roost.

During this same cleanup time, consider conducting your church's annual self-inspection. It's possible that a maintenance crew may already be on-site, and can correct minor concerns as they are identified. An inspection checklist detailing, window and door maintenance, proper shrub and tree length, and proper lighting fixtures can be found on SafeChurch.

As with any church activity, a spring cleaning day requires planning and coordination. To help you plan for a productive and safe event, view the following relevant material on SafeChurch.

Posted 3:27 PM

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2210 13th Street
Meridian, MS 39301

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