Bat Guano, No Bueno?

Is Bat Guano Good For Your Cannabis Grow?

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the phrase “Bat sh*t crazy”? Ever wonder if bat guano can help your cannabis grow? As we are in peak growing season, let’s take a moment and look into bat guano for your Cannabis grow and why we may, and may not, want to use it.

Where does Bat Guano come from?

Bat Guano starts in caves, well, in a bat in a cave. Bats spend a considerable amount of time just hanging out with thousands of other bats, being social and pooping. When you consider that a bat cave may be home to literally millions of bats, that’s a lot of poop. Over the years this poo adds up to mountains and mounds of poop. Enterprising humans discovered centuries ago that you could shovel out the bat sh*t and fertilize crops with it. Other enterprising humans discovered you could sell that sh*t, and quite a lively trade was started.

What is in Bat Guano?

Guano is a nutrient bomb, rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, as well as vital micronutrients beneficial to healthy soil and plants. If your cannabis grow could order room service, it would call for bat guano with a side of bat guano. The high nitrogen content aids in lush, vigorous growth in the vegetative state. The high phosphorous content is ideal for the flowering phase. Potassium is critical for proper cell functioning and acts as an enzyme activator and in photosynthesis.  Older bat poo is higher in phosphorus, while newer guano is higher in nitrogen, and can burn your plants if you aren’t careful. Fruit bats’ poo is high in phosphorus, while insect-eating bats poop poo high in nitrogen. No word on special qualities of vampire bat poop, but I can’t imagine too many people are willing to enter the cave to find out.

How can Bat Guano be used in your cannabis grow?

Bat Guano can be used year round in your outdoor grow. Off-season, it enriches and builds up the soil and activates compost. It’s full of healthful microbes and beneficial growth stimulating bacteria. During growing season it can be used as a top dressing, as a tea or as a foliar spray. When you consider that guano buffers pH, improves soil texture, is a natural soil conditioner and mild fungicide, and acts as a long-term fertilizer lasting up to four months, you’d be crazy to not use guano for your crop – or would you?

Be Careful!

One often overlooked component of bat guano are the fungal spores of histoplasmosis. These spores can lie dormant for years until the guano is disturbed and an unsuspecting gardener can contract the potentially fatal histoplasmosis disease. Guano dust can irritate the lungs, and cause nausea and vomiting. Anywhere from three to seventeen days after exposure, flulike symptoms can develop. Symptoms can stop there, but in an unlucky few, a condition called disseminated histoplasmosis can develop.

Disseminated histoplasmosis is a systemic infection, and can attack any organ in the body. It can cause blindness, liver or kidney failure, respiratory failure, and even cause psychosis and death. It is the observed connection between bat guano and psychosis that leads to the idea that this is where the phrase “Bat sh*t crazy” came from.

Fortunately, histoplasmosis is treatable, especially if treated early with an antifungal medication. If you use guano – and this includes seabird guano – and you become ill, be sure to mention to your doctor that you might have been exposed to histoplasmosis, so treatment can start early. Histoplasmosis is not contagious, but when disturbed the spores can infect others, including your pets. If your dog or cat becomes sick, be sure to mention the exposure to your vet.

Should you not use bat guano? That’s up to you. It’s wise to take proper precautions! Always wear gloves and a face mask to minimize exposure if you do decide to use bat guano, nature’s own miracle grow.

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