The word guano originated from the Quichua language of the Inca civilization of south America and means “the droppings of Sea Birds“. It is a misnomer to refer to bat dung as guano even though we do it all the time. As the word is used today, guano describes both bat and sea bird manure. The most famous guano was that used by the Inca. The guano would collect on the rainless islands and coast of Peru. Atmospheric conditions insured a minimal loss of nutrients. There is very little leaching of valuable material, nor is there a considerable loss of nitrogen. For this the Inca would guard and regulate the treasured soil enricher. Access to the Indonesian Guano deposits were restricted to chosen caretakers. Disrupting the rookeries could result in punishment by death. Fortunately we do things a little differently today.
You can have Bat and Seabird Guano without having to risk your life. Click any of the buy links on this page and we’ll send you some! guano became a very important part of the development of agriculture in the United States. During the peak of the “Guano Era“, drastic steps were taken to maintain a supply for the U.S. farmer. On August 18, 1856, Congress passed an act to authorize protection to be given to citizens of the United States who may discover guano, under which any citizen of the United States was authorized to take possession of and occupy any unclaimed island, rock or key containing Guano. The discoverers of such islands were entitled to exclusive rights to the deposits thereon, but the guano could only be removed for the use of the citizens of the United States.
Today, scientist have recognized that bats not only produce a valuable resource for farmers and growers of every kind, they are known to eat such a large number of insects in a lifetime ( in the United States, little brown bats often eat mosquitos and can catch up to 1,200 tiny insects in an hour) that without them life in large cities like Los Angeles and Houston would be unbearable, so they are now protected and allowed to make their homes under bridges, in old mines and caves. Not only is the guano fantastic fertilizer but the bats themselves rid our gardens, farms, backyards and parks of billions of unwanted bugs everyday. So, when you see a bat, say thanks!