White Nose Syndrome


Greater Cincinnati Grotto is very concerned about WNS and the possible effects on bats in our caving areas of Rockcastle, Jackson, Pulaski and Wayne counties as well as other areas.
GCG supports very conservative caving practices in light of the Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines. Large grotto trips in proscribed states will be canceled. We understand that many cavers will choose to cave regardless. The grotto will not condone these trips, but asks that if cavers are planning to cave, they should be in small groups carefully following a rigorous decontamination protocol. We will keep our members informed of the best known decontamination protocol and update it as more information becomes available. Hibernaculae should not be entered during hibernation ordinarily, and we recommend staying clear of them at all times (even after hibernation season) until more information is available.
If you are going to cave, cave responsibly.

New WNS Procedures 4/12/16


WNS Decontamination Procedures

These procedures are based on, and incorporate the fundamentals, of the USFWS recommendations but are clearer regarding which process and substances can be used safely on particular gear.
  • After caving remove your caving gear and put it in a plastic bag to prevent contamination of other items and your vehicle.
  • When you get home remove as much dirt/mud as possible before washing/sanitizing.
  • Wash all your caving clothes and non safety critical gear using the hottest wash cycle that they can stand and use a bleach containing detergent (do not wash ropes, harnesses, safety cords and other safety critical gear in this way).
  • Dry the clothes in a tumble drier at the hottest temperatures they can take (do not dry ropes, harnesses, safety cords and other safety critical gear in this way).
  • Remove dirt from footwear and surface sterilize by thoroughly wetting them with a 10% hypochlorite bleach solution. Then rinse well and air dry (do not expose ropes, harnesses, safety cords and other safety critical gear to any bleach).
  • Hard surfaced gear can be washed in a washing machine, wiped down with a 10% solution of hypochlorite bleach, or soaked for 10 minutes in a solution of 0.5 oz Reckitt Lysol IC detergent in 1 gallon water. Then rinse well before air drying. Some items may be washed in a dishwasher (do not dishwash aluminum as the alkalinity of the dishwasher environment will cause surface corrosion).
  • Wash safety critical gear like ropes, harnesses, safety cords etc in a washing machine at no higher than 40C using a NON bleach detergent. Normal quantities of cationic fabric conditioners will improve the handle of ropes etc and also have some degree of biocidal properties. Air dry out of direct sunlight (do not use bleach, boiling water or hot air tumble driers on safety critical gear).
  • Dispose of all plastic bags used to transport gear so that they do not cross contaminate clean equipment.
  • If your gear cannot be decontaminated before you go caving in a different cave/cave area then do not use it.
  • If you plan on caving in more than one cave/cave area and will be unable to decontaminate your gear between trips then bring a fresh set of gear.
  • links to usage and efficacy data on Lysol IC:
  • Lysol IC MSDS: http://msds.reckittprofessional.com/customer_services/msds/dist/366519_p.pdf