Bed Bugs have been all over the news this year as bad cases have popped up across the country, but have you heard of Bat Bugs? These Bed Bug relatives prefer to snack on the blood of…bats.
What Are Bat Bugs?
Bat Bugs have small oval bodies that are flattish so they can easily hide in cracks and crevices. These insects are transparent tan or beige in color but will quickly turn dark brown after a blood meal. Their mouthparts look like a beak and are made for sucking and piercing.
These insects usually choose Big and Little Brown Bats for their hosts. The Bat Bugs will cling to the bat’s fur and travel back to the roost. Between meals, Bat Bugs will hide in cracks near where the bats sleep, similar to how Bed Bugs hide along mattress seams near their human hosts.
The Trouble with Bat Bugs
Bats that decide to make your attic their home may bring Bat Bugs with them. So if these bugs are just bothering bats then what’s the big deal?
These pests could wander and find a human to feed on, but often do not become a problem until after the bats have been removed. At that point, humans are the only available food source. Bat Bug bites leave tiny welts that can be very itchy, just like a Bed Bug bite.
Bat Bugs vs. Bed Bugs
Bat Bugs and Bed Bugs look very similar and a microscope is needed to tell the difference. Bat Bugs have much longer hairs on their bodies than Bed Bugs. It is best to have a local pest management professional examine a specimen. The only way to fix a pest problem is to first correctly identify the pest.
Bat Bug Pest Control
Managing a Bat Bug infestation begins with removing any bats or secondary hosts like birds and rodents from your home. The actual Bat Bugs can then be treated and the risk of another infestation is greatly reduced.
If you think you have Bat Bugs or Bed Bugs, call your local pest management professional to assess the situation!