Bat Bugs In The Home Could Mean You Have Bigger Pest Problems
Bed Bugs have been a pest problem since the World War II era, and have recently made a resurgence in numbers, but have you heard of bat bugs? These fellow blood suckers are relatives of the bed bug; however, they prefer to snack on the blood of bats. Meaning, if you are finding bat bugs in your house, it’s probably because you have a bigger pest problem – bats.
What Is A Bat Bug & What Do They Look Like?
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, like how Bed Bugs hide along mattress seams near their human hosts.
Bat Bugs vs. Bed Bugs
Almost identical to a bed bug in appearance, a microscope is required to tell the difference between the two. The main distinguishing feature is that 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. Identifying the right pest is the first step to properly handling an infestation.
Aside from their appearance under a microscope, where you are finding the pests are usually a good indicator of which blood sucker has invaded your home. As expected, bed bugs are typically found in mattresses, or in nearby furniture within a bedroom. Bat bugs on the other hand, are usually found in bat roosting areas like basements, attics, or within the walls, but will sometimes wander into living spaces if abandoned by the bats.
Bat Bug Bites
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. If bitten, bat bug bites leave tiny welts that can be very itchy, just like a bed bug bite.
How To Get Rid Of Bat Bugs
Managing a bat bug infestation begins with removing any bats or secondary hosts like birds and rodents from your home. Once all the pests have been removed, the actual bat bugs can then be treated, and the risk of another infestation is greatly reduced. Once the infested area has been cleaned and disinfected, we can perform any required seal-up of your home’s exterior to prevent future problems.
If you think you have bats, bat bugs, or bed bugs, contact us to set up a cost-free inspection. Or, if you simply have more questions about bat bugs, we’d be happy to help in any way possible.