Facts About Bat Bugs
As their name suggests, bat bugs feed primarily on the blood of bats. These blood-sucking parasites are believed to have developed at a time when humans shared caves with bats. Closely related to bed bugs, these blood-suckers have spread across the world on the skin of bats, and can be found just about anywhere there is a roosting nest.
Bat Bug Identification
Approximately 3 to 9 millimeters in size, bat bugs are reddish-brown in color. Almost identical to a bed bug in appearance, it is difficult to distinguish between the two. However, a key difference is the fringe hairs on the upper thorax. Bat bugs’ hair is longer than a bed bug’s, but this is almost impossible to see without the use of a microscope.
Bat Bug Bites
Feeding on the blood of bats, humans do not normally need to worry about bat bug bites. However, when the bat bugs are abandoned by their hosts, they are forced to wander in search of other food sources. For this reason, bat bugs have been known to sometimes bite humans. Although annoying, bat bugs do not transmit disease.
Bat Bug Infestation
Primarily feeding on the blood of bats, bat bug infestations take place in buildings in which bats are roosting. The bats carry these parasites into homes on their skin.
Although they normally stay close to the bat’s nest to feed, bat bugs will sometimes explore in search of a new host as the bats migrate or are eliminated. In some cases, they have been known to move into mattresses and bed frames to feed on humans, similar to that of the bed bug. Unable to reproduce without a bat host, bat bugs only feed on humans when the bats are no longer present.
Female bat bugs are able to lay eggs multiple times a year. The newly born nymphs can develop into adults in as little as two weeks under ideal conditions. When bat hosts are available, females lay their eggs after a feeding. Able to survive over a year without feeding, these blood-suckers are tough to get rid of.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bat Bugs
How did I get bat bugs?
Bat bugs hitch rides on the skin of bats. If you are seeing them and know they are not bed bugs, it is likely you have bats roosting in your walls or attic. If you are seeing or hearing bats in your home, you may have bat bugs without even knowing it.
Do bat bugs spread disease?
Similar to bed bugs, they are not known to spread disease. Bat bug bites may cause itching or an allergic reaction, however, they are not considered dangerous.
What are the Benefits of Professional Bat Bug Control?
A pest management professional has the education, experience, and skills to control your bat bug problem. It is important to understand the difference between bed bugs and bat bugs because, while they look the same, there is a big difference in pest management.
Since bat bugs require bat blood to reproduce, eliminating the bats in your home is the most effective treatment. Our pest professionals will exclude any bats that have entered your home, as well as perform any required seal-up of your home’s exterior to prevent future problems.