Bat Bug Facts and Information
Appearance: Bat bugs are small, flat insects that are oval in shape, typically measuring about 1/4 inch in length. They are light brown to tan in color and closely resemble bed bugs, often leading to misidentification. Their distinguishing feature is the fringe of hair on the upper covering of their thorax, which is longer in bat bugs than in bed bugs.
Habitat: As their name suggests, bat bugs primarily live in close proximity to bat colonies, often in attics, under roof tiles, or within walls. However, if their host bats leave or are exterminated, bat bugs can move into human living spaces seeking alternative blood sources.
Diet: Bat bugs feed on the blood of bats, their primary host. However, in the absence of bats, they can feed on other mammals, including humans, but they prefer not to do so.
Reproduction: Bat bugs have a similar reproductive cycle to bed bugs. After mating, females lay their eggs in crevices and secluded locations, usually producing up to five eggs per day and hundreds over their lifespan. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which molt five times before reaching adulthood, requiring a blood meal before each molt. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult takes about a month to complete.
FAQs About Bat Bug
Are Bat Bug and Bed Bug similar?
The most noticeable distinction is that bat bugs have a greater number of longer hairs on their thorax, the area analogous to the neck.
After a meal, their abdomens turn red and significantly inflate, transitioning from a flat to a plump shape in mere minutes. Generally, only a professional can accurately differentiate between bat bugs and bed bugs.
What are the signs of a bat bug infestation?
Signs of a bat bug infestation can be similar to those of a bed bug infestation. Here are a few indicators:
Bite Marks: Although bat bugs primarily feed on bats, they can bite humans if their primary food source is not available. These bites are often mistaken for bed bug bites as they look very similar—small, red, and itchy welts often found in a line or cluster.
Presence of Bugs: Bat bugs are typically found in the vicinity of bat colonies. If you find tiny, flat, oval bugs in areas where bats are present (like attics, chimneys, or under roof tiles), it might indicate a bat bug infestation.
Blood and Fecal Stains: Bat bugs, like bed bugs, leave behind small reddish or rust-colored stains from blood or fecal matter on sheets, mattresses, or nearby walls and ceilings.
Molted Skins: As bat bugs grow, they shed their exoskeletons. Finding these small, translucent shells can be a sign of an infestation.
Bat Presence: The presence of bats in or around your home is a significant indicator of potential bat bugs, as these pests live where bat colonies exist.
Unusual Smell: A large infestation of bat bugs can produce a sweet, musty odor.
If you notice any of these signs, contact Grizz Pest management so we can accurately identify and treat bat bugs.
How serious are bat bugs?
While bat bugs aren’t known to transmit diseases to humans, their bites can cause itchiness and allergic reactions in some individuals. They’re mostly a nuisance. However, a bat bug infestation often signals the presence of bats in the structure, which can lead to other concerns, such as property damage and disease risk from bat guano.
How did I get bat bugs, and how do I get rid of them?
Bat bugs often infiltrate homes via bat infestations, typically in attics, chimneys, or under roof tiles. Their presence usually indicates bats residing in your structure.
To eliminate bat bugs:
Address the Bat Problem: First, safely remove bat colonies from your property, preferably with the help of wildlife professionals.
Pest Treatment: Contact Grizz Pest Management for a thorough inspection and treatment plan. Our trained professionals can accurately identify bat bugs and apply appropriate insecticides to infested areas.
Prevent Re-infestation: Seal entry points to prevent bats and bat bugs from re-entering. Regularly inspect for signs of bats or bat bugs to catch potential problems early.
Remember, incorrect treatment can worsen the infestation, so professional help from Grizz Pest Management is crucial for effective bat bug eradication.