Bat Bugs vs Bed Bugs◀ Back To Blog
August 13, 2013
Most of us all have heard of the bed bug infesting five star hotels, movie theaters and homes across the country. Most individuals are unaware of a very similar insect in the same Cimicidae family, a bat bug, which is also a blood sucking insect that feed on birds and/or mammals. Learn how to identify Bat Bugs vs Bed Bugs.
For several decades following World War II , bed bugs were largely eradicated form the United States, existing in only small pockets. However, within the past decade it has had tremendous resurgence. Bed bugs can be introduced on furniture, luggage and other materials, so places with high amounts of human traffic like hotels are most prone.
Bat bugs develop in colonies of roosting bats, which sometimes occur in attics or behind walls of buildings. Bat bugs may move into human living areas and incidentally bite people, with such migrations particularly common when bats migrate or are eliminated from the building. However, in the absence of the bat hosts, these insects cannot sustain and reproduce.
Similarities of Bat Bugs and Bed Bugs:
- They all have small, flat, rounded bodies with stubby, non functional wing-pads.
- All of them have small beak-like mouth parts that are used for piercing-sucking blood.
- Adults are 1/4 – 3/8 inches long and appear to be reddish-brown.
- Adults may survive for a year or more without a blood meal in cool
- Nymphs must acquire a blood meal in order to molt.
Differences Between Bat Bugs and Bed Bugs:
- Bat bugs and the common bed bug appear to have very similar physical characteristics to the naked eye; however under a microscope, bat bugs appear to have longer hairs that are longer than the width of their eyes.
- Bat bug infestations occur when bats establish themselves in attics, walls, chimneys, and other parts of the home by clinging to the fur of the bats.
- Bat bugs feed on the big and little brown bats, which roost in colonies. Although bats are their primary host, these bugs also may feed on alternative hosts including birds and rodents. Bat bugs will bite humans in the absence of their primary hosts.
- It has been reported that the bite of a bat bug is far worse than a bed bug bite.
- Bat bugs hide in dark, protected sites and they prefer tight, narrow retreats. Bat bugs typically are found in cracks and crevices in bat roosting areas, rather than on the hosts themselves, but they make repeated visits to the host to obtain a blood meal.
- Bed bugs hide during the day in dark, protected sites. They seem to prefer fabric, wood, and paper surfaces. They usually occur in fairly close proximity to the host, although they can travel far distances.
A critical first step is to correctly identify the blood-feeding pest, as this determines which management tactics to adopt that take into account specific bug biology and habits. For example, if the blood-feeder is a bat bug rather than a bed bug, a different management approach is needed. At the first signs or evidence of any pests, is to contact your local Clifton Park exterminator. Attempting to control and remove wildlife and other pests, like bed bugs should be left to your Saaratoga pest control company. Thomas Pest Services offers bat removal services and bed bug removal to Chatham, East Greenbush, Saratoga and surrounding areas throughout the Capital Region. Contact us for a free inspection to safely remove bats from your home and get rid of bed bugs.