Bat Bug Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from bat bugs by learning techniques for identification and control.
How do I get rid of bat bugs?
What Orkin Does
Professional assistance from Orkin's experts is the best way to help get rid of bat bugs. These free-living parasites are not as tenacious as bed bugs, but their secretive nature and infrequent feeding makes them difficult to locate.
Orkin Pros are trained to help manage bat bugs and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique program for your situation.
Keeping pests out of homes and buildings is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps — Assess, Implement and Monitor
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Understanding Bat Bugs
Bat bugs look similar to bed bugs, with oval-shaped, brown bodies all about the same three-eighths of an inch in length.
Bat Bug vs. Bed Bug
The greatest visual difference is that bat bugs possess longer, and more hairs on their thorax (think, neck region).
Upon feeding, their abdomens become red and swell in size, going from flat to fat within minutes. It typically takes a professional to tell bat bugs and bed bugs apart.
Mammal blood, preferably from bats, is the primary food source for bat bugs. As a result, the pests typically travel on the skin of bats and populate their roosting sites. When overwintering bats depart, they leave these ectoparasites behind.
Blood-starved bat bugs then migrate into homes, gathering in bedrooms and living rooms. The pests often lurk within carpeting and furniture for extended periods, as they can survive for over a year without feeding.
In addition to bats, bat bugs will feed on humans, dogs, and cats. The pests will even latch onto mice and rats, providing a convenient method of entry into kitchens or basements.
Bat bug bites are nearly painless, but leave inflamed marks on the skin. Redness, itching, and swelling may occur at bite sites, but bat bugs cannot transfer disease to humans.
However, it's still disturbing to find these parasites within the home, especially because they're so often confused with their difficult-to-control relatives, bed bugs.