What You Need To Know About Bat Bugs
The bed bug that you are probably familiar with has been around for a long time. Bed bugs were originally cave dwellers, sucking on the blood of sleeping cavemen and bats. Once the cavemen left the caves to become hunters and gatherers in the plains, some of the bed bugs moved out with them while the rest stayed behind and kept feeding on bat blood. Over time, the separation led to the evolution of the bugs into distinct species – bat bugs and bed bugs.
What Is a Bat Bug?
Bat bugs opted to remain in their caves as opposed to wandering into the sunlight on the backs of cavemen and thrived by feeding on the blood of sleeping bats. Today, you can find bat bugs virtually anywhere there’s a nest of bats. While they don’t necessarily nest on the bats themselves, they are known to ride on them from one place to the next.
If the bats leave the area for any length of time, hungry bat bugs will unfortunately settle for a close by human meal. The behavior and bites of bat bugs are identical to those of the bed bugs that you probably know, which makes them just as annoying once they start feeding.
What Are the Differences between Bed Bugs and Bat Bugs?
The differences between bat bugs and bed bugs are subtle and, in most instances, only a trained professional can tell them apart. Here are the key differences between the two:
Bat bugs and bed bugs have an almost similar appearance in color and body shape. The key identifying feature is their hair; bat bugs have longer hairs on the upper thorax compared to those of a bed bug. It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to see this difference without using a microscope.
Bat bugs and bed bugs are both blood-sucking parasites that feed on warm-blooded mammals. While they both exclusively feed on blood, they feed on different hosts. Bed bugs feed on human blood while bat bugs prefer bat blood. Bat blood is actually essential to the reproduction and survival of bat bugs, but they have been known to feed on humans when their bat hosts abandon them.
The other key difference between bed bugs and bat bugs is where they live. The vast majority of bed bugs are found within several feet of their feeding host, which includes couches, baseboards, headboards, mattresses, and other commonly used furniture pieces.
You can still find bat bugs in the same areas where you find bed bugs, but they are typically found in the areas that harbor bats such as ceilings and attics. Bat bugs might be present on the walls and ceiling, but typically stay within the immediate vicinity of their food source.
How Can You get Rid of Bed Bugs and Bat Bugs?
You should first understand the key differences that exist between bat bugs and bed bugs because, while they might have a similar appearance, there’s a key difference when it comes to controlling these two bloodsuckers.
Use Bed Bug Traps to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you have a bed bug infestation, you need to take some specific measures to get rid of them. The first step us to cut off their food supply, which is human blood. Elevate your bed using some bed bug traps. Bed bugs cannot fly or jump and must crawl up the legs of your bed to reach you. A talcum-lined pitfall can prevent them from reaching you.
Get Rid of Bats to Get Rid of Bat Bugs
Bat bugs, on the other hand, require a completely different solution. Bat blood is necessary for the reproduction and survival of bat bugs, which means that eliminating bats in your home is probably the most effective solution. Getting rid of the bats and sealing any exterior entry points will help prevent any infestations in the future.
You might be thinking that you don’t have any bats in your home since you have never seen one. While that might be true, it does not automatically mean that you don’t have any bat problem. Bats love sleeping in barns, basements, attics, cellars, and inside walls i.e. just about anywhere that provides shelter for their nest and they can easily fly in and out of.
Seal off Any Access Points
If there are any bats present in your property, seal off any possible access points used by the bats. Once they leave your home to hibernate or feed, you need to perform an exclusion. It is like weatherproofing i.e. caulking screening vents and small openings to ensure that the bats that left your home are never able to get back in.
Once you have managed to get rid of bats in your property, the bat bugs that remain will start growing hungry and desperate and will start searching for a blood meal. Bat bugs cannot reproduce on human blood, but they are still quite an itching annoyance, just like bed bugs, until they eventually die off. But why endure the torture?
Apply Some Residual Sprays and Powders
Apply some residual powders and sprays to any crevices and cracks that lead into your living spaces, such as in the floorboards or walls, to get rid of any bat bugs that might try reaching you from their previous habitat. Bed bugs and bat bugs can live for up to 1 year without a meal, but they will probably leave your home in search of new hosts by then.
Bat bugs are often confused for regular bed bugs, which often leads homeowners to use the wrong pest control treatments. While a bat bug bite can be unpleasant and itchy, just like that of a bed bug, they are presently not known to transmit any disease to humans. Still, they are quite a nuisance that should be eradicated.
Follow the tips provided here for getting rid of bed bugs and bat bugs out of your property and never forget that keeping pest out of your home is an ongoing process and not a one-time treatment. Now that you have all the information you need regarding bat bugs; you are in a much better position to effectively get rid of them.