Pest Away Tips

Bat Bugs vs Bed Bugs: How to Identify Prevent and Treat Infestations

Introduction to Bat Bugs

As homeowners, we do our best to keep pests out of our homes. We regularly check our mattresses for bed bugs, but did you know that there’s another type of bug that looks very similar?

Meet the bat bug – a reddish-brown insect that is often mistaken for bed bugs. In this article, well discuss what bat bugs are, how to distinguish them from bed bugs, and other important characteristics to help you identify and deal with an infestation.

What is a Bat Bug? Bat bugs are parasites that feed primarily on the blood of bats.

They belong to the same family as bed bugs, and they look almost identical. They are able to feed on other types of mammals, including humans, but they prefer bats.

These bugs are commonly found in bat colonies, where they live in the same areas as bats – attics, chimneys, and other spaces that are close to where bats roost. Bat Bugs vs.

Bed Bugs

One of the most significant differences between bat bugs and bed bugs is the type of host they prefer. Bed bugs typically feed on human blood, while bat bugs prefer bats.

However, if bats are not present, bat bugs will look for a new host, such as humans. It can be difficult to determine the difference between the two bugs with the naked eye.

But with a closer look, bat bugs are hairier than bed bugs and have longer hairs on their thorax. Their bodies are also more flattened and appear wider than bed bugs.

Habitat of Bat Bugs

As weve mentioned earlier, bat bugs are commonly found in bat colonies. However, if bats are not present, they can also be found in human dwellings.

Bat bugs can hide in mattresses, bed frames, and bedding, just like bed bugs. If you suspect that you have a bat bug infestation, it is important to inspect all areas where they could be hiding, taking special care to look for signs of bat activity in areas where they may have originated.

Characteristics of Bat Bugs

Appearance of Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are reddish-brown insects that are about 1/4 inch in length, making them about the size of a pinhead. They have long hairs on their thorax that are easily visible under a magnifying glass.

Although its difficult to see with the naked eye, bat bugs have shorter antennae than bed bugs.

Size of Bat Bugs

As weve mentioned, bat bugs are about 1/4 inch in length. They are similar in size to bed bugs, but they generally have a wider body than bed bugs.

Their eggs, on the other hand, are much smaller than bed bug eggs, measuring about 1mm in length.

Habitat of Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are found almost exclusively in areas of bat activity, such as in bat colonies and human dwellings with infestations of bats. They do not typically nest in carpeting or other areas like bed bugs.

In human dwellings, they are commonly found near areas where bats are living or have lived, such as in attics, chimneys, and even wall voids.

Infestation of Bat Bugs

If you suspect that you may have an infestation of bat bugs, the best course of action is to seek the expertise of a pest control professional. This is especially important if there are known colonies of bats in the area.

While there are DIY solutions available, these are often not effective in controlling an infestation, and the root cause of the problem can often be difficult to determine. A pest control professional will inspect the area thoroughly for signs of bat activity and will be able to recommend a course of action to combat the bat bug infestation.


Bat bugs are a common pest that can be found in bat colonies, as well as in human dwellings. They are often mistaken for bed bugs, but they have some distinctive features that set them apart.

Bat bugs are typically found near bat roosts, such as in attics and chimneys, and can be identified by their reddish-brown color and long hairs. With the help of a pest control professional, bat bug infestations can be effectively controlled, and homes can be made safe and pest-free once again.

Behavior of Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are a common pest in bat colonies that feed primarily on the blood of bats. However, they can also bite humans and other mammals if bats are not present.

In this section, well take a closer look at the behavior of bat bugs. Well discuss their ability to survive and fly, the dangers posed by bat bugs, and the differences between bat bugs and bed bugs.

Survivability of Bat Bugs Without Food

Adult female bat bugs require a blood meal to reproduce, but the young can survive up to six months without feeding. Eggs and nymphs can survive even longer without feeding, up to a year under certain conditions.

Bat bugs are capable of waiting for long periods of time until their host (bat or mammal) is available, which makes them difficult to eradicate from living spaces. The more comfortable the conditions are, the more time bat bugs can survive without food.

Ability of Bat Bugs to Fly

Bat bugs are not capable of flight in the traditional sense of the word. They are unable to fly because they lack the necessary wing structure and muscle mass.

Instead, they move by crawling on their six legs. While they do not possess the capability of flight, they are adapted for clinging to the hairy bodies of bats and moving through air currents with ease.

Their legs have small hooks which prevent them from being swept away by air resistance.

Dangers Posed by Bat Bugs

Like bed bugs, bat bugs are a nuisance and can cause itching, which can lead to secondary infections or an allergic response. However, unlike bed bugs, bat bugs do not pose a significant health threat since they are known to not transmit diseases.

One should avoid scratching the bites, as this can increase the risk of secondary infections caused by bacteria that are present on the skin.

Bat Bugs versus Bed Bugs

The Cimicidae family contains two closely related species of bloodsucking insects: bat bugs and bed bugs. Bat bugs are similar in appearance to bed bugs, but there are some differences between the two species.

Differences between Bat Bugs and Bed Bugs

The primary difference between bat bugs and bed bugs is their natural hosts. Bat bugs feed primarily on bats, while bed bugs prefer humans, hence their common name.

Bat bugs are more common in the regions where colonies of bats are large and numerous. Their ability to switch to human hosts, however, makes them difficult to fully eradicate from a structure that has a history of bats and bat bugs.

Comparing the

Behavior of Bat Bugs and Bed Bugs

Aside from the differences in their hosts, bat bugs and bed bugs are similar in many ways. Both species are known to infest homes and other buildings in large numbers, and can be difficult to eradicate without professional pest control interventions.

Both species are primarily nocturnal and frequently emerge to feed on their chosen hosts at night, although they can feed during the day when there is no other source of blood available. Bat bugs and bed bugs also share the same feeding habits.

Both bugs suck blood, and their feeding patterns can cause discomfort and possibly lead to secondary infections. Both bugs can also cause irritation, redness and itching associated with the bites.


Bat bugs are very similar to bed bugs in appearance and behavior. However, while they generally do not present a health risk, they can be a serious pest when it comes to property invasions.

So, if you encounter bats or any bug you suspect to be a bat bug, its wise to contact a pest control professional right away. With their help, you can get rid of your bat bug infestation and ensure the health and safety of your home and family.

Prevention and Treatment of Bat Bug Infestations

Bat bugs are a serious problem for homeowners, especially those who live in areas with high populations of bats. In this section, well go over the causes of bat bug infestations, factors that attract bat bugs, and the methods for controlling and eliminating bat bugs.

Well also discuss treatment options for bat bug bites.

Causes of Bat Bug Infestations

Bat colonies are the primary source of bat bugs. Bat bugs live and thrive in bat colonies that are in close proximity to human dwellings.

Bats can enter homes and buildings through small entry points such as holes, gaps, and vents. If bats are allowed to roost in attics or other areas of the home, bat bugs are likely to follow.

Once inside, bat bugs can spread throughout the home, infesting bedding, clothing, and furniture.

Factors That Attract Bat Bugs

Bat bugs thrive in conditions that are warm and dry. High temperatures allow bat bugs to survive and reproduce at a higher rate, which is why they are more common in regions with hot summers.

Bat bugs prefer narrow, crevice-like roosts that provide a tight fit between themselves and their host. They are more attracted to roosts in which they can easily move and search for food.

Methods for Controlling and Eliminating Bat Bugs

Pyrethroid pesticides are often used to control and eliminate bat bugs. These are compounds derived from the chrysanthemum flower that are effective against a wide variety of insects.

Exterminators may also use natural sprays and traps to deal with bat bugs. The most effective method, however, is to remove their source of food by getting rid of bats.

Repellents can be used to keep bats away, which in turn will starve bat bugs. Sealing off entry points that bats use to enter the home can also help to prevent new infestations.

Treatment for Bat Bug Bites

Like other insect bites, a bat bug bite can cause itching and irritation. Symptom relief may be achieved through cold compresses or topical creams designed to relieve itching and reduce inflammation.

In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe stronger medications. If the bites occur on a pet, it is important to take them to a vet clinic as soon as possible to prevent any infections that could occur.


We have covered a lot of ground in this article regarding bat bugs. Key takeaways include that bat bugs are a type of blood-sucking insect that is similar in appearance to bed bugs.

They are known to infest homes and other buildings in large numbers, often in association with bats. Bat bugs are primarily attracted to high temperatures and narrow crevice-like roosts.

The consequences of bat bug infestations can include itching, irritation, and discomfort due to bites, and can be difficult to treat without the help of a professional pest control expert. However, with prevention measures, effective control methods, and treatment options for bites, it is possible to protect your home and your family from the negative effects of bat bug infestations.

In conclusion, this article has provided us with valuable insights into understanding the characteristics, behavior, prevention, and treatment of bat bug infestations. We have learned that bat bugs are common pests that can be found in bat colonies and human dwelling places.

While they are similar in appearance and behavior to bed bugs, there are some key differences. The article has also highlighted the importance of taking preventative measures, such as sealing off entry points and preventing bat infestations, as well as seeking professional help for treatment and control of bat bugs.

With this knowledge, we can take steps to protect our homes and families from the negative effects of bat bug infestations.

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