Bat Bug Control
Bat bugs are bloodsucking, biting insects that are parasites of bats. Although they prefer bats, they may bite humans, birds, or rodents if they can’t find bats. Bat bugs feed on all bats, but they’re most frequently associated with the big and little brown bat colonies. Bat bugs are distributed wherever bats are, so they’re common all over the world.
Bat bugs are small, oval-shaped, and extremely flattened if they have not fed recently. After feeding, their body grows plump and dark-colored from the blood meal. All bat bugs have small, stubby, non-functional wing pads. Bat bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts that appear beak-like.
It’s important to differentiate bat bugs from other Cimicidae because treating bat bugs means finding and excluding bats. Unfortunately, bat bugs and bed bugs are practically indistinguishable to the naked eye. Even professional entomologists need to examine the bugs microscopically to tell them apart.
Bat bugs may survive for a year or two without a meal, but females need to feed in order to produce eggs. The females lay eggs on rough surfaces and in cracks, usually in the same areas where the bugs hide. Eggs hatch in one to two weeks, and nymphs can feed immediately.
Bat bugs move from place-to-place primarily by hitching rides on the bats they’re feeding on. That’s typically how they get inside homes, too. If you have a bat bug infestation, chances are you have bats, too. Bats usually establish themselves in attics, wall voids, unused chimneys, or uninhabited portions of the house. Bat bugs don’t usually typically do not wander far from occupied bat roosting sites where they have easy access to food.
BAT BUG CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Controlling bat bugs can be complicated. The only way to do it correctly is to control both the bugs and their hosts. If the host bats are not eliminated, bugs are likely to reappear. NOTE: bats are non-game animals, and therefore it’s illegal to kill them. Do not attempt to kill bats yourself. Simply spraying to kill bat bugs may provide a temporary solution, but is unlikely to eliminate the problem permanently. The best way to control bat bugs is by taking a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Combine exclusionary measures, sanitation, and targeted chemical applications.
Weatherproofing the home will prevent roosting by bats and therefore prevent the occurrence of bat bugs. Caulk cracks and crevices in the building’s exterior. Repair or screen openings to exclude bats and other hosts like rodents and birds. Pay particular attention to common bats such as roof-wall joints, loose fascia boards, attic vents, and other ceiling cracks.
When it comes to preventing bats and bat bugs, a thorough professional inspection is paramount. A trained Plunkett’s technician will treat bat bugs infestations with an integrated approach.
We take the hosts, nests, and the safety of your home and family into account, for the safest–and best–results. Contact us today.