Bat bugs are blood sucking insects that feed on bats. Bat bugs are very similar to bed bugs. As a matter of fact, it is thought that bed bugs descended from bat bugs. Even though bat bugs prefer the bat as their host, if the bats leave the area, they have no problem moving on to human hosts.
Bat bugs are not uncommon in the United States as well as most other parts of the world. Many people who have seen them, mistake them for bed bugs. The only difference in the appearance of a bat bug and a bed bug is the bat bug has longer hairs. It is very hard to tell them apart. Also, since you may not even know a bat has taken up residence in your house, when you see these little blood-suckers, you likely assume they are bed bugs. It is important to know for sure. It is essential in the process of getting rid of them.
Bats live in dark places, such as caves, attacks and barns. The bat bugs hitch a ride on the bat. If the bat comes in contact with humans they can find themselves with bat bugs. Bat bugs behave much like bed bugs. They come out when it is dark, until then they stay in dark places. When the lights go out they feed. If the bat bug was on a bat that was in your attic or overhang, and the bat dies, the bug finds himself in need of a living host to feed. That is where you come in. You may awake with itching bites. Now that the insect has found a new food supply, he will dwell close by, like in your bed, bedframe, or carpets. The feeling of being a mid-night snack may cause you to inspect your home and that inspection will lead to the discovery of these nasty little bat bugs.
It only takes two weeks for a bat bug to go from egg to adult. So once you have a few, you will soon have many. The bat bugs require a blood meal to reproduce and molt. However, they do not require regular feedings to survive. Even though the female needs the blood meal to lay her eggs, the adult bat bugs can live up to a year without a feeding, they simply will not produce during that time. Though the bites are irritating and can cause a reaction in some people, they are not known to carry diseases. An infant or young bat bug may crawl on a human and feed for a few seconds. But an adult bat bug may feed on the human for up to 15 minutes before they find a dark place to digest their meal.
To rid yourself of bat bugs, you must first rid yourself of bats. Once your bat problem is eliminated, the bat bugs will begin to move around the house looking for a new host. You may see them crawling from ceiling cracks, wall voids and seams. They are moving down to where the new blood supply lives, in your living space.
It is said the bite from a bat bug is more painful than that of a bed bug. Also, more people seem to have an allergic reaction to their saliva. The bite of a bat bug usually leaves an itching colorless welt on the body often in a row of three or more. It is much like a flea bite except it is not red in the center. It is uncomfortable. Though not usually dangerous, the idea of sharing your home and your bed with blood sucking bugs is not a pleasant one.
To get rid of bat bugs, you first have to get rid of bats. You will read a lot of ideas on how to get the bats from the inside of your house to the outside of your house and then how to seal the house so they can’t return. I am not going into a lot of that here. My suggestion is to call a bat removal professional. Bats are dangerous and many of them carry rabies which can cause a painful death or at the very least a painful series of shots to prevent rabies. Bats do not have a heavy bite. Children have been bitten in their sleep without waking. Children have been bitten without knowing it. A four year old died last year from being bitten in her sleep without waking her. She died of rabies. A ten year old found a bat in his 100 year old house and tried to get it out. He was bitten and did not know because the bite was not painful and just a tiny mark. He died of rabies as well. Bats are dangerous and you need professional bat removal expert to help to rid yourself of them. On a legal note, it is illegal to KILL a bat. This adds to your bat bug issue.
Getting rid of bat bugs is a lot like getting rid of bed bugs. It is a long and complicated procedure and often requires more than one treatment. Note that many exterminators will not treat your home for bat bugs until it has been inspected to insure the bats are gone.
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