If you’ve just managed to rid yourself of bats nesting in your home, you may be wondering how to get rid of bat bugs. Bat bugs are a type of insect similar to bed bugs. These blood sucking pests are difficult to get rid of and are often a sign of a worse pest problem in your home.
Bat bugs are most commonly found in the eastern part of North America. They are known to reside in places ranging from Virginia to Quebec where they nestle into attics and walls of houses.
These parasites are present wherever bats roost, but they are known to attack people as well. One bite can cause severe itching, though luckily a bat bug is not known to transmit disease.
Are you looking to get rid of a bat bug problem in your home? Then you’ve come to the right place.
What On Earth Is A Bat Bug?
Bat bugs are very similar to bed bugs, though they primarily feed on birds and bats.
Bat bugs are a group of insects that share many characteristics with bed bugs. While they do not find humans to be an ideal host, they will bite people and feed on their blood if bat bugs cannot find bats to feed on first. These insects are not considered a threat to humans, but they can cause significant damage to homes where the bats live.
What Is A Bat Bug?
The most common type of bat bug is Cimex adjunctus, which is also known as the common bat bug. These creatures are similar in size and shape to bed bugs and can be found throughout North America.
Bat bugs feed on bats and will infest homes, barns and other buildings where these animals live. They will also feed on other mammals if bats are unavailable, including people.
How To Identify Bat Bugs Or A Bat Bug Problem
It can be difficult for homeowners to tell the difference between bed bugs and bat bugs because these insects look almost identical. The easiest way to differentiate between these two species is by examining their heads under a microscope. However, you can also tell the difference when looking at their bodies.
Bag bug pests have fine hairs along their bodies and pointed bottoms. Bed bugs are more elongated, with no visible hairs on the outside of their abdomen.
Another difference between a bat bug and a bed bug is that bed bug bites appear in small clusters while bat bug bites usually appear singly along a person’s skin. Bat bugs feed on blood and are typically found outdoors in bird and bat nests. However, they will enter homes if their food source is removed or replaced by humans.
Bat bug pests are also known to attack dogs, cats and birds. Like bed bugs, bat bugs can also survive for long periods without feeding.
Determining for certain if you are dealing with a bat bug or a bed bug problem can be difficult, and people who want to ensure that they are dealing with bat bugs should contact an exterminator who has experience identifying these insects. However, the good news is that getting rid of a bat bug infestation is similar and often easier than getting rid of bed bugs.
Furthermore, bat bugs are not dangerous to people. Still, no one wants a bat bug infestation in their home. If you suspect you have a bat bug problem, there are a few methods you can use to control them.
Keep reading to learn more.
How Did I Wind Up With A Bat Bug Problem?
If you have had bats roosting in your home, you likely could have bat bugs.
Bat bugs are native to North America and have been found in every state except Alaska and Hawaii.
They’re most commonly discovered in homes with large numbers of bats living inside the walls or attic space. These pests can sneak into your home on the backs of bats that are taking up residence in your attic or chimney. They can also enter from nearby abandoned buildings if bats are living there, too
So, how did you wind up with a bat bug problem? The most likely reason is that you have a bird or a bat problem.
Bats are one of the main culprits known to carry bat bugs wherever they go, and this can lead to an infestation of bat bugs. Like many insects, bat bugs are known to lay eggs in many different types of locations and environments.
If you’ve discovered bat bugs in your home, you want to get rid of them as fast as possible. As we mentioned above, bat bugs are very similar to bed bugs in many ways, although the bite of a bat bug is different from the bite of a bed bug. The first difference is that bat bug bites typically occur on the upper part of your body, such as your neck, head and shoulders.
Bed bug bites tend to be on your arms and legs since these body parts are covered by sheets during sleeping. Bat bug bites will also not be in straight lines like those caused by bed bugs
Bat Bug Removal Methods – Best Practices
Bat bugs don’t always bite people, but they will if their food source is scarce.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for bats to roost in our homes. And when they do roost in our homes, they tend to leave behind those nasty parasitic bat bugs.
Because bat bugs are so small, they can be difficult to spot. You can tell that you have them by looking for their feces (yes, bat bug poop) or by spotting their shed skins.
If you have a bat bug infestation, here’s what you need to do:
- Clean Up
Vacuum all cracks and crevices in your house to get rid of bat bug eggs and poop. Make sure you take the vacuum bag outside immediately so the bat bugs don’t escape and infest your home again.
- Seal Up
Seal up any holes where bats can enter your house. This is really important — it’s how the bat bugs got in there in the first place! Sealing up any holes or potential entry points will help reduce the chances of a bat bug reinfestation in the future.
- Wash Up
Wash all bedding, curtains and clothing in hot water (above 130°F) to kill bat bugs or their eggs. Then dry everything on high heat (at least 120°F) for at least 20 minutes to kill any surviving bugs and eggs.
Some bat bug infestations are not a serious threat to health. Like bed bugs, they are not known to cause disease or spread germs. However, they can cause serious reactions to those with sensitivities and may even leave behind itchy bumps that, when scratched, can lead to secondary infections.
The best way to get rid of a bat bug problem is to remove the bats from your home first. If this is not possible, there are several treatment methods available, including:
- Insect Repellents
- Natural Methods
- Home Remedies
- And Professional Exterminators
Aerosol insecticides in cracks and voids
The best solution for long-term control of bat bugs is to destroy the colonies of bats that are their preferred living hosts. However, in situations where this is impossible or impractical, bat bugs can be controlled with the same methods used to eliminate bed bugs.
The most effective way to kill bat bugs is by using a combination of residual insecticide sprays (either pyrethroid or neonicotinoid) and aerosol insecticides.
The residual sprays should be applied to all potential hiding places, such as cracks and crevices in walls and ceilings, along baseboards and window sills, behind bookcases and dressers, under carpets and rugs, behind loose wallpaper, and any other area where people might rest or sleep. In addition, they should be applied around the edges of mattresses and box springs to prevent bedbugs from returning after they have been removed.
The aerosol spray should then be used to spot treat any remaining live bugs. Be sure to spray all around the mattress, especially along the seams and edges. Spray underneath furniture as well as inside cabinets and drawers. Do not saturate mattresses or pillows with this spray because it may leave stains.
Insecticide dust formulations in wall voids
Insecticide dust can be used to get rid of bat bug infestations. Once a bat bug has been found and identified, it must be determined where the bat bugs are located. In most cases, the insects will be found in cracks, crevices, voids such as wall voids, electrical outlets and switch plates. Dusts can also be used to treat roosting areas of bats.
The key to using insecticide dust for getting rid of bat bugs is using the right type of product. Dusts are made from different materials that have different properties. Some dusts are highly absorbent and others repel water. Dusts that are highly absorbent need to be reapplied more often than dusts that repel water.
Insecticides come in several formulations including liquids, aerosols, baits and dusts. Each formulation has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation involved.
Before Using Natural Products
Natural products are an excellent way to reduce the presence of bat bugs in your home. If you have a high concentration of bat bugs, it is recommended that you first hire a professional pest control company to come in and spray your home.
After this has been completed, you can use natural products to keep the bugs away for good.
Some Natural products for getting rid of bat bugs include:
Vinegar – vinegar can be used for many different things, including killing off bat bugs. Vinegar is a natural acid that can kill the pests, but it does not leave any toxic residue behind. You can spray vinegar on bedding and furniture.
Lavender oil – lavender oil is another natural product that is great at killing off bed bugs. Lavender oil kills off the bugs upon contact and it also repels them so they won’t come back again.
Steam cleaning – steam cleaners are a great way to get rid of bed bugs as well as bat bugs and other unwanted pests and insects in your home. The hot steam will kill off the bugs and you do not have to worry about toxic chemicals being used in order to get rid of the pests.
Diatomaceous earth – diatomaceous earth is another effective way to get rid of bed bugs naturally.
Best Products For How To Get Rid Of A Bat Bug Problem
Some home remedies for bat bug control include using tape.
If you’re dealing with an infestation of bat bugs in your home, there are a few methods and products you can use to get rid of them. Here are some ways to get rid of remove those pesky bat bugs from your home:
Insecticides and Repellents
You can find insecticides and repellents for household pests like the bat bug at any hardware store or online. The most effective forms of pest control when it comes to a bat bug problem are going to be insecticides and repellents that include the ingredients pyrethroid, deltamethrin, beta-cyfluthrin, or bifenthrin.
If you prefer to use natural products for your bat bug removal methods, you’re in luck. There are several products that work using natural, plant-based ingredients like essential oils.
You can also try using non-toxic diatomaceous earth powder to kill off the bat bugs. Sprinkle this powder along windowsills and around the doors where bats might be entering the house. This treatment works best if you use it regularly until you are sure all the bat bugs are gone
Home Remedies For Bat Bug Removal
You can also use home remedies as a method for getting rid of a bat bug problem.
Further down we will list several methods and household ingredients you can use to get rid of these pests. You can also make your own repellent out of natural ingredients. For example, peppermint oil can act as a chemical-free way to repel bat bugs, according to the University of Kentucky.
If you’ve tried other methods but you still aren’t seeing a reduction in bat bug numbers, it may be time to contact a professional. This is especially true if you believe you still have bats roosting in your home.
But before you decide which method is right for you for how to get rid of a bat bug problem, let’s take a moment to go over some of the best products recommended by experts for do it yourself pest control.
Harris Bed Bug killer
Getting rid of a bat bug problem is very similar to getting rid of a bed bug problem, as we have mentioned above. Luckily, however, getting rid of a bat bug problem is generally easier.
One method you can use for getting rid of a bat bug infestation is the above product by Harris. This is an egg kill and resistant bat bug killer and bed bug killer that comes in a gallon spray and includes an easy to spray nozzle for hard-to-reach places.
The product includes an odorless spray and works using the active ingredient pyrethroids, which are effective against a number of types of pests including bat bugs. When applied correctly, this product can continue killing pests for up to 16 weeks after the initial application.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
Also known as DE, Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer is a powder-like substance created from fossilized algae. It is all natural and perfectly safe and effective against a number of hard-bodied pests including bat bug pests, bed bug pests, beetles, roaches, and more.
To use this product, simply apply it along bed frames, around attics, floorboards, or other areas of the home you have noticed bat bug activity.
The product works by penetrating the bat bug’s exoskeleton, which then dehydrates and kills the pest on contact. This product is then easily vacuumed up and disposed of once you are finished using it.
We should note that Diatomaceous Earth is most effective when it is dry, so it will need to be reapplied if it should get wet.
Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Spray
When used as directed, Ortho Home Defense Insect spray can help keep ants, cockroaches, spiders, and bat bugs out of your home. This insecticide is specifically designed to be long-lasting and effective without the need to spray repeatedly.
It is also an odor-free formula that will not stain indoor surfaces and is non-irritating to the skin.
The Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier with Extended Reach Comfort Wand is intended for use inside the home and can be applied on a variety of surfaces including carpets, tile, wood, vinyl and linoleum.
Do not use this spray outside or on plants. It is also important to avoid contact with skin or clothing. In fact, the instructions suggest that when handling and applying this spray, it is best to wear long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks, chemical-resistant gloves and goggles or face shield. We also suggest you wash your hands thoroughly after applying the product.
Best Products For Preventing A Bat Bug Problem In The Future
Preventing bat bugs often means keeping bats at bay.
Though widely feared and misunderstood, bats are actually great critters.
While bat bugs will not live on humans like bed bugs will, they will feed on us if they cannot find a host animal nearby.
The best way to keep bat bugs away is to keep bats away. You don’t need a pest control specialist to do this — you can do it yourself. It’s recommended that you first try to repel the bats before excluding them from the home, as many bats are actually protected.
If you’re looking for the best ways to keep bats at bay, here are some of our favorite products.
Ultrasonic Sound Pest Repellent
We like the above Ultrasonic Sound Pest Repellent for preventing a bat bug problem because it works for a number of pests, including bats, mosquitos, bed bugs, flies, and spiders.
This product can help repel bats which in turn helps it keep bat bugs at bay, but it is also eco-friendly and perfectly safe to use around children and pets. The product simply plugs into your wall and emits an ultrasonic sound that is not noticeable to people but irritating to insects and animals.
It also comes with a soft night light so you can see where it is when you are using it. Ultrasonic pest repellents can work in attics, garages, bedrooms, and more. These specific ultrasonic pest repellent plug-ins can cover between 800 to 1,600 square feet at a time.
Bonide Bat Magic Pouches
Bonide Repellent Bat Magic pouches work to repel bats and keep bat bugs away. Hanging these pouches in your attic, garage or barn will work to keep bats from roosting as the herbal scent in these pouches is unpleasant to bats, but not to humans.
The active ingredients are natural cedar oil and dried blood meal. The bat repellent is safe and does not harm the bats. It works for up to 30 days when hung as directed, and each order contains four pouches and four hanging strings.
Home Remedies To Manage A Bat Bug Problem
You can try using essential oils to repel bats and bat bugs at the same time.
If you are suffering from bat bugs and want to use methods to get rid of them immediately, you can always try using home remedies.
We have listed the following home remedies to help you treat a bat bug problem right away.
Try A Lint Roller
The first thing you can try when it comes to getting rid of a bat bug problem is to use a lint roller. If you don’t have a lint roller on hand, you can try sticky tape or double sided tape.
Use the lint roller or the tape on your bed sheets, pillow cases, and other items in your bedroom to collect any bat bugs you see crawling around.
You can also use tape or a lint roller to monitor a bat bug infestation around your home by placing them in areas bat bugs might congregate. Check these areas every few days to see if you are reducing the number of bat bugs in your home to ensure the product or method you are using is actually working.
Vacuum Your House
You will also want to vacuum your house as often as possible. This will help remove any bat bugs that might be hidden in your home after bats vacate.
Look for small insects hidden in cracks and crevices, along floorboards, window sills, or in corners of the walls.
Try Using Bleach
While there are many treatments for bat bug infestations, it’s best to handle the problem yourself. You can get rid of bat bugs using a number of home remedies, including bleach.
Mix equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle and use this solution to kill any leftover bat bugs on your floors or walls. Just be sure to test the solution on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t damage your paint or wallpaper.
After you’ve mixed the solution, use it to clean all hard surfaces in the room where you found the bugs. This includes all bedding and upholstery, as well as carpeting, drapes and other fabrics. Bleach is toxic, so keep pets and children out of the room while you’re spraying it around.
Use Essential Oils
If you’re trying to get rid of bat bugs, there are certain essential oils that are effective at repelling them. You can also use essential oil as an active ingredient in your own homemade bug spray for bed bugs or other insects.
Essential oil can be diluted with water or carrier oils such as almond oil before being applied topically to the skin or added to bath water.
The best essential oils for a bat bug problem include:
- Eucalyptus oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- And Mint Oil
Try High-temperature steaming
When environments are heavily infested, it is sometimes necessary to use a high-temperature steam cleaner to kill the bugs. The high temperature kills the bugs, and the steam penetrates cracks and crevices where bugs may be hiding.
Steam can only penetrate so far into cracks and crevices. It is best used in conjunction with other methods such as pesticide applications and vacuuming. This method is more time consuming than using pesticides alone, but, if carefully done, it can be an effective way to rid an area of bat bugs.
Vacuuming carpets and furniture for getting rid of bat bugs
Vacuuming is a very important step in the treatment of bat bugs. In fact, it is one of the most effective ways to get rid of these pests. The only problem is that you will have to do the vacuuming yourself. This means that you will have to spend a lot of time doing this. You may even be required to do it again after a while. It all depends on the severity of your infestation.
So, before you start vacuuming, you should make sure that you know what you are looking for. You should also see if there are any places where you can find bat bugs easily. This way, you will not be wasting time trying to vacuum things that are not there. If the infestation is too bad, however, then you may have to do some searching first before vacuuming.
Other Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Bat Bug Problems In The Future
Removing bats and keeping them out is one of the best ways to prevent future bat bug issues.
Bat bug infestations can be very difficult to manage. If you think you may have a bat bug problem, follow the steps listed above and contact a pest management professional with experience in identifying and treating bat bugs.
If possible, remove bats from your home as soon as they are discovered. If you cannot remove them yourself or have trouble getting rid of them, contact a wildlife removal specialist that is properly licensed to remove bats.
Keep an eye out for bat bugs if you’re ever cleaning up after bats. Vacuum the entire area thoroughly, including cracks and crevices. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in an outdoor trash container.
Check all bedding, furniture and carpets for signs of bat bugs.
Bat bugs can live for up to one year without feeding on blood. Consider waiting one year before replacing any old mattresses or furniture.
By following the steps above, you should be able to get rid of bat bugs for good. Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.