With the reemergence of bed bugs, most people who start to see or feel any indicators of a bloodsucking parasite normally assume that this is what they have been infested with. While this is a realistic possibility, bed bugs are not the only small parasite that can make a meal off of human blood. Instead of bed bugs, you may have bat bugs—and if you have these it means that you probably also have an infestation of bats nearby. What are bat bugs and how do you get rid of them? Here is some information that may help you figure this out.
What Is a Bat Bug?
If you have never heard of a bat bug do not feel bad; many people have not. A bat bug, who is a bloodsucking relative of the bed bug, is a small dark brown parasite who normally feeds off of the blood of bats.
They are very similar in appearance to the bed bug and the only true way to tell the difference is to hire a licensed pest control specialist to evaluate your specific situation. The two look so similar that even the licensed pest control specialist will have to put the specimen under a microscope to look for the physiological differences.
Bat bugs feed off of the blood of the bats, they are carried from one location to another by their host. Because of this they are normally found in close proximity to the roosting areas of bats. This means that they can be found in the attics, chimneys, and eaves of your home if you have, or have had, an infestation of bats.
If your bats have been successfully eliminated or exterminated, they may move deeper into your home looking for a food source, which can be any warm blooded animal. This food source sometimes becomes human blood. They can even be found in locations that would normally be more indicative of bedbugs, such as your mattresses, box springs, and bed frames.
How Do You Get Rid of Bat Bugs?
Getting rid of bat bug is actually a three step process. For the most effective treatment the steps should be performed in order.
You must first rid your home of the bats who act as their primary host and transportation. Many times the best way to get rid of bats will depend on where the bats are located, as well as how many bats there are in the colony. Call a licensed pest control specialist to come help. Once they do their inspection, they will be able to discuss the best options to remove the bats from your home, as well as how to bat-proof your home to keep them from returning.
Once the bats are removed, it is important that all of the bat guano (droppings) are cleaned up and removed from your home. This is because these droppings can harbor a fungus which in turn can cause Histoplasmosis, or a respiratory disease. While this disease is often not serious when primarily confined to the lungs of a person, it does have the potential to be fatal if a person has weakened immune system. In addition to this, bat guano can also harbor the eggs and nymphs of the bat bugs.
After the bats are eliminated and the droppings have been cleaned up, your pest control company will be able to chemically treat your home to get rid of any remaining bat bugs. Most chemicals that have been found to be effective for bed bugs will also be effective for bat bugs once their feeding source has been eliminated.
If you are concerned that you have bed bugs or bat bugs, it is important that you immediately call resources like A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc. Both of these can breed rapidly and can travel from host to host and place to place. By getting a handle on them quickly, you will have the best chance of completely eradicating them from your space.