Are you sure you have Bed Bugs and not Bat Bugs? You better find out before you start the extermination process or you could end up re-infested and spending a fortune in pest control!

Bat bugs choose to fly with the bats instead of hitching a ride with humans; their preferred host is the bat and it’s believed that bed bugs descended from bat bugs. Cave man and bats lived in close proximity to each other and it’s when bats abandoned the cave that the bugs made the jump to humans. Scientific name of the bat bug is Cimex Adjunctus of the order Hemiptera: Cimicidae

If your home has bats that carry bat bugs, then you not only have to exterminate the bat bugs, but must get rid of the bats as well. The question is, what does a bat bug look like in comparison to a bed bug?

Bat bug compared to a bed bug

Bat bug compared to a bed bug

The trick to identifying a bat bug is by looking at the length of hairs on the upper covering of the thorax. The picture above is the joining of one half bat bug (left side) and one half bed bug (right side). You’ll notice that the length of the bat bugs hairs is longer than the width of its eye. The bed bug however, has hairs that are smaller than the width of its eye.

Once you have effectively isolated the type of bug you’re dealing with, you can then begin a calculated pest control solution.

Note: Bats are important, PLEASE DO NOT kill them. AustinBatHospital com/gotbats.html has detailed information and diagrams on how to get rid of bats without harming them. Bats don’t like these bugs any more than we do :)

Popular Comments on Bat Bugs

Rose Marcotte::

Hello: I moved into a beautiful brand new apartment in a 100 year old home last July. the master bedroom is on the third floor. in August thru September, i would witness six bats flying outside the third floor window each night up to the peak.

I’d find loads of bat droppings on the patio below and in late august, there was a dead bat found directly below this area. there is a small, oblong cut into the overhang of the home. I’m thinking this is where they lived.

Since august, i have not seen them here, yet hear a hamster like noise behind my wall in an area of the attic alongside the bedroom that is not accessible in any way other than thru a wall or roof removal. all this to say that i became ill in late July and have been sick ever since.

It started with a swell on the side of my head that became infected. the doctors think i have Lyme disease and I’ve been under various treatments, including presently on an iv treatment for thirty days. this is where it gets tricky.

I’ve had hives one my body, that swell, itch, last for days, sometimes more than a week. I’ve been to so many doctors for diagnosis for severe fatigue, muscle and joint pain, other things, and…my HIVES. I’ve even had them biopsied.

I have found a few tiny bugs in my bed here and there over these past eight months since moving in. my home is spotlessly clean, meticulously maintained. funny thing is i also found one on top a window sill when i moved in and was hanging curtains.

Two nights ago, i woke to a bug biting me, and have caught it, engorged. the site is swollen, i have a huge hive on my bottom! so now, i am thinking i definitely have either bed bugs or bat bugs.

I pay a premium rent of $2,700. for this high end residential apartment. the only carpeting in the home was installed prior to my moving in and is in my bedroom on the third floor. there is no visible evidence whatsoever of these bugs, other than the few times I’ve found them, and now this one i have in my possession.

I thought they were tiny ticks back months ago when i found them, and had no clue how they would come to be inside a home or atop a window sill. i don’t know if all my hives are due to being sick, tick disease, or that the hives are from bed bug or bat bug bites, unrelated to my illness, or possibly these bites are contributing to more than hives and may be related to my being sick altogether. either way, i must identify if they are bat or bed bugs. who can i go to for that?

I want evidence and know a bit more before presenting it to the landlord. these bugs have to be living in the walls or under the carpet in between the old floor. the second floor had been gutted, the third floor just built out. they may have been from old tenants before the house was redone. could you please help me or point me in the right direction?!!!!

Jim::

Hi Rose,

Yes, you need evidence and the best way is to take pictures and document your situation. Some people suggest spreading Diatomaceous Earth (also know as Silica Dioxide or Silicone Dioxide) around your baseboards which will dehydrate the bat bugs (or bed bugs) and eventually kill them (2 to 14 days).

Because some of the bugs will die in the open, you’ll have more evidence. Also look for the items I have on my bed bug checklist at the top of this site and make sure that you document any findings as well.

Any landlord of the right mind would find such evidence hard to deny, and while you’re at it, point out that the solution that worked for you will work for them as well – You’ll save your landlord a lot of money compared to hiring a pest control company to get rid of the bat bugs!

If you find anything, send me the pictures and I’ll get them posted on the site!

Best regards,

Jim

Kay::

Rose,

I was speechless when I began reading your entry because I thought someone had written my story online without my permission. I too moved into a 100 year old home a year ago and started getting sick. There is only carpet in one room – the master on the top floor.

I too noticed little bugs (bat bugs?) – but only in my bathroom and figured they were coming in from the ceiling fan. To make an extremely long story short – I found out I had a colony of bats in the attic, the guano from the bats was making me extremely sick (the chemicals and fungus is poisonous), and I was being bit by bat bugs.

I got several cases of what appeared to be shingles and hives, but tested negative for shingles. I just moved out yesterday. My landlord is a slumlord – he knew about the bats and just sealed the attic. Hopefully your landlords are better.

Good luck!

jim::

My wife and I live in a 1bdr apt that we been renting for 10 years.We found out about the bats in the attic about 6 yrs ago but lived with it knowing the owner wouldn’t pay for the removal.Well we live on the 3rd floor apt and at night you can hear them scratching at the attic door, so I decided to go up and look around. It was like a scifi movie,we had piles of bat droppings up to our knees.

Unfortunately all of our ventilation comes from the attic.While my wife was showering bats were dropping out of the vent and into the shower with her. Not we been informed we have bat bugs, both my wife and granddaughter are bitten up daily. We have all new furniture that now is infected. What more can we do to make him clean this properly. Thanks

Chris::

My only experience with bed bugs has been of the killing kind. I’m going on 12 years in pest control and in my experience, you won’t stop any bed bug infestation just by sprinkling powder on your baseboards. And if bat bugs are anything like bed bugs, it’s going to require an aggressive approach to eliminate the infestation. Call a professional.

Monika::

So I have bat bugs and i live in Florida and my landlord refuses to pay for extermination!

I don’t know what else to do, code enforcement said they cant make her do anything because its not a health hazard, and it wont be until they are crawling all over the building.

Now there is a law in the landlord tenant laws section 83.15 i believe that states the apartment complex HAS TO PAY for the pest control if the dwelling is not a single family home or duplex. My home is neither its a 2 story building with 8 apartments in it altogether! WHAT CAN I DO PLEASE HELP ME!

Brenda::

to Rose,

We have been ridding bats from our 160 yr old home the past few years. The last go at it the ended up going further into the attic area of the house instead of just over the garage. BAD!!! Well I think the are gone or died off. There is a terrrible odor in our hall upstairs, and I think one of them flew through a crack aroung the ceiling light and died under our bed when I was in the hospital for heart surgery.

What has happened is the the insects they were host for…. had no-one to bite so the mite and bugs went looking for other host.s I have gotten bed (bat) bug bitten and so-called lice and nits in my hair, etc. , and now our house is infested with bird mites . The human lice were actually mites at 2 differernt stages or type…some look square-sh and some oblong. These are called microscopic lice but not actulally mange oe scabies, but demodex. I am very sick right now from treating myself with Rid for lice that I never had So I am starting to treat my house.

I am sprinking borax over all of the carpeting…broom it in wait a few days then vacuum. throw (sprinkle) borax powder around all the moulding and on upholstery, under the pillow,s cracks in the floor, etc. Keep on the carpet for at least 2-3 days or take a broom and brush in if you don’t like the looks of it thrown all over,. Do this to mattresses and box springs also.Buy new pillows if possble after this is all over. Wash all bedding and clothing you want to use on hot and dry on hot. Try to keep these clothes isolated from more infestation by placing in sealed plactic boxes or bags. Also hairbrushes, toothbrushes should be new and place in the freezer between uses,(freezer bags or boxes tightly sealed. Shavers for Men and women also. you house will probably need retreatment form diatomaceus earth which is very safe and used the same way as the Borax.

I am tired so this is all I’ll write for now. Goog Luck

After

Becky::

I’m hoping Rose is still an active commentator. I’d love to know what she has discovered.

I too live in a beautifully restored carriage house. Hardwood floors, quaint wooden ceilings that are common to my bedroom above. Two months ago I found what I thought was a tick on my bed. Then two weeks later, another.

Terminex was here two days ago and said I apparently carried bed bugs back from either a trip to Paris or a cruise. They treated although there was absolutely no evidence of a presence except for the 4 live bugs I had found. The Terminex guy said he thought they might be bat bugs instead of bed bugs because of their size (we’ve only found adults no other evidence of their presence.

I’ve only found bugs in day light although I have scoured the walls and bed and now the couch where I’m living!
It is now 2 days after my first Terminex treatment. There were no “bugs” crawling out of the walls after treatment, or anywhere else for that matter. This morning I found 4 live bugs in the living room on the common wall with a fireplace. Nothing where I’ve been sleeping.

The interesting thing in Rose’s comments was that since January I’ve been suffering from profound muscle and joint pain. Nothing seems to relieve it. I’ve not been aware of being bitten but perhaps I am and am simply not reacting to it?

I’m calling Terminex to collect my new 4 captives and hopefully they can figure out if they are bat or bed bugs.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Jim::

Hi Becky,

Can you take some pictures and send them to the email address located at the bottom of the page? I’ll take a look and post my results.

Thanks.

Sheila::

When you sleep with dogs you get fleas. You didn’t say whether or not you have animals as pets.
And if there are bats in your ceiling or wall spaces their droppings (guano) will make you sick. If you have central heat and a/c, have the ducts cleaned by a prof. Its by the process of elimination that will help you root out what is going on. All the best, Sheila

beatriz::

hi,
i just found a bed bug in a bunched up sheets i was wondering how many bed bugs do you need to have in order to have a big problem? do you only need one and do i need to throw away the sheets, and call the exterminator?

sandy::

I lived in a rented house and it was a much older home and one year while we were there there was a very bad bat infestation, the bats got so bad that their urine was staining the upstairs walls and their guano was found coming in through the cracks between the doorway boards framing the closet doors.

We started feeling like we were being stung from bites of what i soon thought were bed bugs but they were indeed bat bugs, We were lucky the landlord called in exterminators for the bats and by ridding the bats it also helped to get rid of these nasty bat bugs as well, so be sure you do not have bats if you do they can spread diseases in their guano so yes a landlord does have a responsibility to do something about it.

rachel::

I know that you feel like hell when you get them. the exterminator thinks we have bat bugs, which for some reason, is a comforting thought. Maybe the infestation won’t be so bad. before WWII people lived with these things on a regular basis. Jesus probably had bed bugs. My father went to a catholic boarding school and used to watch them jump on him from the bed post. It was just a matter of course back then.

I’m trying to keep my sanity by trying to keep all of this in perspective. It’s not like having cancer. I’m not trying to downplay anyone’s suffering. I know what it is like to keep looking for them all the time and see them even when they aren’t there. Just trying to be able to sleep. They aren’t supposed to carry any diseases like ticks, mosquitoes, roaches, and fleas do. Guess I can afford to look on the bright side because I’ve only seen 10 live bugs and 10 dead bugs in about two months. And no one in my family seems to be bitten very badly.

We had people over before we knew what they were, but no one has said anything about being infested. I suppose, since nothing seems to kill the damn things, everyone will be infested at some point. Not a fun thought, but misery loves company. I am sorry to all who are going through this. I’m not sure that the chemicals they will spray will be bad for my new baby. I’d rather have bed bugs than for anything to happen to him.

Pastor::

I have took a lease on an 1800s chapel redone with apartments. In may it started smelling horrible to find out we had a 180 or more bat choir we didn’t ask for in the bell-tower which was beautifully finished. bat bugs or whatever I know I’ve been itching. tried bathing in Epsom salts some relief.

The only way to get rid of bats is with one way valves & sealing off the cracks they can squeeze through a dime size. then you can get rid of the bat bugs once the bats are gone. Landlord is liable in most states don’t go around the guana as it can turn to dust & cause lung disease. In my opinion, if landlord won’t do anything, document everything & give him notice that you are withholding all or part of rent in an account until problem is fixed.

mike::

I found a bug on a piece of clothing hanging on the outside of my closet door in my bedroom. I also hang clothes on top of that all the time. I haven’t even used the first item in months,in fact. I work in a laundromat. After looking at the bug, and comparing it to pictures, I feel it was a bedbug.

I then picked apart my bed from top to bottom, even cutting into the mattress on the side and looking in with a flashlight. Checked the bed, top and bottom, sheets, bed cover, dust ruffle, and boxspring. Then checked around the rest of the house including almost pulling apart a couch. Is it possible that I brought in just ONE bedbug, perhaps from my laundromat, and that’s all, and was lucky enough to find it and kill it? I also think it was an adult.

From what I have read, this sounds like a long shot, but I cant find any evidence of anything else anywhere. Thoughts? Thanks.

ty::

Are there other bugs that are similar to bed bugs and bat bugs in appearance. I have found a few bugs that I don’t think are bed bugs because they have a rounder back end instead of a flat back end and they don’t scurry quickly. but they are the same size and colour of bed bugs. Also, will you ever just see 2 or 3 bed bugs or are they always heavy in numbers?

Mary::

Ok i have been living in a older house, almost three years. The first spring I woke and had hives from head to toe. Headaches leg cramps bone’s tender had tests run on a couple of the hives nothing was found. always running hot and cold flashes. My husband woke up after i had moved to the living room i kept telling him i was being bit. he yelled for me to come see and the bat bugs were climbing on ceiling walls and everything!

Landlord will not cooperate, you can see where carpet had been ripped up before we moved in and floors left bare. I have bought spray from Home Depot and use it every three days to keep them out of the rest of the house. seems to be working i sealed off the vents for the ac and heat. am sleeping in my home office husband on the couch. I live outside of Denver Colorado. Every time i try to call housing authority to find out if landlord is responsible they tell me to call a lawyer lol. I just need answers. Can anyone help me?

Amy::

Hi Mary,
Your story sounds so similar to mine and I also live outside of Denver, in Golden.
We’ve lived in our townhouse for about 5 years and last year in the Spring I found a bug in our bedroom and freaked out. My husband told me not to worry and that it was probably nothing. We found more in the basement during the summer and had them examined. They were identified as bat bugs but we have no evidence of bats roosting. We were told that over time they would eventually go away on their own. Last month we started to find more but they had not fed on anything. We found a few more this weekend crawling on the wall during the day. It’s very bizarre and we don’t know what else to try. It seems like the warmer weather triggers them to come out of hiding. I’m also looking for any suggestions. It seems there is so much information about bed bugs but not as much out there about bat bugs.

katrina peterson::

I moved into a 40-yr old condo 2 years ago. It had at least 1 bat in the past. Inspector found dried guano in the attic. Was on IV antibiotics after a surgical procedure for 6 weeks after I moved in. The week I finished the tmt I found 3 bites on my legs that got very infected. One day I found a bug on a pillow and freeked that it was bedbugs.

Was told to put 2-way tape around the edge of the room. The tape caught bugs identified as bat bugs along with a specific variety of beetle that eat bat droppings and dead bats. No bats in the attic but my neighbor had a dog and they kept their screen door open for dog. Bats got into their home and came over into my attic. They have since fixed their entrance problem.

Orkin came and sprayed and had no more problem. They sprayed again according to birth cycle of bug and right on time, I had another outbreak. They sprayed again. A year and a half later, I have now found a bug in my bed. I am assuming now that probably there are bugs in the attic in the insulation. The only way to clean out an attic is to seal it off and clean out the insulation and start over. Orkin also sprayed the attic both times. My neighbors also have bat bugs, so I know that they are moving throughout our 4-condo unit. They act like it’s no big deal. However, if you don’t treat, they will procreate every time they take blood.

I just noted they don’t create in as great a number as bedbugs. I find the difference between the two is that bat bugs look like they have armor on their bodies and the adults are larger than most bedbugs. This past time I didn’t freak out because I knew what they were and have been treating my condo on a regular basis. I also use light colored bedding. To my knowledge, these bugs haven’t been in any other part of the condo. I had often suspected they were dropping from the ceiling fan. Good to read the comments that that may have indeed been an entrance route, but the bugs I did find were caught on the 2-way tape.

Although the tape doesn’t look great, I continue to this day to keep it around my bedroom. It has given me a greater security. But change the tape as I just found out this new tape I bought has no more adhesive on it, thus this bug if it crawled out from the baseboards, didn’t get stuck.

Bonnie P::

we have bat bugs too. Thought they were bedbugs but could not figure out why we only had 2. Called exterminator #1 who said, nope, bedbugs, you need spray. Noted bats that were living in attic vent and hmm, funny, bat or bed bugs were in bedroom directly below vent, but only 2 of them. Exterminator #2 said move attic vent – seal it, husband went up to do so and found 5? of guano but bats had moved out – HUNDREDS of bat bugs in the guano. Now having them treated by a reputable honest exterminator – very costly and yes a pain to live like this with everything we own being washed – steamed – as well as putting chemicals in every electrical outlet in the house (they must be in the walls folks!) – if you see one bug, there are MANY more……suggest you watch bed bug apocalypse on animal planet to learn more, but don’t take this lightly, people end up spending their entire life savings $30,000 and more to take care of because they ignored for years.

darlowsmithson::

I am a television researcher working on a series called Infested for Animal Planet. We are currently looking for stories for the new series and I’ve just come across this thread with your bat bug and bat infestation stories. I’d be really keen to hear more about your experiences, so if you’re interested please leave your story and we can set up a time to chat.

The series, produced by Darlow Smithson Productions, tells the stories of ordinary people who have been plagued by extraordinary infestations in their homes and each story is told through personal testimony, interviews with experts and dramatic recreations.

Best Wishes, Nida

Abbie::

I love reading all these stories. They make me feel a little better about my situation and knowing how common these nasty bugs are becoming! We have lived in our house for over three years and it was built in the early 1930’s. Our house is surrounded by lots of trees. We recently found out we have a bed bug infestation thanks to my husband for taking one into an exterminator to exam. We were told to wash/dry and remove everything.

The work is in process and completely over-whelming. Today I received a phone call from my neighbors across the street saying their painters found bats in their attic! We’ve had a neighbor two houses down spend over $10,000 getting rid of bats in their attic. My question and concern is what bug do I have? Bat bugs or bed? We’ve found them throughout our house, mostly in my daughters bedroom and she’s been bitten several times.

We’ve been staying at my in-laws until the process is complete. It’s been so depressing for my family of four and our two dogs. HELP! My husband has had a rash on his rib/side area and it hurts to touch. It’s almost a burning feeling he says. He’s had a muscle ache in his back/rib area for the last month. Could this be relation to bed/bat bugs reaction?? If any one has some tips for us, please feel free to let me know! Thanks!

Charlene::

I have found bugs in my son’s room the most,I’ve seen them in my room a few times than my parents saw them on their bed twice,my son has gotten bit a few times I haven’t neither has my husband or parents, if it was bed bugs wouldn’t we all be gettin bit,could it possibly be bat bugs they look just like a tick but I know that they aren’t and my daughter has gotten bit in her bassinet…I dont know what to do can someone give me an insight on these nasty pests…..I will say when we squish them they smell like a stick bug,they are reddish brownish,flat,with 4 to 6 legs,and they don’t really bleed when you squish it,it’s like their blood or a black streak mark,and smells like a stink bug

tosha::

I am living in a house that was just remodeled 6 mos. ago. Since moving in we have discovered that we have a colony of bats roosting in the attic. I have complained several times of this problem and have yet to get my landlord to resolve this issue. But after reading all the comments I am wondering if it would be best just to move before any thing is done. I had a bat in the upstairs bathroom that we got rid of and when I went back up there there was 4 tiny reddish colored bugs on the floor that appeared to be dying. I dont know what kind of bug it is for sure but after looking at pics I think they are either bat or bed bugs. So as I said before would I just be better off moving to minimize the spread of these bugs or is this an easy problem to fix? I really dont want to be infested I have to small children.

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