Is It Bed Bugs Or Bat Bugs?

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There is a lot of confusion between bed bugs and bat bugs because they look very similar. Have you ever wondered if it was bed bugs or bat bugs? However, there are some key differences, and let’s find out how to identify and distinguish them from each other.

There are many different types of bugs that can invade your home, and it is important to properly identify them to direct control efforts where they will be most effective. They appear to be the same creature, but they are not, with different habits and needs for extermination.

Is it bed bugs or bat bugs?

Bed bugs and bat bugs are both small, nearly invisible pests that feed on the blood of other creatures. Bed bugs typically bite people during the night and often have a delayed response, with peak itchiness typically occurring about a week after the bite.

Bat bug bites generally occur during the day and are less itchy than bed bug bites. They will only turn to humans and pets if their bat hosts are gone.

Is it bed bugs or bat bugs?

Bed bugs, on the other hand, prefer humans and often lie dormant in mattresses and bedding to come out at night for a tiny sip of blood. Additionally, bed bug saliva contains proteins that can cause reactions in people, while bat bug saliva does not.

Although neither bug is known to transfer diseases to humans, who wants the biting and itching


The bodies of bed bugs and bat bugs are small and flat. They are oval-shaped and have six legs. Bed bugs and bat bugs are both types of Cimicidae, which are small parasitic insects that get around by crawling.

They can be distinguished from one another by their physical features, but they both cause a lot of trouble for the people that they infest.

Body Sections

While they may look similar, there are a few key differences between them. Both bedbugs and bat bugs have a mouth with a retractable tube called the beak. This is used to pierce the skin and suck blood.

Bedbugs tend to prefer human blood, while bat bugs prefer the blood of bats, though they will feed on humans if necessary.

When they are attached to their hosts, they uncoil the proboscis to pierce the skin and suck blood. They both rely on their speed and agility to survive and can cover a lot of ground quickly.

One key difference is that bed bugs have vestigial wing pads, while bat bugs do not. The wing pads of a bed bug are closer together. Additionally, female bed bugs have a rounded abdomen, while male bat bugs come to a point.

Finally, if you notice one that has fed, you will see a tinge of the red blood-engorged abdomen in bat bugs.


Bed bugs and bat bugs are both blood-feeding insects, but that is where the similarities end. Bat bugs will feed on the blood of both bats and birds. Bat bugs are not as harmful to humans as bed bugs are, but they can still cause itchy red welts.

Bed bugs are most active at night. They prefer to hide near where people sleep during the day. Bed bugs will crawl longer distances if necessary in search of a meal.

What Eats Bedbugs and Bat Bugs?

Bedbugs and bat bugs have a mutualistic relationship. In other words, they both benefit from each other. Bedbugs live in colonies, and when one is detected, all of the bugs will run away.

When bedbugs or bat bugs are exposed to light, they will start to move around quickly as they want to escape. This is why it is important to use a flashlight when looking for these creatures.

Bed bugs and bat bugs’ enemies include pharaoh ants, cockroaches, spiders, and a slew of others. These insect predators will and can eat bed bugs and bat bugs, but that doesn’t mean you should let them into your home and declare war on them.

What is the Diet of Bed bugs and Bat bugs?

Bed bugs and bats are both bloodsuckers that require blood to survive. Bed bugs survive for up to a year without feeding, while bats require blood to digest their food. Both of these creatures are parasites and depend on their host’s blood for survival.


Bed bugs are most commonly found where people sleep, such as on beds, mattresses, and box springs. They prefer cool, dark places and will hide in crevices and cracks.

Bed bug crawling on the floor

Bat bugs prefer to infest bats, while bed bugs will infest any warm-blooded host.

Bat bugs can also be found in the roosts of their primary hosts, bats. The host animals prefer to live in building eaves as well as voids, cavities, and dark spaces such as attics and cellars.

What is the damage caused by bed bugs and bat bugs?

Bed bugs and bat bugs bite humans, bed bugs are more likely to do so, and bat bugs prefer to feed on bats. If you have either of these bugs, it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible as they can both spread quickly.

Additionally, if you have an infestation of either bug, there is a high chance you also have a serious problem. Bed bugs and bat bugs leave behind blood stains, whelps (small bumps), and feces on surfaces, which can all be indicative of an infestation.

The bites of these bugs can become infected, causing further complications. Scarring can develop and last for months or longer. A few patients experience severe systemic reactions, such as difficulty breathing, severe infections, and anaphylaxis.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs and Bat Bugs

Bed bugs are smaller and harder to see than bat bugs, and they also reproduce more quickly. Bat bugs are larger and easier to see, and they don’t multiply as quickly as bed bugs.

Professional heat treatment is necessary to get rid of bed bugs for good. The heat will kill all the bed bugs and their eggs, ensuring that they will not return.

Bat bug bites vs. bed bug bites

There are a few key ways to differentiate between bed bugs and bat bugs. The primary difference is that bat bugs tend to congregate in colonies around areas where bats live, such as attics and eaves.

bed bug bites

Finally, bat bug bites will often have a red ring around them, while bedbug bites are usually more uniform in color. Although bed bug bites are also quite painful, bat bug bites can lead to more serious health problems.

How to prevent bed bugs?

  • Vacuuming is an important part of any bed bug treatment program. Not only does it remove the bugs that are currently infesting your home, but it can also remove any eggs or larvae that may be hidden in cracks and crevices. In addition, vacuuming can help remove pests like bat bugs, which are very similar to bed bugs. However, there are some precautions you should take.
  • First, the vacuum bags should be removed and sealed in plastic after use. This will reduce the chances of accidentally spreading any pests.
  • Encasing the bed in a plastic box and treating the posts that touch the ground. This will prevent them from escaping and coming back.
  • After eliminating bed bugs, it is important to sleep in the bed and not let sheets or other bedding touch the ground. 

How to prevent Bat Bugs?

Bat bug with its distinct body and colour in abdomen

If you have a problem with bat bugs, the best way to get rid of them is to remove or exclude the bats from your property. This will prevent future infestations as the bat bugs will ultimately die out.

Problems may temporarily worsen following bat removal as existing bat bugs migrate in search of new hosts. However, any method to seal off the area of bat roosting from human living space is useful to prevent these migrations.

Final Thoughts

Bed bugs and bat bugs are two different types of insects that can invade your home. While they may look similar, their biology and habits are quite different. It is important to be able to identify which type of bug you are dealing with to treat the infestation properly.

Getting rid of bed bugs and bat bugs is easy, but the most efficient strategy will depend on the situation.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.