Bat Bugs - Do They Bite Humans?

Bat bugs are blood-sucking insects, sometimes found living amongst a bat colony. They use bats as hosts, and feed on the blood of bats. Bat bugs look very similar to bed bugs, and like bed bugs, they will bite people and feed on human blood. It's not common to come into contact with bat bugs, because they tend to stick around the bat colony, but in high enough numbers, some may wander into your house. Although the bites can cause itchy red welts, bat bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans.

Here is a story of a person who dealt with a large bat problem, and bat bugs and bat bug bites:

Hi David:

I believe I contacted you when I first started with my bat problem in my attic and you so graciously returned a call. I am learning that I probably should have let you go ahead and find a tech to help me with my bat problem, but instead of contacted a local pest control man who really botched the job BIG TIME.

My husband and I realized we had bats in my attic in September 2018 - a good time b/c we could immediately begin excluding them w/o the worry of pups being left behind. My husband and I did successfully exclude the 60-70 bats from my attic, but upon looking in my attic we found several rather large piles guano and the insulation also completely riddled with guano. It was then that I contacted this guy who said he had knowledge of exclusion and cleanup after a bat infestation. He had promised me (unfortunately he only did this verbally and gave me no written contract - and to this day all I got was an email receipt for the $3,000 he charged me telling me he was going to completely remove all guano - remove the guano ridden insulation, thoroughly clean the attic area with a hepa filtered vac, bacterialize and fog the attic (which I assumed was for any future problem with bat bugs using a growth inhibitor (I had read about this problem, along with the Histoplasmosis. I have asthma and copd, so my pulmonnologist told me I needed to be out of my home while the guano cleanup was being performed. I then lined up professional cleaners to clean my house thoroughly before I entered it after the guano cleanup.

I had also asked this gentleman to check my home for other entry points for bats b/c of course I had read they would try to return to my home in the spring. I felt pretty good and my stress level was relieved, at least until March when my husband and I went into my attic to make sure we had no bats returning to my attic. Much to my dismay, upon entering my attic, the first thing I noticed that the attic vent screens were covered with the old guano. We had purchased two separate types of screen (one to keep smaller bugs from entering and the other to keep the bats out), but he didn't even take off the old screen which was full of guano. Then we noticed that there was guano in the insulation. Then even more horrifying, was upon exiting the attic door (which was just a small opening in an upstairs linen closet, we noticed LOTS of bugs. Upon examination of these bugs under a high magnification, I found them to be bat bugs. In the next day or two, I had received several bug bites (about 6 all together - which all produced large welts), but one on my right hand swelled my hand to the point of non-recognition. Even after taking Benadryl after 3 days it was still so very swelled, tight, red and tingly. I had NEVER had that type of reaction to any bug bite, so I made a Drs appt. Fortunately, the swelling did begin to subside at the end of the 3rd day. I sent photos of my hand to a Terminix tech I knew in our local town. He immediately contacted his boss and they came and looked in my attic. They found 1,000s of bat bugs in my attic crawling everywhere, so I contracted with them to return in 4 days to use a blown in insulation with an insecticide to kill the bat bugs.

When they came to do the job - I was at work. They did blow in the insulation and when I arrived home they said they needed to explain some things to me. They explained that the old insulation had been left in my attic with the guano in it and that the other guy had just laid a rolled insulation over it. They didn't know they were coming into this job to clean my attic of old insulation nor all the guano they found. Well, they proceeded to blow in the insulation in my attic with the insecticide dust which they assured me would kill all the bat bugs in the attic, and they would kill any that possibly were in my walls and/or making it into my living space. They did guarantee they wouldn't leave my home until they felt the bugs were all gone. They have been quite understanding and have done their best, although I certainly wish from what I had read they would've told me about the old insulation and given me the option of taking everything up and ridding my attic of all the guano, insulation, along with cleaning up as many of the bugs as possible.

Since that point, I have been living in fear of these blood sucking bugs and possibly more bug bites. Fortunately, I have not since had any more bites, and have only seen only a few bugs on a daily basis just in my second story - really none on my first floor where I actually only live. I've torn everything out of my upstairs (same thing I did when I found out about the bats) but don't plan to put anything back out until I'm sure I have zero bugs - and I'm not sure that will ever really happen. The bat bugs have been more stressful than the bats themselves.

Then, to add to all this, while I was out doing yard work at dusk several eves ago, I heard bats. I looked in horror at the areas shown in the attached pics to find bats flying out of both sides of my house at these points. The next day while daylight, I did use binoculars and could see the guano below each of the back points on the roof below these areas. I looked the next day with my binoculars when I guess the light was just right, and I could see lots of bats that appeared to be squeezed beneath this area on the left side of my house. I could see them moving about and even saw one open it's mouth. I thought perhaps they were just on the outside and may have not gotten in. I contacted Terminix and they came today and got up on the roof only to tell me that there was not one bat in the very spot that I had seen all the bats. I then watched both sides of my house at dusk this eve and I saw 0 bats coming from the left side, but saw approx. 30 bats fly from beneath that overhang on the right side. It is much harder to see the right side than the left so I can't see in that area and the Terminix people couldn't see either and didn't go on that side of my roof.

I have already paid $3,000 for the first guy to clean and reinsulate my attic. I had the expense of professional cleaners to clean my entire home after he was finished. I also had my pulmonologist appt so he could write a letter to submit it for possible submission to my homeowners insurance. I had no success with that endeavor however, They said that bats were excluded from my policy b/c their guano was considered waste and also vermin, pest, etc. Even after trying to explain that bats are mammals and protected by law, they denied my claim. I really feel this is wrong, but ....

I suppose my question I pose to you is what do we do now?? It's a long story, but my husband and I live in separate states about 2 1/2 hrs apart. He works 2 jobs and we only see each other on weekends and he always tries to help me in everything that he can. The problem as you know with bats is that they are nocturnal and when trying to use exclusion tactics, we have to wait until they leave at night to use any type of exclusion tactics. We thought about using repellents, etc., but after reading your opinions and others - we realize that will not hep us be rid of the bat problem. I am at my wits end, and also about to the bottom of my finances. I paid over $1,100 to get Terminex to come help with the bat bug problem, and I'm praying that will be accomplished b/c I am scared to death of the bugs taking over my living space. I'm losing sleep and stressed all the time. Now I find I have bats that have returned to my home and in places that are harder to contend with as far as exclusion is concerned.

I do believe when I spoke with you at the beginning of this whole scenario (and believe me I wish I would've gotten you to begin with) you had told me to call with any concerns I had. I certainly didn't expect to have all of these problems; however, I understand that you prob have had to contend with all things bats!! I'm wondering if you have any techs in this area of Romney, WV (in the eastern panhandle of WV) and what if anything, could they do if they came. Could I get an estimate or could you give me pointers as to what my next move should be. I realize that it probably is trying to seal every place that the bats could possibly enter my home, but these 4 places in my house have got us stumped. How do we put up screening and/or caulk or use anything while the bats are there during daylight. I'm not sure if anyone wants to go up on my high roof after dark and try to using the sealing techniques you explain on your page

I apologize for the length of this email - and this is just the short story .... I needed a new roof which I had planned for this summer and a new porch, but it seems those important things will need to be put on hold until I can try to rid my home of the bats. It's all a bit much and quite a daunting thing. My husband and I both work full time and work late many evenings - then we drive to each other's homes on the weekends b/c that is the only time we have as a married couple. The bats have sure taken a toll of our free time. LOL I'm not even sure why or what I am asking of you - perhaps some advice. It seems to me that I spoke with you personally and I remember you being so very helpful and very willing to give pointers - if it was not you, I do apologize.

I understand if you do not or cannot get back to my inquiries .... if there is ever a convenient time that you would be able to call, the # I gave is my cell. My husband and I are going to try to figure something out over our 3 day Memorial Day weekend since the weather is supposed to be nice, although we really need a break from dealing with it all, but we realize we need to get this taken care of before the bats have their pups (and they may possibly be getting in my dormer walls - I'm praying they are not and are just hanging out under these areas.

Read about Do bats drink water? Go back to my main bats in the attic home page to learn how to remove them, or read the below.

Wildlife Education - Information and Advice for the Safe Removal of Bats from Attics