Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

   
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1470 – Bed, Bat and Swallow Bugs   Arrow divider image - marks separation between nested pages that are listed as breadcrumbs.

bed bug

Bed, bat and swallow bugs are a group of small, bloodsucking insects that can be a problem in Colorado homes. The bite is painless but toxic saliva is injected during feeding which can cause severe itching, a large inflamed area or small welts.

bed bugs of varying age and size

Bed, bat, and swallow bugs are flattened insects with an oval body. Eggs are laid in cracks of furniture, behind baseboards, under loose edges of wallpaper and in other cracks and crevices. Adults hide during the day and can live for more than a year.

Problems with these bugs arise when animal hosts, such as swallows, nest close to a building. When the host dies, the insects leave the nest and can enter living quarters in search of an alternate host. bat bugAttics are prime areas where bugs will enter the main living quarters. An aerosol bomb of pyrethrins or a “pest strip” in the attic can reduce insect populations. Removal of animals and their nests from buildings is a necessary part of control along with insecticidal treatments.

Swallows are protected in Colorado and destruction or disturbance of active nests is prohibited. Remove inactive nests in late spring and screen to prevent the building of new nests.

bed bugs and their relatives found in the Rocky Mountain Region

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

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