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Swallow Bug Identification and Control in Utah

Correct identification is an important first step in pest control.


Swallow bugs look very similar to bed bugs and they are in the same family of insects but the swallow bug has more “unruly” hair. If the hair on the pronoun (the back right behind the eyes) is longer than the width of the eyes, it is not a bed bug and may be a swallow bug.

Swallow bugs are associated with swallows and can be found harboraging on their mud nests. These bugs can enter homes and feed on humans especially late spring before the swallows have returned. Then bugs begin to wander looking for a blood meal (food).

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Where do they lay their eggs
Where do they lay their eggs

Swallow bugs lay their eggs around the swallow nests where they live. If you examine a swallow nest closely, you can often find swallow bug fecal spots and eggs on them.


Oeciacus vicarius


Blood usually from biting swallows but can feed on other animals including humans


Often mistaken for bed bugs. Can bite humans. Can cause distress and sleeplessness.

Thorn Pest Services Tips for keeping swallow bugs away

How to Prevent and Eliminate Swallow Bugs
Pest control experts
  • To prevent swallow bugs, you must prevent their food source, swallows.

  • If swallows are present and have built nests, they cannot be disturbed by law. A preventive treatment can be made to help prevent swallow bugs from entering around windows and doors. DO NOT TREAT THE BIRD NESTS DIRECTLY. Simply treating around pest entry points is usually sufficient. You may need to do this several times throughout the year.

  • After the birds fly south, the long term solution is making the structure is not attractive to swallows by eliminating their nesting spots with bird net.

How to Control Swallows
Pest control experts

Swallows are a protected bird and should not be harmed. If your home or structure attracts swallows, there are ways to keep the swallows from nesting.

  • The best way to control swallows is usually to install a bird net to eliminate the 90 degree angle where the wall meets an overhang. The net should be large enough to eliminate any shadow created by an overhang. Swallows want to build their mud nests in the shadow (protection) of the overhang. By not allowing the birds to build in the shadow of the overhang, the area is no longer attractive to them and they will go somewhere else to find a suitable home.

  • This net should be installed sometime between the late fall after the swallows have flown south for the winter and late spring when the swallows return. Once the swallows have built a nest, they should not be disturbed.

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Proper pest management starts with a detailed inspection and assessment from an expert pest professional before treatment. Thorn Pest Solutions uses a three-step process rooted in science to eliminate pests with long-term results.

Assess Situation

First, we identify the root problem(s) with a site assessment. Pests are almost always an indicator of an environmental condition. This will determine the best actions to provide short and your long-term results against pests.

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Next, we develop a plan to fix the problems we discovered. This includes solving current pest issues, eliminating conducive conditions, and monitoring for future pest activity. Good pest management starts with a good plan.

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Lastly, we implement the solutions we developed including inspection, monitoring, and preventing future pest infestations. Good pest control requires a good offense and not just defense. Prevention is key.

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