Ask The Entomologist Question about swallow bugs

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bed bugs that infest swallows – is this a problem in San Diego and Orange counties? Swallows are a protected species? So, nest should not be disturbed now? But should be removed later? When? How? Thanks.

Swallow bugs are very similar in appearance to bed bugs but differ in their preferred host. Bed bugs mostly feed on humans, but will also feed on other animals such as dogs, cats, and birds. Swallow bugs live on or near the nests of swallows and feed on them while they are in the nest. When the swallows leave or die, the bugs will leave to search for a new host. Sometimes they will wander inside the structure and attack humans. You are right that swallows are a federally protected species and it is illegal to kill or trap them, but you may use non-lethal methods to remove the birds and their nests that are being a nuisance to homes and buildings. If you have a swallow problem, you should call a licensed wildlife removal expert to inform you of what you should do. If you are concerned about swallow bugs coming inside after the nests have been removed, you can call a professional pest control company like Terminix (1-800-Terminix) to treat the surrounding areas where the nests were located once they have been removed.