Swallow Bug

 Identification and Control

Proper identification is an important first step in controlling ants.

Oeciacus vicarius

How to Identify an 

Swallow Bug

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.

Where do they come from?

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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What do they look like?

Swallow bug head from underside. Note the unruly hairs.
Swallow bugs live on mud swallow nests like these. They feed on the blood of the swallows.
Full body view of a swallow bug
Top and underside views of a swallow bug

Where do they live?

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

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