Bed Bugs and Pets – Can My Pets Carry Bed Bugs?
Unlike other insects similar to mites, lice, ticks, or fleas, bed bugs don’t spend much time on your pet. However, they do bite. Given that bed bugs are known to be great hitchhikers, they can hitch a ride on your pets, thus transporting them inside your home. Yes, there is a great chance that you will find bed bugs on your pets, but they won’t settle hiding in their fur as they will be constantly disturbed by the scratching and movement of your pet.
How Likely It is to Get an Infestation After Seeing Bed Bugs on Your Pets?
Just as easily you can bring bed bugs with your clothes and other belongings, there is also a high risk that you can get an infestation once you notice bed bugs on your pets. If there are bed bugs in your apartment building and your pet tends to roam around, there is a high chance that the pests will latch onto them and get into your home.
There is a specific connection between bed bugs and house pets. Given that these bugs are called the “Ultimate Hitchhikers”, they will not only climb up your clothes but they will climb on your pets. However, this is less likely to happen since bed bugs prefer human blood over animal blood. They will only bite and feed on animals if it has been a long time since they have fed on a human host.
Do They Prefer Humans or Pets?
Many believe that bed bugs don’t like fur or hair, which is why they like humans more than pets. It is more likely that they’ll bite and feed on you first before they can reach for your dog or cat. Also, they will feed on their host when they need to and when there is an opportunity to. This means that even in broad daylight, they will feed on you when they need to. This is more possible if you are napping or sitting for long hours on a couch or on your bed.
Bed Bugs Treatment and Pets: How to Protect Your Pets When Dealing with Bed Bugs
Aside from the bites, the number one concern that pet owners have is how they can protect their pets from the treatments that they will use when dealing with bed bugs. If you ever experience an infestation, the following are some things that you can do to keep the area of your pets bedbug-free:
- Wash and dry the bedding and toys of your pets on high heat.
One way to keep your pet’s area free from bed bugs is to wash their bedding as well as their toys and other items in high heat. Proceed to dry all items in high heat to ensure adult bed bugs and their eggs are killed. If you can’t wash all items or you don’t have a large enough dryer, you can also use heat treatment equipment like the ZappBug Oven 2 to have enough space for heat treating a lot of items.
- Call your vet for expert advice on bed bug repellent or solutions
It is highly recommended to ask for the advice of your vet when it comes to using products to repel or get rid of bed bugs that are possibly stuck on your pet’s fur. This is one way to protect your pet from possible allergic reactions or irritation in case your dog is sensitive to over-the-counter medications.
- Follow the advice of exterminators
If the infestation is getting out of hand and you called for an exterminator, make sure that you follow their advice to a T. Though there are insecticides that are environment and animal-friendly, it is still best that you put your pets’ safety as your top priority when you ask for expert help.
To sum up all the points mentioned above, you will have an idea on how you can treat bed bugs around your pet. You’ll also learn how likely it is for your pets to bring in bed bugs and prevent it from happening in your home.
- Sheila Nicole