As pet owners, we often take extra care to ensure the safety and comfort of our furry companions. However, when it comes to bed bugs, many of us may wonder if our cats are at risk of being bitten.
Bed bugs are a nuisance pest that can cause itchy and uncomfortable bites in humans, but what about our feline friends?
Bed bugs are known to feed on the blood of humans and animals, including cats. They are attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide that animals emit, which can make cats a target for bed bug bites.
Although cats are not their preferred host, bed bugs will bite cats if they have no other option. However, it’s important to note that bed bugs do not live on cats or other animals.
They prefer to live in cracks and crevices around beds, furniture, and other areas where humans and animals rest or sleep. So, while your cat may be bitten by bed bugs, they are not likely to be infested with them.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous To Pets?
Bed bugs may feed on dogs and cats when they are unable to obtain a blood meal from humans, and their bites can result in itchy welts on your pets.
While bed bugs are generally considered to be a low disease threat, their bites can cause skin irritation and lead to dermatological issues for your pets.
Can My Pet Carry Bed Bugs?
Although bed bugs can bite pets, they are not as commonly found on them or spend as much time on them as other common pests like fleas, ticks, lice, and mites.
It’s worth noting that bed bugs are proficient at hitchhiking and can easily be transported to your home through various means, such as luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Therefore, it’s possible for bed bugs to hitchhike on your pet’s fur, bedding, or clothing.
What Can I Do To Protect My Pets From Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs typically do not live on pets like fleas do, as they tend to hide in the environment and only emerge at night to feed. Therefore, it is uncommon for pets to carry bed bugs on them.
To protect your pets from bed bugs, you should practice good hygiene and remain vigilant. If you have a bed bug infestation at home, eradicating it will help protect your entire family, including your pets.
When traveling with your pet or without, it is advisable to inspect areas around the bed for bed bugs or signs of infestation.
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, though they are small, so be sure to keep luggage, pet crates, and bedding away from sleeping areas and couches.
Before leaving the hotel, inspect all luggage, pet crates, and bedding carefully to ensure there are no hidden bugs. Check for bed bugs by visual inspection before bringing your pet home. Bathe and groom your pet before bringing it home.
You can leave your luggage, pet carriers, and bedding in the car for 1-2 weeks after returning home, especially in areas with extreme weather. This can further reduce the number of live bed bugs by heat-killing or freezing them.
When you bring these belongings into your home, launder everything immediately using hot water and/or a dryer on medium-high heat, as washing alone will not kill bed bugs.
While there is no foolproof way to prevent the presence of bed bugs, these measures can help reduce the risk to you, your belongings, and your pet.
Can Pet Anti-Tick And Anti-Flea Products Keep Bed Bugs Away?
Anti-tick and anti-flea pet products are specifically designed to protect pets against ticks and fleas and are not intended to control bed bugs. Therefore, it is unlikely that these products will have any significant effect on a bed bug infestation.
The Part Your Pet Plays In The Spread Of Bed Bugs
Unlike other parasites such as fleas and ticks, bed bugs do not typically live in outdoor environments like yards. Therefore, you do not need to worry about your pets picking up bed bugs from outside and bringing them back inside.
Additionally, because bed bugs do not typically remain on a host, you do not need to be overly concerned about your pet picking up bed bugs in areas where they may be present.
Instead, it is more likely that bed bugs will seek out hiding spots in items such as pocketbooks, backpacks, or pants pockets.
How Can I Prevent Bed Bugs from Biting My Pet?
The most effective way to prevent bed bugs from biting your pet is to completely eliminate the bed bug infestation from your home.
It is recommended to seek the services of a professional pest control company to eradicate bed bugs from your home.
Additionally, you can take measures to prevent bed bugs from entering your home by using mattress covers and maintaining a clean and clutter-free environment.
It is important to note that bed bugs can be challenging to eliminate without professional assistance, so it may be necessary to seek expert help.
Once the bed bug infestation has been successfully eliminated, you can be confident that your pet will be protected from their bites.
Bed bugs are not picky eaters and will feed on any animal with blood, including cats, dogs, and other pets. However, bed bugs prefer to feed on humans as they can easily access the skin without having to navigate through fur.
Although pet bites from bed bugs are not as common as human bites, they can still cause discomfort and health issues for pets. Bed bugs typically bite pets around the neck and head area, leading to skin irritation, swelling, and in some cases, an allergic reaction.