Do bedbugs bite cats?

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Bed bugs are probably one of the most annoying insects that can enter your apartment. They can interfere with normal sleep by constantly biting you at night. But what about pets? This issue is of particular concern to cat and dog owners, and is often surrounded by a mystical character caused by a lack of useful and accurate information. By learning more about the behavior of these parasites, you can more effectively protect yourself and your beloved pets from bedbugs.

Bed bugs in human homes

The bedbug is a small insect that prefers to be active at night. The total number of bedbug species exceeds forty thousand. In homes, bed bugs show the greatest interest in human blood.

Bedbugs can quickly move from one apartment to another, entering through floor slabs or open windows. They can get into your home on your clothes without being noticed. As the bug moves, it acquires various contaminants, and its droppings may contain harmful bacteria.

When they bite, bedbugs, like ticks, release an enzyme that prevents blood clotting. However, unlike ticks, bedbugs deliver a series of bites to different parts of the body, causing itching and redness of the skin. These bites can easily be confused with mosquito bites.

Interesting fact: A bedbug can smell human sweat from a distance of up to ten meters, and a female bedbug can lay more than 24 eggs within 5 hours.

Bed bugs in pets

As noted earlier, bed bugs' main source of nutrition is human blood, but they can also feed on the blood of pets.

These parasites can bite cats and dogs, especially when they are unable to reach humans. According to statistics, for every hundred bites committed on humans, only one occurs on domestic animals.

This is due to the following reasons:

  1. It is difficult for bedbugs to move through the fur of cats, dogs, or other pets. This process requires a lot of energy and time from insects, and they have to spend effort to overcome the thick coat of fur. In addition, bedbugs need to find a soft place to bite and penetrate through a thick layer of fur. Therefore, bedbugs usually bite pets only in extreme cases.
  2. Bed bugs feel most comfortable at temperatures around 25 degrees, and therefore tend to leave their prey as quickly as possible after eating. It should be noted that our pets have a body temperature several degrees higher than that of humans.
  3. The activity time of these parasites occurs at night, similar to the activity of cats. Thus, cats are able to protect themselves from bed bugs while they are awake.

When will bed bugs choose pets over humans?

If you already have parasites and you left your pet alone at home, bedbugs may attack the animal. Some of the insects will probably go to other places in search of food, but some of the bugs may remain in the apartment and begin to actively parasitize your pet’s skin.

Dogs' skin is tough enough for bedbugs to bite through. In cats it is softer, but still not as smooth and soft as in humans. It will be most difficult for Sphynx cats, since they do not have hair that could protect them from bedbug bites. The skin of such cats becomes easy prey for bedbugs. In any case, if there is a person nearby, bedbugs will probably prefer to bite him.

Interesting fact: bedbugs find their prey with the help of their whiskers, on which special receptors are located that help the insects detect the smell of a person.

Finding insects on pets

Distinguishing a bug bite from a flea or tick bite on an animal’s skin is quite problematic, since they are visually almost indistinguishable. However, fleas that live on the skin of cats and dogs usually cling to the fur and are easy to spot.

To determine if bed bugs are biting your pet, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully inspect the animal's skin and fur for parasites and bedbug bites.
  2. Check the cages of hamsters, pet rats or guinea pigs for signs of bedbugs or signs of bedbugs.
  3. Pay attention to the bedding where cats or dogs sleep; traces of blood may be visible on them.
  4. Chitinous shells may remain in secluded places after molting.

It is almost impossible to catch these insects at the moment of a bite, since bedbugs prefer to hide in quiet places near places where people sleep.

The difference between fleas and bed bugs

Sometimes cat and dog owners may find that they and their pets have been attacked by insects when they wake up in the morning. While humans are mostly likely to be bitten by bedbugs and mosquitoes, pets can also be attacked by fleas or ticks. When your dog or cat exhibits a constant urge to scratch, chew, and bite itself, this may indicate the presence of fleas in your home. Bed bugs, unlike fleas, numb an area of ​​skin with a special enzyme when pierced, so bites may go unnoticed by your pet.

To effectively combat insects and select suitable preparations for disinfestation, it is important to determine which insects attacked you and your animals. Collecting all the necessary data about the circumstances of the attack will help determine the appropriate methods of control and choose the right drugs.

Ways to control parasites in pets

Right after the question of whether bedbugs bite pets, the question often arises of how to get rid of these insects and ensure the protection of your pets.

In order to protect your animal from bedbugs, it is important to take a set of measures, otherwise the insects may return and continue attacks on cats or dogs:

  1. The first step is to clean and vacuum the areas where your pets regularly sleep or stay.
  2. Clean the vacuum cleaner thoroughly and get rid of all debris.
  3. Wash all your clothes and bedding, and you may have to get rid of some of them.
  4. Seal holes around areas where your animals are.
  5. Treat areas where your pets were present.
  6. After carrying out all these procedures, regularly inspect areas with animals for insects and perform preventative measures by cleaning the premises and washing your pets’ things in hot water.

Do Pets Carry Bed Bugs?

Pets can carry bedbugs from an infested area to other apartments or rooms. Bedbugs use cats and dogs as transport, moving on their fur, but they do not settle on animals, preferring to hide in hard-to-reach places. In apartments, bedbugs infest areas where people are most often present, such as bedrooms and living rooms. Therefore, the likelihood of bedbugs heading towards your pets when you are at home is extremely low.

Important to remember! If you have bedbugs in your apartment, limit cats and dogs' access to other rooms to prevent them from spreading throughout your home.

Are bedbug bites contagious to pets?

Since bedbugs suck the blood of their victims, they do not seek to infect them with dangerous diseases, and such cases have not yet been recorded in nature.

Bedbug bites cause severe irritation on your pet's skin, and cats or dogs may scratch the area intensely, increasing the risk of infection. To resolve this situation and prevent possible infection, it is recommended to seek advice from veterinarians.

It is also possible that your pet accidentally ate a bug that was treated with an insecticide. In general, the amount of substance that a bedbug can transmit is not enough to harm a cat or dog. However, taking precautions is important, so be sure to carefully read the instructions that come with your medications and monitor your pet's well-being.

Who brings bedbugs indoors?

Even in a new apartment after renovation, bed bugs may appear!

Many people find themselves perplexed in such situations, especially when the apartment has recently been renovated, new furniture has been brought in and a kitchen has been installed. Where could the bedbugs come from? There are often assumptions that they were brought by animals. In fact, you yourself could have brought them on your clothes, the builders could also have brought them, and the bedbugs could have gotten to you by hiding in your new furniture. If parasites are already present, the best solution is to get rid of them as soon as possible!

The sooner you detect bedbugs and take appropriate measures, the sooner you can ensure a peaceful existence for yourself and your pets. After all, like people, pets become irritable and nervous if they are constantly bitten by blood-sucking insects.

As a preventative measure, regularly clean your home, avoid clutter, and inspect mattresses, chairs and secluded places where parasites may be hiding. Pay special attention to the areas where your pets sleep. Wash bedding regularly in hot water to prevent parasites from breeding in it.

How to Kill Bed Bugs on Pets

F.A.Q.

Can bed bugs bite pets?

Yes, bedbugs can bite your pets, especially when their owners are away from home. For example, when going on vacation, when the keys to the apartment are left with friends to take care of a cat or dog. In such situations, bedbugs can attack your pets. However, people remain the main source of food for bedbugs.

Do cats and dogs carry bedbugs?

Bed bugs do not usually settle in pet fur, but in rare cases they may use it as transport. If you have bedbugs in your home, it is recommended to immediately restrict the movement of your pets around the apartment to prevent the spread of parasites throughout your home.

What is more dangerous for pets - ticks or bedbugs?

Ticks can be carriers of various diseases, such as tick-borne encephalitis, tick-borne typhus, relapsing tick-borne fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis and others. This makes ticks much more dangerous to pets than bed bugs. So far, there are no known cases of bedbugs transmitting diseases to people, cats or dogs.

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