Bed bugs are hemipterans, a type of insect with a piercing, sucking mouth designed for one purpose — to suck blood out of people or pets. When your home has bed bugs, every warm blooded creature in your home is at risk for bed bug bites. The antenna of bed bugs have sensors that seek out warm-blooded creatures.
Pets and people who have bed bug bites suffer from constant itching. So you may see signs of your pets scratching more often than not. If you treat with flea shampoo, it will not affect the bed bugs. Flea powder also has little effect on bed bugs. Many pet owners mistake bites on pets to be from fleas and thus treat for the wrong insect. Fleas also bite and feed on blood, but they are not the same as bed bugs. Fleas are designed to live on pets. Bed bugs creep in, make a meal, and then leave. That is why flea products do not work well on bed bugs. Bed bugs and pets don’t mix. If your pet is being bitten by bed bugs, it is likely that you are as well. The following bed bug FAQs provides information that helps people understand bed bugs and how to treat for them.
Bed Bug FAQs
How to detect Bed Bugs
The best way to detect bed bugs is to look on mattresses for signs. Pull back your mattress pad and look carefully at the seams. What you will find is little bits of dried blood. This is bed bug poop. They feed exclusively on blood. You may also find little dots of blood stains from where they bit. If your pets are suffering from bed bugs, it is likely you will be too. If the infestation is small, it might take a while for the bed bugs to find you, but they will find you.
When trying to figure out how to detect bed bugs, look along the edge of the mattress and between the mattresses and you might find living bedbugs. When it comes to your pet’s bed, look under the mattress or inside if there is a zipper. You might find living bed bugs. Bed bugs and pets do not mix well.
If you are still unsure if your home has bed bugs, you can try a bed bug trap. Bed bugs are easy to identify. They are small and range in color from light brown to red. They are between 3-5 mm in length.
How Come I Don’t See Bed Bugs?
The biggest reason people do not see bed bugs is because bed bugs are nocturnal. They only come out at night, and they are very good at hiding.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Most bed bug infestations occur because people bring them home. They are notoriously found in hotels of all star levels. As you travel, you can pick up bed bugs or bed bug eggs. Then when you come home, the eggs hatch or the bed bugs leave your dirty clothing looking for a warm meal. You only need to take one female bed bug home with you to start an infestation. Female bed bugs can store sperm. They are capable of laying around 500 eggs over their lifetime. So one female bed bug can start an infestation. As her daughters begin to lay eggs, your house becomes overrun with bed bugs.
People also bring bed bugs home in used furniture. If you bring home used furniture, be sure to treat it with steam to kill any bed bugs that may be living in it.
How Can I help My Pet Prevent Bed Bug Bites?
Getting rid of bed bugs is difficult. They have a high tolerance to pesticides because so many homes have become infested, and the pesticide treatment killed off only the weaker bugs leaving behind a small army of insects that are pretty much immune to pesticides. The best way to treat a bed bug infestation is with heat or steam.
Another good tip is to wash pet bedding in hot water and then dry it completely on the highest heat setting that is safe for those products. Bed bugs are resilient. They can live in temperatures as high as 114 degrees. This is why heat is used to eradicate them. If you can kill off the bed bugs with heat or steam, you have the best chance of protecting your pets from being bitten.