Household pets, though furry and usually sloppier, share many characteristics with humans. Like humans, household pets are warm-blooded mammals that attract insects as a result. Unfortunately for pet owners, this makes pets desirablefood options for bed bugs. Humans are preferred targets because we don’t have heavy coats of fur protecting our bodies, but bed bugs will resort to pets if they cannot feast on us first. Before you hastily drive your bulldog to the vet, here are some simple tips to keep the bed bugs from biting.
Begin by thoroughly checking your pet’s sleeping area. This includes the pet bed, crate and any surrounding furniture. If you spot any specks of blood or small insect bodies, don’t panic. Instead, throw the pet bed into the washing machine where the mixture of hot water and detergent will kill any remaining bed bugs. Since you can’t throw a couch into a washing machine, wash any affected areas of household furniture with a mixture of hot water and fabric-friendly detergent.
Once the sleeping area is cleared, inspect the pet’s toys and wash them as needed. Be sure to check around the house every once in a while for the signs of bed bugs as your pets can transport them wherever they go. It’s also important to note that bed bugs view household rodents as food sources too, so eliminating these pests is crucial to achieving success.
Finally, don’t waste your time and money on flea medications; these chemicals have no effect on bed bugs. As an alternative, carefully wash your pets and use pyrethrin-based insect control products and shampoos. Some of these products are not cat-friendly, so use them with caution.