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Bed bugs are called the ultimate hitchhiker because they frequently travel by hitching a ride on people, clothes, furniture, and sometimes even animals. The type of bed bugs that infest most homes are from the genus Cimex Lectularius. This genus prefers to feast on human blood. Even though a bed bug could hitch a ride on your pet, it’s not very likely. Especially, if you use flea control.
Even though a pet is not a bed bug’s first choice when it comes to finding blood to feed on, it’s still possible for them to bite your pet. Some of the reasons that they might is because there is no human blood available or they’re feeding pattern has been disrupted by an unsuccessful extermination attempt.
Will Bed Bugs Make My Pet Sick or Me?
Bed bugs don’t transmit disease, but they do leave behind an itchy rash, and in some cases, this rash and itch can lead to secondary skin infections. Some people also develop allergic reactions to their bites.
Because bed bugs are so small people don’t usually feel them crawling on their skin. Plus, bed bugs are sneaky. They like to come out at night when their potential victims are sleeping, and their saliva has an anesthetic effect to the actual bite is hard to detect until you get the itchy rash, after the fact.
How Do I Get Them?
You can get them if you or someone or something in your house has come into contact with these travelers. Hotels are common places where people pick these travelers up. You staying at a hotel is the perfect medium for them to hitch a ride in your clothing or luggage to your HOUSE.
It’s also a good idea to be careful about bringing used furniture or items in your home. If you think that you have been exposed at another location, you can put your clothes in your clothes dryer, and the heat will kill any unwanted hitchhikers.
It takes a while for an infestation to start. Yet, it only takes one or two bed bugs to begin the life cycle. If a single female hitches a ride to your house, her eggs can hatch within 6 to 10 days. These newly emerged nymphs will immediately start seeking a blood meal and that is the beginning of your bed bug infestation.
The newly hatched nymphs will look for dark places to hide. Their favorite place is under your mattress and around your bed. This is ideal for them because they can crawl out at night and feed on your blood.
Time to Send Bed Bugs on Their Way
Large bed bug infestations are hard to get rid of. But if you catch the bed bugs early at the beginning stages of the infestation, it can be managed. It is never too early to seek professional help.
The first thing you need to do is scrutinize your home and find every place where they may be hanging out. Then it is time to eradicate these guys. There are sprays aerosols and powders that you can use to treat the infected areas. This treatment should be repeated three times ten days apart to make sure that all of the bed bugs are killed. There are also eco-friendly options like steaming, freezing, and heating to send them packing on that one-way ticket to the sky.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.