Bed bugs are small, brown pests about the size of an apple seed. After they feed on the blood of their hosts, bed bugs may turn a reddish hue and appear swollen. If your home has bed bugs, there are certain steps you must take to rid your residence of these pests.
However, if you have furry family members, you'll need to alter your plan of attack to get rid of these troublesome invaders. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about getting rid of bed bugs when you share your home with pets.
1. Make Sure to Wash Your Pets' Bedding
When you have bed bugs in your home, one of the first things you should do is wash and dry all your linens and surrounding cloth items (like draperies or clothing) in a hot water cycle. Then, you'll want to dry them in your dryer on the hottest setting.
You need to complete the same actions for your pets' bedding. If you can't fit the entire bed in your washer, see if you can remove the cover from the foam insert and wash them separately. Bed bugs can live for up to a year without feeding, so wrapping and segregating your pets' bedding isn't a viable option. If you don't feel like you can thoroughly wash their bedding, you may want to dispose of it in a plastic garbage bag and purchase new bedding when the bed bugs are gone.
2. Rethink What Chemicals You Use to Attack the Bed Bugs
Most bed bug infestations require some type of chemical attack to kill all the bed bugs. Fortunately, there are options available that will kill the bed bugs without harming your pet (though it's still a smart decision to keep your pets away from the areas being treated). If you have to fumigate your entire home, the entire family needs to leave until it is safe to return, including your four-legged family members. Talk to your pest control specialist to determine what alternatives are best for your home.
3. See Your Pet's VeterinarianIf You Notice Excessive Scratching
Pets are not a preferred host for bed bugs, but this doesn't mean that they won't feed on them if there are no other food sources. If you notice that your pet appears to be excessively scratching or has bits of dried blood in their fur, you should see your veterinarian. Your vet can prescribe a topical treatment to get rid of bed bugs living on your pet and take steps to prevent the bites from getting infected.
For more information, contact local pest control services.