Can cats carry bed bugs – what to do| Risks | How to get Rid of | killing – With the summer, there is a return not only of sunny days, but also of many annoying insects and pests. What to do if a cat eats a bedbug?
Both outdoors and at home, finding bedbugs around can become a nightmare fairly quickly if they are not turned away. They usually live and lay eggs in and around beds, or between sofas and in the computer desk – places where we spend a lot of time at night. And they also target pets and their spaces and objects. Dogs often smell and find the nests of these insects, but cats? And if a cat eats a bedbug it can be a problem for his health?
What are bedbugs
Bedbugs are small parasites that mainly populate bedrooms (hence their common name “bed bugs” or “mattress bugs”), and that need human blood to survive. Belonging to the species Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are not very active during the day, preferring to remain hidden in their burrows; during the night, however, they come out of their hiding places and go looking for people to suck blood on.
The stings, through which insects extract the blood, cause small red spots and itching, but in addition to the annoyance they entail, they are not particularly dangerous. A house infested with bed bugs should be checked and disinfected by an expert in pest controlotherwise there is a danger that the problem will not be resolved permanently.
Do cats eat bedbugs? Any risks
In short, cats don’t eat bedbugs. They could, however, out of curiosity eat one of these annoying insects, but cats don’t tend to eat insects. Although devoid of any appetizing interest, crushing them is a fun pastime for cats, always predators. In fact, if properly trained, cats can also help us win the fight against bed bug infestation at home.
Dogs can instead use their sense of smell against these parasites. When dogs are used to find bed bugs in homes, they are trained to warn the master of the presence of their smell. They don’t always find the right location, but they can at least let the homeowner know that they have bedbugs somewhere in their home. Many animals are able to smell the smell of insects like these, as they give off a distinct smell. Unfortunately, cats aren’t known to care or worry about it too much.
If we happen to have bedbugs in the house, the chances of the cat interacting with them are not very high. These particular insects move stealthily and make no noise when they come and go from their nest. If a cat can find one, there is a possibility that he will play with it or try to catch it.
And if cats are known to put all sorts of things in their mouths, not all cats take these insects in the mouth let alone eat them. Bed bugs also give off an unpleasant odor and probably don’t taste too strong, so if the cat eats a bug, he’ll probably spit it out right away and walk away.
Can Cats Keep Bed Bugs Away?
It is very unlikely that a cat will help us contain a bedbug infestation, and much less get rid of it. This work is often done by dogs and – even – by domestic pigs. Bed bugs are primarily aimed at human guests, as they emit higher levels of carbon dioxide. If a human host is not available, other animals such as birds, dogs and – precisely – cats will begin to target.
The good thing is that it is very unlikely to see that a cat eats a bedbug. In case you happen to surprise the cat who plays with one of these insects and then eats it, it is a good idea to have it tested for parasites. Bed bugs can carry and spread Trypanosoma Cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Although this is very rare, it is best to remove all doubts.
Do bed bugs bite cats?
Ok, let’s reverse the question: bed bugs feed on the blood of cats? In short, bed bugs can do it. In fact, anything that has red blood flowing in it is a potential prey for these insects.
Our precious little kitten is a primary goal. As much as they would like to feast on your kitty, they most likely won’t. Bed bugs have strong claws, it’s true, but not strong enough to dig through thick hair. For this reason, they will gladly look for other alternative food sources. But when hunger is so great and no other food source seems to be in sight, no such thick fur will stop them.
Bed bugs are hungry and do not discriminate against anything, always ready to overcome any obstacle to reach their reward: blood. We are not safe; not even our furry friend is safe. Here’s how to keep bed bugs away from our kitten – or at least minimize their impact.
- We use a disinfectant on the cat’s cage or basket: disinfecting the cage or basket as often as possible will help us, to some extent. However, we must bear in mind that not all disinfectants will be suitable for the purpose. A wrong disinfectant could suffocate the cat (even in a lethal way), worse, cause a terminal allergic reaction. We choose a disinfectant specially designed to keep bed bugs away.
- Frequent aspiration. Suction is performed to suck up dirt. What many don’t know is that it can also be used to eliminate pests that will not leave us otherwise. Frequent, not one-off and occasional aspiration is the key to the problem. In addition, using the vacuum cleaner completely will help a lot. We lift everything that needs to be lifted, we move everything that needs to be moved until every single parasite is sucked.
- Hot water wash: extreme temperatures can kill a bed bug colony in one fell swoop. Once a bedbug bite is noticed on the cat, their bed should be washed regularly with warm water.
- Let’s not forget the spray. The use of bed bug spray is a safe and simple way to combat these insects. Obviously we must carefully read the label to make sure that our pet is safe.
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