Bed bugs are tiny, flat, oval-shaped parasites that feed on blood. If they've found their way into your Sacramento home, they can bite your pets. Your pets attract bed bugs in the same way you do: They exhale carbon dioxide and they produce heat. This lets bed bugs know that there is a warm-blooded mammal nearby. But these insects don't prefer to bite your pets. This is where we're going to start our conversation today. Here are a few important facts every Sacramento resident should know about bed bugs, whether you have a pet or not.

bed bug in carpet

Bed Bugs Don't Take A Host

Bed bugs have a lot in common with ticks and fleas. This is why many Sacramento pet owners get the wrong idea about them. While bed bugs are parasites, they don't behave like ticks and fleas. They don't get on a host animal and stay. If bed bugs are in your home right now, you don't have to wonder if they're hiding somewhere on your body. You also don't have to worry about them getting on your pets. Bed bugs live in hiding places and usually only come out at night to feed.

Bed Bugs Prefer Human Blood

If bed bugs are in your Sacramento home right now, you can bet that they are far more interested in biting you than they are in biting your dog or your cat. One reason is that they actually have developed a preference for human blood. Through the centuries, bed bugs have found humans to be the best source of sustenance. It is likely that this influenced their preference, much in the same way insects can genetically alter their taste receptors to reject dangerous food sources, like pest control bait. Insects are built for survival. They adapt to seek out safe and abundant food sources and reject food sources that will kill them.

Hair And Fur Deter Bed Bugs

We have more good news for your dog or cat—though, in some ways, this fact is tied to the two facts we've already mentioned. There is a reason bed bugs don't take a host and why they have a preference for human blood: They don't have appendages that are designed to grip fur or hair. This makes it difficult for a bed bug to move across a dog, cat, or hairy human. Yes, you heard that right. If you are a hairy human, you will have less trouble with bed bugs. Research shows that bed bugs prefer hairless humans. They will, however, feed on pets and hairy humans if no other preferred option is available. When they do, they're going to target spots where there is exposed skin and where skin is easily accessible. A bed bug won't crawl up over a hairy leg to get to exposed skin. It will bite the bottoms of your feet, or the undersides of your arms where they touch your sheets. If they bite your pet, they'll try to get to the soft, hairless skin on your dog's belly, or bite the ears of your cat when they lie with their ears on their bedding.

When Bed Bugs Bite Pets

Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs are not considered a vector for diseases. If bed bugs bite your dog or cat, you don't need to be concerned about sickness. There is also little chance that you'll get sick from bed bug bites. Bed bugs are somewhat resistant to the spreading of diseases because they don't feed on mice, rats, squirrels, and other wild animals. These animals are reservoirs for the diseases that impact pet and human health.

What To Do About Bed Bugs

If you have an infestation, you could protect your pets by putting their bedding through a 30-minute dryer cycle. This kills bed bugs in all stages of development. But the better solution is to contact HomeShield Pest Control for bed bug extermination. Why?

  • Bed bugs are likely to be in other areas besides your dog's or cat's sleeping area.
  • Bed bugs live in cracks, creases, voids, and tight spaces. They're very difficult to locate and remove.
  • These insects are going to bite you, no matter how much hair you have. They need blood to survive and they're not going to leave your home to find a better feeding ground. These are indoor pests that will make the best of whatever environment they find themselves in.
  • Sacramento residents who attempt DIY bed bug control often end up spending more money and prolonging their misery.

The best way to protect yourself and your pets from bed bugs is to have these insects professionally exterminated. Contact HomeShield Pest Control today to request service. You don't have to let the bed bugs bite.