Because bed bugs are becoming a big concern here in the U.S., and people are quickly realizing that bed bugs can be in any home, apartment, office, warehouse, office building and even your doctor’s office and not just dirty homes and hotels. They will set up house anywhere they have a food source, which would be us and our pets. Yes, bed bugs will bite our pets as well as us. They don’t discriminate between human and animal blood. While they don’t live on us or our pets, they will hide close by where we are and feed on us as they need.
Bed bugs are active especially at night, when we are most likely sleeping, which is why they are so often found in beds.
How Can We Protect Our Pets?
We can protect our pets by being very vigilant when we find out we have bed bugs. The first signs most times are itchy bites and small brown spots (fecal matter) from the bed bugs. While bed bugs feed they defecate to make room for the blood they are sucking.
It is important to always freeze the bags of food we buy for our animals for several hours before opening them. I have 4 rats and whenever I buy bags of rat food, I always stick the bags right in the freezer for at least 4 hours before opening them and giving any food to my pets. The cold temperatures will kill off any bugs that have hitched a ride from the factory, pet store or shelf when they were stored.
If you see any redness, sores, or your animals are scratching more than usual you should check them really well for fleas, mites, ticks and if you find anything take them to a veterinarians office to be treated. Bed bugs will most likely be hiding in their beds, cages, or where ever they sleep, lay or hang out. If they hang out on the couch or chairs, check both of those places very well for any brown spots, (fecal matter), or small bugs.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
While there are many exterminators out there that can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars to hire, you can treat the bed bug infestation yourself for a fraction of the cost by using just a couple of things you can find at the grocery store.
You will need a bag of Fresh step Crystals (kitty Litter). This type of kitty litter will look like a bag of rock salt and should say crystal silica on the bag. Crystal silica when crushed into a fine powder will get under the cuticles of the bugs and dry them out, thus killing them.
You will also need an electric coffee or spice grinder.
A roll of duct tape.
A jar of Vaseline.
First thing you should do is take strips of tape and place them along the seems of your bed or anywhere you see bugs to pick up any bed bugs you can see and any eggs you cannot see. The bugs and eggs will stick to the tape and you can pull it off and throw it away.
Take the Vaseline and rub a liberal amount to the legs of the bed, couches, tables ect. Bed bugs cannot walk through Vaseline and will get stuck and die.
Next, take a handful of the Fresh Step crystal and add them to your electric coffee grinder. Grind until you have a very fine powder. It doesn’t take but a few seconds with a good grinder.
Sprinkle that powder everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. Do not put the powder where your animals will eat it, it could make them sick. But putting it under the dressers, along the walls, behind all the furniture, under the mattress and rub some into the seams of your mattress. Sprinkle the powder into the cracks and crevices of your couches, chairs, window sills, and even open up the electrical outlets and sprinkle some in there.
Bed bugs are very good at hiding and can be anywhere. The powder will last 6 months and all you have to do is vacuum it up and sprinkle some new powder around your home.
No matter what, if you think your pets are getting bitten by a pest take them to the veterinarian’s office to be checked out. There are types of mites that can get on pets that you can’t see but your veterinarian can determine whether or not your animal has with a simple skin scrape.