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Can Cats and Dogs Spread Bedbugs?

With the bedbug epidemic rising out of control, it's important to consider what
role pets play in attracting and distributing bedbugs. Can dogs and cats transpo
rt bedbugs from the yard? Are homes with pets more prone to bedbug infestations?
Is it more difficult to eradicate bedbugs in homes occupied by animals?
The good news is that bedbugs aren't interested in pet food or pet waste. They o
nly want blood, and they strongly prefer to bite humans because it's difficult f
or them to extract fluid through fur. The bad news is that ANY warm blooded ani
mal living in your home can act as a magnet that lures bedbugs out of hiding. Th
e steps you take to protect your bedroom against infestation will almost certain
ly drive bedbugs to other areas of your home in search of food. Factors such as
body heat and pheromones will guide bedbugs to areas where pets congregate and r
elax.
The most vulnerable place on a dog's body is the belly because it's not as furry
as other body parts, and it often comes in contact with the ground. A bedbug ca
n hitch a ride from the yard to your home using your dog's exposed skin as a veh
icle, but this is a relatively small concern compared to other factors of disbur
sement. Multi-pet families may find it difficult to contain bedbug infestations
for deeper reasons. With so many warm bodies wandering around the house, bedbugs
have many reasons to venture outside human sleeping quarters. That's bad news f
or you and good news for your local pest control operator. The difference betwee
n treating one room and treating multiple rooms can equal thousands of dollars.
Most pesticides designed to kill and repel bedbugs aren't safe for use on or nea
r animals. The grand exception is cedar oil. When applied to human or pet quarte
rs, it kills bedbugs on contact and creates a lasting barrier that discourages n
ew insects from entering sprayed territory. It can also be applied directly to h
uman skin or animal fur to kill fleas, ticks, lice and mites.
At the forefront of the cedar oil movement is a company based in the heart of Te
xas and marketed at http://www.bugshateit.com. Their product is endorsed by Anim
al Wellness Magazine and recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the
number one organic pesticide formula, superior to chemical counterparts. When i
t comes to bedbugs, it's the product of choice for major hotels because it has r
esidual effects that repel bugs long after application, and it doesn't stain car
pets and bedding. Last year alone, one of the most prominent pest control compan
ies in the United States ordered 5,000 gallons of the substance.
The following guide was developed to address the special needs of pet owners who
wish to stop the cycle of attraction and disbursement. With proper attention to
detail, it's possible to save thousands of dollars in extermination costs. Spec
ific lifestyle changes are a necessary part of any extermination program. Don't
stop following the rules just because you no longer see bugs or experience bites
. Bedbugs can survive up to 18 months without a blood meal. They often remain hi
dden in untreated areas of the home. The formation of new habits is critical for
pet owners who wish to reap long term benefits.
Some Dos and Don'ts for Eradicating Bedbugs in Homes with Pets:
1.) Don't use pyrethrum or pyrethrin sprays. According to an EPA survey of poiso
n control centers, they cause more insecticide poisoning incidents than any othe
r pesticides except for organophospates. Read labels carefully before choosing a
ny do-it-yourself product.
2.) Do apply an even coating of cedar oil to the carpet underneath your bed. Ref
resh the treatment once a month to protect pets who enjoy relaxing under beds an
d stop the cycle of attraction to your sleeping quarters.
3.) Do spray BOTH sides of the mattress. Don't forget to remove the fine mesh co
bweb netting that covers the underside of most box spring units. Spray this area
liberally to kill bugs hiding within the bed cavity.
4.) Do use zippered mattress and box spring covers to prevent future infestation
. Choose a durable waterproof mattress encasement with a sturdy zipper. Apply du
ct tape over the tiny gaps where zippers open and close. Remember that bedbug ny
mphs aren't visible to the naked eye. They can easily penetrate zipper clasps.
5.) Don't begin sleeping in other areas of the house! Bedbugs will simply leave
your bedroom in search of a warm body. The infestation will quickly spread to ot
her rooms.
6.) Do limit the areas where pets sleep. The presence of several unconscious bod
ies lounging around the house is a formula for attraction and disbursement. Crat
e pets at night, or set aside a well-protected area for animals to sleep. Spray
pet beds with cedar oil and refresh the treatment as often as you like.
7.) Do protect bed legs, bed frames and headboards. Since bedbugs can't jump or
fly, they are most likely to reach you by crawling up bed legs. Spray bed legs w
ith cedar oil or cover them with double sided tape. Refresh the tape when it app
ears dusty or no longer feels sticky.
8.) Don't forget to spray baseboards and curtain hems that touch the floor. This
will prevent bedbugs from crawling up the wall and across the ceiling where the
y can parachute onto the mattress.
9.) Do vacuum thoroughly and discard the vacuum bag to prevent bedbugs from esca
ping.
10.) Do wash linens and bedclothes in the hottest water available. Store clean b
lankets and pajamas in giant Ziplock bags.
11.) Do change into fresh clothing every time you get into bed. A bedbug can eas
ily hitch a ride from your couch to your bed using your favorite robe as a vehic
le.
12.) Do spray couches and easy chairs, paying special attention to crevices and
cushion wells. If you're certain that the living room is infested, remove the fi
ne mesh cobweb netting on the underside of your couch to gain access to the spri
ng area. Spray this area liberally to kill bedbugs hiding within the sofa cavity
.
13.) Do purchase smaller blankets that won't hang over the sides of your bed. Be
dbugs are known to cling to blankets that touch the floor.
14.) Do move your bed six inches away from the wall or nightstand. Any part of y
our bed that touches a piece of furniture becomes an open pathway for crawling b
ugs.
15.) Do spray inside closets and drawers, especially those nearest your bed.
16.) Do spray your dog's belly to prevent bedbugs from latching on. Cedar oil wi
ll kill fleas, ticks, lice, mites and bedbugs on contact. It will also condition
skin and heal hot spots caused by mange.
Browse cedar oil products at http://www.bugshateit.com.