Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Bedbugs and cats...

(27 posts)
  1. DRKSD4848

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Oct 19 2009 19:54:35
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    Anyone have experience with bedbugs biting your cat?

    I'd assume if they were to bite a cat, they'd probably go for his/her ears (very little fur there).

    I assume it's fairly obvious, but I just wanted to know what to look for...

    Thanks!

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Oct 20 2009 9:59:49
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    Bed bugs prefer human meals to other mammalian ones. That is, if a bed bug is hungry and has a choice between a human and another mammal pet (cat, dog, bunny, etc.), the bed bug will almost always choose the human over the pet.

    In retrospect, I'm pretty sure the bugs were biting my cat when I was out of town and unable to act as food for them (again, in retrospect, I've concluded that I probably had the bugs for a few months before I realized what was going on, and during that time, I traveled pretty frequently.)

    But I couldn't actually see any bites. I only guessed because I think she was scratching more than usual.

    I am a little curious, though, about why you're esp. concerned about knowing whether they are biting the cat or not.

  3. mangycur

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Oct 20 2009 20:51:17
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    Interestingly, neither my dog, nor my cat EVER showed any signs of bites. My dog's tummy was practically bald, but even so, no bites. No scratching. Ever. Meanwhile I was getting bitten. So either neither of my pets were allergic, or bed bugs just wanted me.

  4. wirehead

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Oct 21 2009 10:14:10
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    Yeah, we have four cats (and three humans) in our apartment, and I've never seen any evidence that the cats are being bitten. Not even once. Clearly we humans are much more tasty.

  5. stevebeast

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Oct 21 2009 13:51:25
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    my cat has long hair and its really hard to tell but he never scratches and i cant find any sign of bites, i suspect he is being bit but doesnt react to it.

  6. BuggyinLA

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Nov 8 2009 15:52:03
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    Our cat has a red welt on the inside of one of his ears that looks just like our bites. It's not in a series the way that bed bug bites usually appear, however, so there's no certainty.

    That said, I think it is possible that he's been bitten, for what it's worth.

    We're certainly treating him as though he may be carrying them unknowingly and bathing him thoroughly before he goes back into the treated apartment.

  7. meremortal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Nov 8 2009 16:58:42
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    My cats were getting bitten when our infestation was really bad (before we knew what was going on). One cat didn't react, but it seemed like the other (who is also a fastidious groomer) was reacting badly. She pulled out most of her fur, poor thing. The more fur she pulled out, the more bites she got. Once we started treatments, her fur started to grow back so I assume that as the population decreased, so did the frequency of her bites. Also, we put them on Revolution and subsequently Advantage Multi. Both seemed to help. We are now (hopefully) down to a few bb's and the cats both seem fine. Wish they had spot treatments for people!!!

  8. Hmazzz

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Nov 17 2009 23:41:17
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    Over the last three weeks since I started getting bitten I have yet to see a bug, and no debris, though I did see what I determined was a cluster of eggs. Yet, Im getting lots of bites, the dog sniffed serious infestation. My CAT has been scratching like she has fleas, though only occasionally, for about 2 months now. I have not been able to figure it out. I've heard they will bite cats if no humans around, but it seems like they started on my cat- if its bed bugs. I feel like I also must have mites, but nothing fits any profile I read about them. If my cat had mites she would have mange.

  9. ires solto

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 17 2010 3:26:36
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    My cat has really thick, short hair. She was staying with my father for a few months(who has a severe bed bug infestation... and Im kinda thinking she brought them inside in the first place) before I moved her to a close friends place... (uh oh). At my friends place, she hid underneath one of the roommates beds for a solid week, so I brought her to visit me for the weekend...

    Already being aware of my dad's intense bb situation made me kinda paranoid at home. I always checked the beds and baseboards just in case, because I frequently visited my father. After the cat gets to my place and sleeps with me on the bed, the next day I find two dead BB on my mattress pad...

    Since she had been at my friends place for a week already, I immediately moved her back there and dealt with the BB situation on my front. I spent a solid 9 hours cleaning, vacuuming, and laundering everything. I also soaked everything down with rubbing alcohol- my carpets, baseboards, mattress, every drawer, nook, and cranny. I threw out any stuffed animals, the mattress pad, my pillows, cork boards, posters, and anything that could not be washed or thrown into the dryer. I repeated the vacuuming and rubbing alcohol ritual, and begged pest control to come look at the place a month later (twice). The first time the dude found no trace of bed bugs... but I swore things were crawling on me. I bugged my apartment complex so hard that the next time the dude came out, the manager went with him and had him lift the carpets during the inspection... and had a second person inspect afterwards. They were in just my room for a solid hour. (THey didnt inspect the whole apartment though). They declared my area a bug free zone... Still unconvinced, I put my bed posts into bowls of mineral oil to monitor the situation. It's been at least a month and a half, and no signs of insects in the bowls. Im checking hard core even for the "see through" nymphs still.

    At my friends place the next day, the roommate started complaining of welts:

    So I informed everyone what was going on, and tried to impart the serious nature of the situation (that these things are very difficult and costly to eradicate) on my friends. They thought (and still do) that I was nuts and over reacting.

    I washed the cat using flea shampoo, and at least 10 bed bugs came floating dead in the water, no joke (And yes, I can definitely ID a sucker by now. ). Even completely lathered in shampoo I saw a bed bug making it's way through her fur...

    Then I did a nice 5 hour vacuum job of the room mates room... (and my friends are kinda really insanely messy... and not very clean), went out and bought Advantage Multi, and picked up an electric razor. I tried thinning her fur (because it is seriously fine and thick, like rug worthy thick) in hopes of making her less hospitable.

    I didnt think that would be the end of the bed bug saga... and I still dont. However, it's been like a month and a half and no bed bug signs in either of the apartments(I go to the room mates room and check his mattress like once a week, along with the visible parts of the base boards).

    But sorry, the short answer of it is:

    Yes, bed bugs can and will live on a cat.

  10. Jacksfullofaces

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 17 2010 3:39:56
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    One of my cats has short fine hair. Last autumn when we were trying to identify the cause of our bites (my husband thought mosquitos and I concluded cimex) Tudor was getting very restless at nights and developed bald patches which vanished when we no longer slept in that room. Yes sensitive cats can show a reaction to bug bites although I am not certain that cimex always bite animals.
    Jacks

  11. ssilverstein

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Dec 20 2011 18:16:39
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    I am so GLAD you asked this question and got so many good responses!!
    When I was suffereing at my worst (generally 3-5 AM) so was my furry feline. Mewling and TOTALLY miserable! This made sleeping twice as hard!
    I think he is just as sensitive as I am!
    After reading these posts I am off the fence about trying to BATHE him. I have given him several Advatage treatments, and my house has had 2 treatments, also.
    I have never bathed my boy, we adopted him when he found us, skinny and scared, but I will do whatever I CAN to be rid of these damn bugs, and I am dying to see if any bugs come off him. (uh, not really.) Hope he doesn't claw me to death. OH, SO many ways to go!!

    Thanks!!

  12. spideyjg

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Dec 20 2011 19:38:06
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    Search the forum for Vectra or First Shield. They use Dinotefuran which is used in the Alpine series of BB killers.

    Jim

  13. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 12:36:33
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    (Note this thread up to the last two posters is from fall 2009 and summer 2010 so those earlier posters may no longer be active on bedbugger.com.)

    Key question for specialists is whether Cimex lectularius bed bugs feeding on cats, or for that matter on dogs, rodents, pigeons, etc., can (a) molt to the next stage and (b) reproduce.

    In other words, if you have bed bugs that you're preventing from feeding on you but you don't have any way of preventing them from feeding on, say, your cat, will the bed bugs feed yet not be able to become more numerous and, in fact, die out in a few weeks or months?

  14. spideyjg

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 13:00:12
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    BBs can survive off non human hosts. Old studies showed comparisons off humans,rabbits and chickens.

    IIRC off the top of my head, they did better off chickens,humans, and rabbits.

    Jim

  15. betterdays

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 13:09:19
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    I'm positive that bedbugs will bite cats. I haven't found any LIVING on my cats, but I did find a bedbug running away on top of a blanket that my cat was sleeping on. I smashed the bug and it was full of blood. Pretty sure it wasn't my blood because the cat was on the opposite side of the house from my room. Makes me feel so horribly sad for my poor cat

  16. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 13:54:49
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    BBs can and will feed on alternative hosts and, for the most part, do just fine. Some labs that maintaine BBs feed them on chickens, rabbits and rodents.

    Under field conditons we have seen BB evidence associated with pet bedding so it is wise to consider these areas as additional BB harborages & feeding resources.

    Although this has been observed under what I consider to be extreme conditions it is rare to see BBs actually harboring on a host.

    Hope this helps, paul b.

    As a consulting entomologist I provide services for entities such as property managers, health/housing/emergency depts, schools, hospitality/resort/cruise industry, homeowners, food service, retail, pest professionals & product manufacturers. I recommend only efficacious methodologies, products and equipment. Professional relations have included Actisol, AMVAC, Atrix, BASF, Bayer, Catchmaster, FMC, GMT, Eaton, MattressSafe, Nisus, ProTeam, Rockwell, Syngenta & Woodstream. No compensation for product sales occurs. As inventor of Knight Safe bed bug sleep tent provides a royalty.
  17. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 14:27:35
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    P Bello - 28 minutes ago  » 
    BBs can and will feed on alternative hosts and, for the most part, do just fine. Some labs that maintain BBs feed them on chickens, rabbits and rodents.
    ...

    And so they're able to progress through all their life stages feeding on the chickens, rabbits, or rodents, and mate and lay eggs and grow in numbers, never needing to feed on a human from one generation to the next?

    And has anyone investigated in a systematic fashion whether they can do that feeding on dogs and/or cats?

  18. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 14:43:40
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    I am unsure that such a test has actually been conducted to determine if BBs can develop to the completion of their lifecycle by feeding exclusively on canines, felines or other non-human hosts. However, there is no evidence that this would not be the case.

    While certain host blood may be of superior nutritional value than others, it does not seem that this is a significant factor warranting the cost to fully investigate when we collectively already know that we can maintain BB populations on a diversity of food resources.

    It's an interesting question however, not sure any of that helps or not.

    paul b.

  19. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 15:16:26
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    Hi,

    Yes it is possible for bedbugs to fully develop and to proliferate when fed only on non human species. This is know in both lab environments as well as observations in the field.

    I believe pets are less common a source of food for bedbugs than people fear due in part of the fact that most other animals have twitch responses to deter insects, as some of you have have observed with cats and fleas. They are also not as strong a CO2 and heat source as human which will be more attractive.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.

    "Open minds find faster solutions"

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  20. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 15:21:28
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    Actually, I do know of at least one lab where they did feed their lab strains off cats.

    pb

  21. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 15:59:08
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    I remember reading that some blood is more quickly imbibed due to the physical constraints of the bed bug food canal and the size of blood cells. Different vertebrate hosts may have differently sized red blood cells and smaller ones can more quickly be sucked up by a feeding bed bug.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  22. rs1971

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 17:04:01
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    I recall seeing a video (it may have even been hosted on this site though I can't find it at the moment) where an entomologist / PCO (whose name eludes me but he's quite well known) was called to a chicken farm where he was surprised to find literally hundreds of thousands of bed bugs feeding and living quite happily off of the chickens.

    -rs1971

  23. ohnotooks

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 18:02:52
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  24. rs1971

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 23:34:20
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    ohnotooks - 5 hours ago  » 
    http://bedbugger.com/2008/03/20/bed-bugs-chickens-and-dna-with-james-austin/
    Is this the article you were talking about?

    No, that's interesting, but it's not it. I'm pretty sure that this was a video though I don't recall if it was a video of the actual chicken farm or just of the guy talking about it. I think it was the former, but I'm not sure. The video was one of a serious of videos by the same entomologist (PhD) / PCO, all of which were very informative. I think that his name was fishman or fishbien or something like that.

    Someone must know what I'm talking about.

    -rs1971

  25. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 2:06:32
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    Yes, that's Dr. Austin Frishman.

    It was an organic poultry farm in the bershires.

    There were so many that BBs were as snow drifts at this location and could be swept and shoveled.

    This location was documented as one of the most severly infested ever.

    paul b.

  26. rs1971

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 14:13:53
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    P Bello - 12 hours ago  » 
    Yes, that's Dr. Austin Frishman.
    It was an organic poultry farm in the bershires.
    There were so many that BBs were as snow drifts at this location and could be swept and shoveled.
    This location was documented as one of the most severly infested ever.
    paul b.

    Yes, that's it. Thanks a lot Paul. I actually just found a link to the video to which I was referring but unfortunately, it's been removed.

    -rs1971

  27. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 14:32:17
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    Crap, I hate when that happens !

    I may have it somewhere. But, of course, that would require me to remember to look for it too.

    pb


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