Can my cats spread bed bugs to the rest of the house?(3 posts)
We dealt with an infestation last year. We actually managed to get rid of them and get no bites this year until I opened a bag too early. Now we're dealing with them in my new home.
My new housemates are worried that my cats may spread them to other areas of the home? I've heard that pets can bring them in from outdoors (presumably from bird or bat nests), but mine have always been indoor cats and it would be nice if they could leave my room again. Any insights into this would be appreciated!
Bed bugs do not generally live on their hosts. That is to say, generally speaking, bed bugs leave near where their hosts sleep and come out at night to feed on them.
Bed bugs will also almost always choose to feed on humans rather than on other mammals.
So if there's a live human nearby, bed bugs will almost always pick the human as food over a cat or a dog. (That's not to say bed bugs won't feed on pets. I'm sure the bed bugs munched on my cat while I was out of town for, say, a week at a time. But given the speed with which they feasted on me when I came home? I believe this evidence because I got attacked.)
It's possible that a bed bug who happened to be feeding on your cat could get into another part of the house. But it's pretty unlikely.
I doubt it will be much comfort to your roommates, but the bugs are far more likely to walk into other parts of the residence or get carried there on bags or clothes than they are to be carried there by cats.
I often think people simply get bedbugs mixed up with other bugs like roaches and fleas. Bedbugs are so different, and so relatively unknown to people, that people assume they are like other bugs --which they really aren't. If people know cats can spread fleas, some of those folks probably erroneously think cats can also spread bedbugs.
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