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#1 Posted by xyzygy (10595 posts) -

A good friend of mine just recently found out he has bedbugs in the apartment he's living in. He's getting it fumigated shortly and is looking for a place for his cat Milo to stay. He asked me if I could keep him until it's safe for Milo to go back, but I have no previous experience with bedbugs. Will they travel on cats? I am just terrified of getting bedbugs and don't want them for obvious reasons. Anyone have any experience with them?

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#2 Posted by Skytylz (4136 posts) -

Some of the dorms had them last year at Uni. Since they can travel on people I'm gonna guess they can travel on cats, I'd be careful allowing the cat onto your furniture at least.

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#3 Edited by kindgineer (3087 posts) -

They can travel on anything. Be very careful when accepting anything from someone who has had a previous encounter with them. It's one of the reason "used matresses" completely boggles my mind. However, you should be able to check the cat for a fairly low price for the things. Also, I really hope your friend can eliminate them. The problem with the damn things are they are extremely resilient and resourceful. I believe they A-Sexually re-produce - so if even one lives, they won't be eliminated.

There was a British show at some point that covered bed-bugs and it was terrifying to see the bites all over children. One of the families fumigated their house and all that non-sense over 10 times before they finally gave up and just moved.

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#4 Posted by John1912 (2393 posts) -

Its a trick! The cat is made of bed bugs. Sure it will look cute, but the second you let it in, it will fall apart into a million bugs that will scurry everywhere!

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#5 Posted by Justin258 (14374 posts) -

I'd imagine they could easily get into your house on that cat. I wouldn't take it.

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#6 Posted by epgpx (365 posts) -

Just say no.

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#7 Posted by Getz (3764 posts) -

Bed bugs can survive fumigation quite easily, and tell your friend to fuck off cause that cat is INFESTED

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#8 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

A good friend of mine just recently found out he has bedbugs in the apartment he's living in. He's getting it fumigated shortly and is looking for a place for his cat Milo to stay. He asked me if I could keep him until it's safe for Milo to go back, but I have no previous experience with bedbugs. Will they travel on cats? I am just terrified of getting bedbugs and don't want them for obvious reasons. Anyone have any experience with them?

There's a very good chance that Cat might be carrying them. Sad to say. I would not recommend taking it unless you have a means to make sure it's clean.

Tell your friend fumigation doesn't usually work and is largely a waste of time. What exterminators call the "heat treatment" is much more expensive, but as far as I know is the only truly effective methods to annihilate them.

You can learn more about bedbugs here

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/vector/bed-bug-guide.pdf

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#9 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

If he's going to stay with you, make sure he takes every precaution possible. I can't stress this enough: don't bullshit around with bed bugs. He needs to check everything, put all of his clothes and linens through the dryer, and pack the clean stuff in boxes outside of the apartment. I've never had them before (and I live in a city in which they're a growing threat), but everything I've heard about them makes them sound like a nightmare.

They will absolutely travel on a cat -- he needs to do the most humane equivalent of power washing it and throwing it in a garbage bag.

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#10 Edited by LD50 (430 posts) -

"Your friend" can always call a vet to find out :]

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#11 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1219 posts) -

Eww.

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#12 Posted by Franstone (1455 posts) -

Have your friend bring it to a vet and a groomer...

Wait, a cat?

Kill it.

Kidding of course!

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#13 Edited by Spoonman671 (5767 posts) -

I took an entomology class in college where one of the professors had looked into different commercial methods for getting rid of bed bugs, and she found that the most effective way to draw them out and kill them was as follows:
 
- Get a metal bowl.  Stainless and smooth on the inside.
- Put bowl on bed facing up and build pillows/blankets/sheets around the bowl until they are flush with the top of the bowl.
- Place some dry ice in the center of the bowl and leave overnight. You'll need somewhere else to sleep for the night.
- Bowl of dead bed bugs in the morning.
 
Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide put off by dry ice, since they feed on mammals, who exhale carbon dioxide (aside, you should also avoid exhaling too heavily, for similar reasons, around wasps/bees in order to not be perceived as a threat).  The bed bugs will crawl up the ramp you've made with your linens and fall into the bowl.  Provided the bowl is steep enough, they will not be able to crawl out.
 
This is a home remedy--professionals probably know better ways.  I'm pretty sure you have to be 18 or older to purchase dry ice.  I haven't tried this method myself (never had bed bugs, knock on wood), so I cannot personally vouch for it.
 
This is the absolute extent of my bed bug knowledge, outside of Rosco the bed bug dog commercials.

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#14 Posted by Elazul (1351 posts) -

@Slag said:

There's a very good chance that Cat might be carrying them. Sad to say. I would not recommend taking it unless you have a means to make sure it's clean.

Tell your friend fumigation doesn't usually work and is largely a waste of time. What exterminators call the "heat treatment" is much more expensive, but as far as I know is the only truly effective methods to annihilate them.

Huh, really? I totally had bed bugs at my place about four years ago. I called the local council about it, they came round and fumigated once and I never saw or felt any ever again.

I don't know if they were using government-grade poison or what, but it seemed pretty damn effective to me.

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#15 Posted by xyzygy (10595 posts) -

I did some researching and apparently they don't travel on cats at all. They don't really like to feed on cats, mostly humans, and when a human is present they will always feed on him over the cat. Also, they don't LIVE on the things they feed on, even cats with their fur - they prefer to live near where a person will be for extended periods of time (like a bed, hence the name)

I'm still wary though. I'm actually supposed to be adopting this cat for good in a month, that's one of the main reasons why I'm concerned.

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#16 Posted by nintendoeats (6221 posts) -

We had them for about 6 months and didn't get rid of them until we moved away. the cat is probably safe, but I wouldn't let the friend in if I were you.

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#17 Posted by killacam (1341 posts) -

the fact that i'm 75% sure this is all happening in halifax terrifies me.

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#18 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

@Elazul said:

Huh, really? I totally had bed bugs at my place about four years ago. I called the local council about it, they came round and fumigated once and I never saw or felt any ever again.

I don't know if they were using government-grade poison or what, but it seemed pretty damn effective to me.

Research conducted this year has shown that fogging chemicals just causes them to scatter and doesn't penetrate into their hiding places. But that's brand new research and the people who came by your place would not have known that.

I didn't conduct the research, but I do know that it's been accepted enough that they broadcast the info on all our local news every so often ( bedbugs are a huge problem here)

Chances are the exterminators did a battery of things when they did your place including heat treatment as well as leaving water based residual insecticides, my guess is fumigation was just part of it and likely a now known to be unnecessary part.

One of the very bad things about bedbugs is that if you live in a Multi-unit building they are really really tough to get rid of as they tend to chased from unit to unit. You pretty much have to do the entire floor and sometimes the whole building to get 'em.

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#19 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

I did some researching and apparently they don't travel on cats at all. They don't really like to feed on cats, mostly humans, and when a human is present they will always feed on him over the cat. Also, they don't LIVE on the things they feed on, even cats with their fur - they prefer to live near where a person will be for extended periods of time (like a bed, hence the name)

I'm still wary though. I'm actually supposed to be adopting this cat for good in a month, that's one of the main reasons why I'm concerned.

In that case, I still would definitely not take the cat's collar or any of its' stuff (litterbox, toys etc). They may not be on the cat itself , but they have plenty of ways to still get in through its' stuff.

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#20 Posted by Elazul (1351 posts) -

@Slag: Now that I think about it, it definitely was a residual. The guy specifically said that a white, dusty residue would be left around the perimeter of every room and that I should wash it off my hands if I touch it and avoid eating in those rooms. I seriously doubt they did a heat treat, because they weren't there very long and it was, you know, the government, so I seriously doubt they would've paid the extra cost.

I definitely will say to the OP though, bedbugs are friggin' horrendous. I'm not even squeamish about insects at all, it's that they made me itch so badly that I literally just couldn't sleep. After dealing with that shit once I wouldn't take that cat under any circumstances if there was even a remote chance of me getting them again.

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#21 Posted by Vinny_Says (5914 posts) -
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#22 Edited by LD50 (430 posts) -
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#23 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5164 posts) -

The "cat" is actually a horse.

A trojan horse.

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#24 Posted by xdaknightx69 (480 posts) -

shave the cat and give it a bath, then take it,problem solved!

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#25 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1219 posts) -

@xdaknightx69 said:

shave the cat and give it a bath, then take it,problem solved!

Take a bath with the cat. 2 birds one stone.

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#26 Posted by Hizang (9358 posts) -

You know whats more scary, spiders in your ear.

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#27 Posted by falserelic (5770 posts) -

The last apartment I lived in was infested with bed bugs. Once you get them there staying no matter what you do.

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#28 Posted by Fattony12000 (8273 posts) -
OM NOM NOM
OM NOM NOM
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#29 Posted by benpicko (2016 posts) -

@Franstone said:

Have your friend bring it to a vet and a groomer...

Wait, a cat?

Kill it.

Kidding of course!

Of course you were... You evil bastard, you.

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#30 Posted by McGhee (6128 posts) -

Slept in bed bug infested places twice in my travels. Don't take any chance of getting those things into your house.

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#31 Posted by beepmachine (631 posts) -

God dammit why did I read this thread. Anyone know HOW these things get into a house? They must come in from outdoors right?

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#32 Edited by BlindRapture (110 posts) -

Yeah, they can and will travel on anything and once you get them, they are the biggest pain in the ass in the world to get rid of. I had a friend stay at my house once, turned out he brought some with him and it took me a year to completely get rid of them. They just kept coming back. They even survived two exterminations and a move, in which i was very careful about the furniture I brought. Ended up throwing out quite a bit of my stuff.

They don't really come from outside, they just spread from person to person or object to object. In fact they were pretty much extinct in the US until a few years ago when there was a major resurgence. It was really really bad in New York, which is where my friend brought them from.