Bed bugs, also known by their scientific name Cimex lectularius L., are parasitic creatures that use blood as their sole source of nutrition. They feed on warm-blooded animals. According to the California Department of Public Health, while bed bugs prefer humans, they will feed on dogs and cats as well. Adults are 5-7 mm long, about the length of an apple seed, and are flat—a shape that is ideal for hiding in bed frames, molding, and box springs.
Most hotel rooms are reported to be infested with bed bugs. The pet can also get bed bugs from your neighbors' apartments should they be infested. Pets can also get bed bugs from other pets. If a bed bug falls off the body of one pet, it can easily crawl into the body of the next pet.
Bed bugs won't use an animal as a means of transport or a nest. They feed for 3 to 5 minutes and move back to the nesting area. This is usually 5 to 10 feet away from the host. With pets, you are more likely to find the bugs in carriers or crates, bedding, toys or other items close to where the pet sleeps.
Bed bugs do not live on their hosts the way that fleas do. Some of the cases of people who posted here claiming that they had bed bugs living in their hair turned out to be a different pest. (We've heard of one case of bed bugs living in hair extensions, but that's very, very rare.)
Bed bugs do not fly; they either crawl or are carried from place to place. When a bed bug feeds, its body swells and becomes bright red, making it appear to be a different insect. In homes, hotels, or other dwellings, bed bugs feed primarily on human blood, usually at night when people are sleeping.
Bed bugs do not live on animals the way fleas do. They are hidden in the environment and come out only at night to feed. Thus, it is unusual for pets to carry bugs on them.