Can dogs bring in bed bugs?
How to Protect Your Pets from Bed Bugs
Your pets are a beloved part of your family. If you have bed bugs you might be worried that the pests will also plague your pet. While bed bugs prefer human blood, it is possible that they will target your pet if hungry.
Pet Bedding and Bed Bugs
Bed bugs will not live in the fur of your animals, but they do love the cozy confines of their bed. The creases, curves, and folds of their bed are an ideal hiding spot, shielding the bed bugs from the light and keep them warm when your pet lies on top.
Bed Bugs Are Opportunists
As mentioned, the bed bug prefers human blood, but the insect is also an opportunist. When hungry, your pet’s blood might suffice as a quick meal. If this is the case, you will find tiny red bumps on your pets’ belly or limbs that you should be able to feel with your fingertips. The bite lesions are likely to be in a straight line or a cluster formation. The dog or cat may chew or scratch the bites causing a rash to appear and fur to shed.
Rule Out Other Causes
If your animal is scratching excessively you should eliminate other potential reasons first, including:
- Pet dandruff
Diagnose the Cause of the Itch
Your veterinarian can perform a diagnostic test such as skin scrapes or a biopsy of the lesions to determine the exact ailment. Treatment will depend on the cause of the discomfort. It’s important to remember that bed bugs are an environmental problem and do not actually live on your pet. They are not parasitic like fleas, mites, or mange.
Finding the Bed Bugs
If these common pet problems are ruled out it may be time to put on your Sherlock Holmes cap and start looking for clues around your home to determine if you have bed bugs. Inspect your pets bedding and blankets looking closely for the following:
- Blood Spots: If a bed bug bites your pet, the wound might bleed before coagulating. You might notice large blood stains on their bed cushions or material.
- Fecal Spotting: Tiny red spots can indicate the fecal matter of bed bugs. The spots look like flecks and are not exceptionally large, so they are hard to detect if the pet bed is not made of light-colored material.
- Bed Bug Eggs: Bed bug eggs are ridiculously small and pearly in color. They look like tiny spots that often appear in rows. You might need a magnifying glass to see the eggs clearly.
- Exoskeletons: The exoskeletons of the bed bug are translucent shells that are the exact size and shape as the bed bug. The nymph sheds its skin (known as an exoskeleton) as it grows and enters the various life stages.
- Live Bed Bugs: Some people have a challenging time differentiating bed bugs from fleas. The bed bug is small and flat and reddish brown in color. Many people say that it looks like an apple seed. However, the best way to tell the difference between a flea and bed bug without a microscope is to remember that fleas jump, and bed bugs run. If you smack the cushion, blanket, or carpet fleas will jump up, maybe even to your ankles for a quick snack, but the bed bug will run for cover. The bed bug automatically seeks out a dark place to hide from detection.
What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs
What happens if you find bed bugs on your pet’s bedding? As a pet owner, you might be tempted to rush out and buy a bug bomb. Bug bombs work on fleas so why not bed bugs? Bed bugs are tough and hard to kill. They have become genetically immune to many common pesticides. You are going to need to seek out a spray that is tailor-made for killing bed bugs and shown to work. You can also call an exterminator for steam or heat treatments to effectively annihilate the colony. The treatment method that you choose should depend on the size of the infestation. A large and prosperous colony might be harder to eradicate as a DIY project.
What to Do on Treatment Day
Always take the time to read the label of the pesticide sprays that you choose to determine if they are safe to use around your pets. Some sprays require that you leave the house for a few hours after treatment in which case you should also take your pets. If you are having a professional exterminator treat your home, they will go over the process with you and advise you if your pet must be removed from the premises. Following these simple steps will help keep your furry friends happy and safe from bed bugs.
Get more information on Bed Bugs:
Did My Dog Get Fleas in My Bed?
«My dog sleeps with me and has fleas—is this a problem?» If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, the answer is that it very well might turn into an issue. Although fleas tend to prefer dogs, they can hop around and bite you sometimes too. So yes, if your dog has fleas and sleeps in your bed, this could lead to a flea problem that sneaks up on you in your sleep, leaving you with lots of itchy bites in the morning.
Signs that Fleas Are in Your Bed
Unfortunately, if your dog has fleas and sleeps in your bed, your bed will likely end up with fleas. Fleas can lay eggs in your pet’s fur, and those eggs can fall off onto your bedding and other areas where your dog sits or sleeps. 1 Signs of fleas in your bedding include tiny black specks that are sometimes called «flea dirt.» These are flea excrement; if you sprinkle them with a little water, they’ll turn a dark-reddish brown.
Another sign that fleas have invaded your bed are flea bites on your body. Flea bites often look like clusters of small, itchy bites in concentrated areas. 2 The bites are frequently around your ankles, but they can show up anywhere on your body. If you notice new clusters of bites every time you wake up, this might be a sign there are fleas in your bed. An even more concerning possibility is bed bugs. A bed bug bite can look similar, but these usually appear in a linear row rather than in a cluster. 3
Treating Your Home
If you believe you have fleas in your bed, you should wash all your bedding in hot water, including your sheets, blankets, pillows, and mattress pad. Also, treat your home for fleas, since fleas and their eggs could be in your carpet and other places in your home. Adams Flea & Tick Home Spray kills fleas, ticks, and bed bugs. It starts killing fleas within five minutes of being sprayed and protects against fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae for up to seven months. It also kills roaches, spiders, ants,* and more.
Another option is Adams Flea & Tick Carpet Powder, which kills fleas in every stage of their life cycle. Each package treats one to two rooms (200 to 400 square feet), and the powder kills fleas for up to 30 days and controls reinfestation for up to 365 days.
Don’t forget to treat your yard too. If you treat everything indoors but let your dog go outside, your pup might carry fleas right back in. Adams Yard & Garden Spray protects from fleas for up to four weeks and also kills ticks, mosquitoes, and ants.
Treating Your Dog for Fleas
You also want to treat your dog so she doesn’t develop a flea infestation. One easy option is the Adams Flea & Tick Collar Plus for Dogs & Puppies. This collar protects your dog for up to six months. Consider bathing her with the Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo for added protection.
Treating your pup, your home, and your yard can help ensure that you all stay flea free—even when you let your dog sleep in your bed. Just make sure you continue treating for fleas, even in the winter.
Bed Bugs and Pets – Can My Pets Carry Bed Bugs?
Unlike other insects similar to mites, lice, ticks, or fleas, bed bugs don’t spend much time on your pet. However, they do bite. Given that bed bugs are known to be great hitchhikers, they can hitch a ride on your pets, thus transporting them inside your home. Yes, there is a great chance that you will find bed bugs on your pets, but they won’t settle hiding in their fur as they will be constantly disturbed by the scratching and movement of your pet.
How Likely It is to Get an Infestation After Seeing Bed Bugs on Your Pets?
Just as easily you can bring bed bugs with your clothes and other belongings, there is also a high risk that you can get an infestation once you notice bed bugs on your pets. If there are bed bugs in your apartment building and your pet tends to roam around, there is a high chance that the pests will latch onto them and get into your home.
There is a specific connection between bed bugs and house pets. Given that these bugs are called the “Ultimate Hitchhikers”, they will not only climb up your clothes but they will climb on your pets. However, this is less likely to happen since bed bugs prefer human blood over animal blood. They will only bite and feed on animals if it has been a long time since they have fed on a human host.
Do They Prefer Humans or Pets?
Many believe that bed bugs don’t like fur or hair, which is why they like humans more than pets. It is more likely that they’ll bite and feed on you first before they can reach for your dog or cat. Also, they will feed on their host when they need to and when there is an opportunity to. This means that even in broad daylight, they will feed on you when they need to. This is more possible if you are napping or sitting for long hours on a couch or on your bed.
Bed Bugs Treatment and Pets: How to Protect Your Pets When Dealing with Bed Bugs
Aside from the bites, the number one concern that pet owners have is how they can protect their pets from the treatments that they will use when dealing with bed bugs. If you ever experience an infestation, the following are some things that you can do to keep the area of your pets bedbug-free:
- Wash and dry the bedding and toys of your pets on high heat.
One way to keep your pet’s area free from bed bugs is to wash their bedding as well as their toys and other items in high heat. Proceed to dry all items in high heat to ensure adult bed bugs and their eggs are killed. If you can’t wash all items or you don’t have a large enough dryer, you can also use heat treatment equipment like the ZappBug Oven 2 to have enough space for heat treating a lot of items.
- Call your vet for expert advice on bed bug repellent or solutions
It is highly recommended to ask for the advice of your vet when it comes to using products to repel or get rid of bed bugs that are possibly stuck on your pet’s fur. This is one way to protect your pet from possible allergic reactions or irritation in case your dog is sensitive to over-the-counter medications.
If the infestation is getting out of hand and you called for an exterminator, make sure that you follow their advice to a T. Though there are insecticides that are environment and animal-friendly, it is still best that you put your pets’ safety as your top priority when you ask for expert help.
To sum up all the points mentioned above, you will have an idea on how you can treat bed bugs around your pet. You’ll also learn how likely it is for your pets to bring in bed bugs and prevent it from happening in your home.