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Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs? Here’s What You Need to Know:

For many dog owners, chances are they’ve likely had an unpleasant encounter with parasites. However, unlike the common ones like fleas and dust mites, bed bugs hitchhike differently. Can dogs carry bed bugs?

Read on to find out.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are tiny insects that consume human and animal blood for their survival. At the adult stage, these reddish-brown insects are at least 3/16 inches long, about the size of an apple seed with flat features.

Besides that, unlike fleas, these parasites don’t fly. Rather, bed bugs crawl over surfaces like floors and ceilings. Bed bugs’ eggs are microscopic and white. Plus, it takes approximately seven days for the eggs to hatch.

A bed bug can live for almost a year. And, its extended lifespan is primarily due to the insect’s ability to go for up to 4 months without feeding. What’s more, bed bugs are active at night. They’ll typically hide during daytime close to where human hosts sleep.

Upon entry into your home, bed bugs will hide close to resting areas such as your mattress, box springs, sofa, and bed frames.

Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs?

Now, can dogs carry bed bugs? Dogs and other furry friends rarely spread bed bugs. Contrary to fleas and ticks, bed bugs don’t usually infest dogs. Instead, bed bugs feed and go back to their hiding spots.

However, even though these insects can’t live on your dog’s fur, dogs can carry bed bugs if they hide in their collars until they find a human host. It’s worth noting that bed bugs prefer human blood because we lack fur, making it easier to feed. Therefore, you’re a more likely subject (than your dog) to bring bed bugs to your home through infested luggage and second-hand furniture.

Do Bed Bugs Bite Dogs?

While these parasites dislike fur, bed bugs can bite your pet. Also, they will hide in your pet’s bedding as they do yours. However, it can be challenging to detect bed bug bites on dogs. The only obvious sign of a bed bug bite is excessive scratching and excessive licking. Other notable symptoms include fecal spots, molted skin, and dried blood on your dog’s bedding.

Note that it’s challenging to differentiate between bedbug bites and flea bites. We, therefore, recommend taking your pet to the vet for an accurate prognosis.

Can Bed Bugs Transmit Disease to Dogs?

Fortunately, bed bugs are not disease carriers. The issue, however, comes from excessive itching, which might result in an open wound. Besides, your dog’s paws have dirt and bacteria on them. Therefore, the more they scratch, the more likely they are to catch a secondary infection.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

How do bed bug infestations begin? Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. So, they’ll likely enter your home by latching onto clothing, second-hand furniture, and luggage. Though rare, they may also hide on your dog’s collar and fur before (or until) they find a human host.

Here are the common signs that bed bugs have infested your Florida home.

  • Reddish-brown feces
  • Red welts on you or your dog, especially around the ears and belly
  • Bloodstains on beddings
  • Live bed bugs
  • Tan-colored molted skin

Treating Bed Bugs on Dogs

There are two practical steps to take if you suspect bed bug bites on your dog.

  • Treat your dog’s bedding and toys – You’ll need to place your dog’s bed and toys in the washing machine under high heat to kill bedbugs and their eggs. Alternatively, you could safely dispose of these items if heavily infested.
  • Call or visit your vet for professional advice – We recommend speaking to your vet before using any bed bug repellent. Such a plan protects your dog from potential allergic reactions to insect repellents.

Bed Bug Control

The first step of bed bug control is performing a detailed inspection. We recommend hiring professional exterminators to ensure you don’t miss any infested spots.

Once the pest control company confirms an infestation, the next step would be to determine how to get rid of bed bugs from your home. You’ll need to prepare your house before the bed bug treatment, and the preparation steps will depend on the level of infestation. If required, it may be recommended you do the following.

  • Declutter your house
  • Clean clothing and bedding in the washing machine on high heat settings
  • Dry fabric items that you can’t launder like stuffed animals on high heat settings
  • Vacuum all floors and upholstery
  • If need be, safely discard heavily infested items by enclosing them in plastic bags
  • Heat treatment – Bed bug heat treatments are effective because they penetrate the hard-to-reach areas ensuring both bed bugs and the eggs are exterminated. Only professionals should conduct this form of treatment.

Keep Your Furry Companions Safe by Calling the Experts

You’re more likely to carry bed bugs, and they will only hitchhike your dogs to get to you. McDonald pest control offers comprehensive bed bug heat treatment and control for residential and commercial properties. Protect your pets and home from an infestation; call us at 727-734-0963 today for safe and effective bed bug treatment.