The question here is; can dogs and cats get bed bugs? We’re all about providing the answers you seek.
The interactions between pests and humans date as far back with little to no trace of when it all began. One of the most notorious and hated pests which have plagued humans for several millennia is the bed bug.
These feed mainly on blood and will readily hitch a ride with the nearest host they can find. Now, it’s common knowledge that bed bugs infest human settlements and feed on human blood.
But can dogs and cats carry bed bugs? As you read along, you should find definite answers and more.
It’s Unusual But Possible!
Bed bugs are widely known to prefer human hosts for their blood meal. Therefore, it’s unusual to find them on pets such as dogs and cats. However, this isn’t entirely impossible. Dogs and cats sometimes attract bed bugs.
In the case of a bed bug infestation, bed bugs will readily feed on any suitable host they find. Yes, that includes dogs and cats! Dealing with a bed bug infestation is a very uncomfortable situation you’d rather avoid.
This is worsened by the fact that bed bugs are nocturnal creatures and will feed mostly at night when you and your pets are asleep. This causes immense discomfort and you’d want to find help as soon as you can.
Why You Need to Treat Immediately
If your pets have a bed bug problem, you likely do.
For most people keeping dogs or pets, these are seen and treated as part of the family which means they get access to the living room and other areas of the home. Pet bedding will most likely be found indoors too!
So, a bed bug infestation not only affects your beloved pets but also seek the “perfect host” which in this case is you!
Identifying Signs of an Infestation
Bed bugs will never hesitate to feed on their hosts whenever they can. As mentioned earlier, their perfect feeding times are nights when pets and humans should be resting. You won’t need to look far to identify a bed bug infestation.
Sooner or later, you should begin to see or identify visible signs of bed bug bites. Bed bugs will always keep out of sight as much as possible. However, you may be lucky enough to see one or more.
The most common signs of bed bug infestation are bite signs on exposed skin.
This is seen in bite signs which may seem similar to those of fleas or mosquitoes. If you wish to further inspection to determine if you’re faced with a bed bug situation, consider looking at mattress folds. Get a torch for ease of inspection.
Other signs will include reddish blood stains on your sheets that arise from the crushing of bed bugs.
Tiny bed bug excrement can also be seen on your sheets if you look close enough. Such excrement actually bleeds on your bedsheets in the form of ink.
If the above information seems a bit sketchy to you, further definition of the physical characteristics of these blood-sucking creatures may help. Gland on the lower sides of their body gives off a musty-sweetish and smelly odor.
When it comes to size, bed bugs will roughly measure about 5 to 7mm long. It’s balloon-like and more elongated with a reddish-brown appearance. The body of bed bugs divides into three main segments; an antenna with four parts, tiny or short golden-colored hairs, and wings that aren’t used.
Nymphs (young bed bugs) may be difficult to see especially when they’re not fed and due to their translucent to whitish-yellow color. Any of these physical characteristics should help with bed bug identification.
There’re still chances that you could mistake other pests for bed bugs. In this case, you might want to consider searching for an online image to see if it correlates. You could also call a pest control service for inspection.
That way, you’re never left guessing what pest situation you’re dealing with.
How Will Dogs and Cats Behave?
When bitten by bed bugs, most pests like humans will be seen to be uncomfortable.
This will result in itchiness with dogs and cats seen scratching the bite spots. A close examination should reveal around your pet’s skin and bedding should reveal these pests.
You won’t be left out of this feeding activity. It’s easier for bed bugs to feed on human hosts than on pets because there are far fewer hairs on your skin which means they will have to navigate through fewer hairs before digging in for some blood.
Will Dogs and Cats Carry Bed Bugs Around?
Unlike fleas that hang on to their hosts and go wherever it does, bed bugs are different.
These pests will rather hide indoors and in areas where their hosts will come back to rest. The reasons are simple; bed bugs feed better when the host is static than when moving.
So, you’ll have to look at your pet bedding areas as well as carpets or rugs and couches. Anywhere pets have access to will likely serve as hiding areas for them to lay in wait.
Protecting Your Pets
Dogs and cats are likely to get bed bugs from humans. As such, you’ll need to be careful about the places you go and what you do. A simple activity like taking a commute may result in bed bugs hitching a ride by clinging onto your clothing.
Visits to hotels or any public space having a bed bug presence may result in the transfer of the problem home.
Whenever you leave hotels and other similar places, consider inspecting your luggage for signs of these pests. You can go as far as bathing your pets and having them groomed before you arrive home.
Call A Pest Management Service
When faced with a bed bug situation, it doesn’t matter whether this problem originates from your pets or not. You should consider acting fast. Any delay will only complicate the problem. Consider calling a pest management service to deal with the problem.
Containing a bed bug problem can be complex and is better handled by experienced hands.
Dogs and cats can get bed bugs. This can either come through your pets or from you. Having identified the problem, the most important action to take is to seek help.