Clipsters & Co Advice -Dogs and Bed Bugs – What You Need to Know
(3 minute read)
There’s a lot of talk about bed bugs lately, with infestations occurring across Europe. We know they can be tricky to get rid of, and irritating to humans, but what about dogs?
For dog parents, here are the important things to be aware of when it comes to your best friend and this pesky pest.
Can Dogs Catch Bed Bugs?
Yes and no. Dogs cannot catch bed bugs in the same way they can catch fleas or ticks. And they are certainly not as big a problem as fleas or ticks.
Bed bugs are not parasites that infest dogs or other animals. Instead, they are insects that feed on the blood of humans, and they are typically found in the crevices and folds of beds, furniture, and other soft, dark hiding spots.
While bed bugs feed on human blood, they do not feed on the blood of dogs or any other animals. These pests are specifically adapted to feed on humans, and their feeding method is not suited for other animals. If they do try to bite your dog, they might feel a slight itch, but it won’t cause serious health issues and the bug won’t hang around on them for long.
Do Dogs Spread Bed Bugs?
Dogs themselves do not spread bed bugs, but they can inadvertently carry them from one location to another. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. They can cling very effectively to soft surfaces, including your
What To Do
If you suspect bed bugs are in your home or that your dog has spent time somewhere that beg bugs might be living, there’s a slight risk that they could transport these pests. To minimize this risk, consider the following:
If you think your dog has been in contact with bed bugs, brush or groom them outside before bringing them indoors. As bed bugs don’t infest in your dog’s fur, there’s no need for special shampoos or other medication.
If your dog has access to your bed or furniture, make sure to wash their bedding as well as your own regularly. Be sure to use a hotter wash (60C). If you know a item of clothing or bedding has bed bugs in, you may also be able to kill them by placing the item in a freezer for a few days.
Inspect Your Dog
After spending time in a potentially infested area,
carefully inspect your dog for any signs of bed bugs. Use a comb to look under their fur. Signs include small, reddish-brown insects (around 5mm long) or tiny dark spots that could be bed bug faeces.
Clean & Vacuum
Regularly clean and vacuum your home, paying special attention to cracks, corners and folds in furniture, and areas where your dog likes to hang out.
Consult a Professional
If you suspect you have bed bugs in your home, contact a pest control professional to assess and address the issue. They can provide guidance on how to prevent the spread of bed bugs and how to get rid of them. Your local council may also provide pest control services and advice.
Remember, bed bugs are primarily a human pest, and your dog is not a main host for them. They may, however, carry them from one location to another. It’s good practice to be vigilant if you’ve been in an environment where bed bugs are known to be present.
For more on how to know if you have bed bugs, and what to do if you’re bitten, take a look at the NHS page dedicated to bed bugs.