Can My Dog Get Bedbugs?
In the last several years bed bugs have almost become an epidemic in the United States. Some states such as Iowa have recently initiated a bed bug task force to help the public be informed about what to look for, how to treat and how to keep from getting bed bugs. One question that seems to be on most dog owner’s minds is “Will my dog get bed bugs?”
Bed bugs feed on the blood of animals and humans. But they don’t live on the body of the host. When they are hungry they will look for a warm body to crawl on and then feed for about 10 minutes. When they are done they will crawl back to their hiding place until it is time to feed again. They love to hide in the seams and cracks and crevices of your mattress or bed frames. A sleeping body is a great way to get a meal.
Bed bugs do not like to crawl through the fur of an animal but will feed off your dog if he is available. A bed bug is not built for hanging on to the fur like a flea or tick so when they are done feeding they will crawl or drop off the dog just like they do on humans. If you suspect your dog is getting bit by bed bugs inspect their skin and fur especially on their underside. Check their beds, crates and anywhere they like to sleep for bed bugs. If you think their dog bed is infested with bed bugs put it in the washer using hot water and soap. Then put it in the dryer on high heat for about 20 minutes. A dryer temperature of 120-140 degrees will kill the bed bugs.
Even though bed bugs don’t stay on your dog like a flea or tick they still can be feeding on the dog when he gets up to move to another room. When the bed bug is done feeding it may drop off in the living room, kitchen or any place in the house. So it is a good idea to inspect your dog often and keep him brushed preferably outside to keep from spreading the bed bugs.
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Keep in mind that although dogs can carry a few bed bugs from time to time it is us humans that are more likely to carry a bed bug on our clothing, in our suitcases, in furniture brought into the house, etc. That is why we need to be very careful when we travel, visit other homes, or sit on cloth chairs or couches in waiting rooms. If you do get bed bugs it is best to call a professional pest management company. There are several methods of treatment and they will discuss which is best for you.