Dealing with bed bugs can certainly be stressful. Your home is crawling with critters, and the itch of their bites is unrelenting. If you are a pet owner, you might not be the only one suffering from the bed bug blues; you may be noticing your furry friends have been doing a lot of scratching lately, too.
Are you battling bed bugs and wondering if your dog or cat is safe from these annoying pests? The answer is both yes and no. While there is no need to panic and shave your pooch at the first sign of an itch, household pets can be just as much of an attraction to bed bugs as their owners are.
Is my pet a carrier of bed bugs?
Most likely not. Bed bugs are not known to infest their hosts, like fleas and lice do. Unlike these other pests, bed bugs tend to hide in cozy cracks and crevasses during the day – between couch cushions, within bedsheets, even inside the binding of books – and then come out at night to feed on sleeping prey. It is possible that bed bugs might get caught up in your pet’s fur, but not probable; it is much more likely that bed bugs will hitch a ride in your suitcase or laundry basket.
Bed bugs only feed on humans, right?
Not necessarily. While they might not want to inhabit dogs and cats, bed bugs are perfectly happy to feed on them. As warm blooded creatures, household pets can provide a meal just as appetizing for hungry bed bugs as humans. The effects of bed bug bites for pets are just as mild as they are for humans. Much like flea bites, bed bugs might cause some annoying itching, but rarely are a cause for visit to the vet.
Will I find bed bugs in my pet’s bed?
Yes, bed bugs are equally likely to find a home a dog or cat bed a they are a human bed. Bed bugs travel fairly easily between one host habitat and another, so if your dog or cat’s sleeping spot is in close quarters with a couch or bed or other furniture that you know to be crawling with bed bugs, the pests are likely to find their way there as well. Washing and drying your pet’s bed on high heat can help eradicate any lingering bed bugs, or you can simply replace the bedding altogether to be safe.
Bed bugs are parasites, hungry for a meal from a warm blooded host. For this reason, dogs and cats can sometimes also find themselves as the victims of bed bug infestations. But fear not- a well trained and certified bed bug dog like Leroy can also be the critters’ worst nightmare!